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Senior Certificate(amended)

The last Senior Certificate examination based on the policy document, A Resume of instructional programmes in schools (Report 550), which allowed learners with incomplete Senior Certificate credits, as well as adult learners of 21 years and older, was conducted in June 2014.

However, based on the need for a qualification for adults that is equivalent to the current National Senior Certificate (NSC), the Minister of Basic Education has approved the revision of the current Senior Certificate qualification such that it can be offered by learners who will have no alternative route to follow post June 2014. The amended Senior Certificate, retains its qualification structure but will utilise the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) subjects to support the qualification. This implies that the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) subjects will be offered as part of the amended Senior Certificate. The first examination based on the amended Senior Certificate was written in JunelJuly 2015. All Senior Certificate subjects that were passed prior to June 2015, at Higher Grade and Standard Grade levels, excluding Lower Grade conversions, will be recognized.

As the Senior Certificate (amended) currently does not allow candidates to obtain University endorsement, candidates that write the Senior Certificate (amended) examinations can obtain an age exemption through Universities South Africa (USAf:, as an interim measure until the University admission requirements are approved by the Department of Higher Education and Training.


Admission to the Senior Certificate(amended)

The following learners will qualify for admission to the Senior Certificate(amended):

  • Adult learners who are 21 years and older who have:
    • a General Education and Training Certificate (GETC); or
    • a Grade 9 school report (or the old standard seven). stating that they have passed Grade 9 or Standard 7; or
    • a recognised equivalent qualification obtained at NQF Level which requires two official languages.
  • Adult learners who are 21 years and older with an incomplete Senior Certificate qualification.
  • Adult learners who are 21 years and older with an incomplete National Senior Certificate and whose School-Based Assessment (SBA) validity has expired.
  • Only in exceptional cases, out of school youth, who are 18-21 years old and who could not complete their school education due to circumstances beyond their control, as verified by the Head of Department in the Provincial Education Department.


Subjects to be Offered

The subjects listed below which are part of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement of the National Senior Certificate, will be offered as part of the amended Senior Certificate. The subjects will in essence be the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements of the National Senior Certificate, excluding the School-Based Assessment (SBA) component.

Each candidate must offer six subjects in order to qualify for the amended Senior Certificate. Adults who have approved Senior Certificate subject credits, but do not comply with the required six-subject package, must select the remaining required subjects from the following list of 14 adapted National Senior Certificate subjects:

Table A: Official languages at Home And First Additional level



Afrikaans Home language


Afrikaans First Additional Language


English Home Language


English First Additional Language


IsiNdebele Home Language


IsiNdebele First Additional Language


IsiXhosa Home Language


IsiXhosa First Additional Language


IsiZulu Home Language


IsiZulu First Additional Language


Sepedi Home Language


Sepedi First Additional Language


Sesotho Home Language


Sesotho First Additional Language


Setswana Home Language


Setswana First Additional Language


SiSwati Home Language


SiSwati First Additional Language


Tshivenda Home Language


Tshivenda First Additional Language


Xitsonga Home Language


Xitsonga First Additional Language


Table B1: Agriculture



Agricultural Sciences


Table B2: Business, Commerce and Management Studies





Business Studies




Table B3: Human and Social Studies







Religion Studies


Table B4: Physical, Mathematical, Computer and Life Sciences



Computer Applications Technology


Information Technology


Life Sciences


Mathematical Literacy




Physical Sciences


The Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements for the above-listed Senior Certificate subjects are available here.


Subjects to be recognized

Senior Certificate subjects credits that were passed prior to June 2015, at Higher Grade and Standard Grade levels, excluding Lower Grade conversions, will be recognized.

With the exception of Business English N3, Second Language, and/or Sakeafrikaans N3, Second Language, no N3 subjects will be recognised.

In the case of learners, who have attempted the National Senior Certificate examination, but were unable to complete all the subject requirements, and have exhausted the three year validity period allowed for the School Based Assessment (SBA), such candidates will have all their previous credits recognised.


Candidates that qualify to write the amended Senior Certificate examination will write the examination in June/July 2018. Candidates writing the amended Senior Certificate will be exempt from School Based Assessment, and this implies that the examination in the subject will constitute 100% of the final mark.

Examinations will be administered at designated examination centres determined by the Provincial Education Department. The examination may also be offered by the independent assessment bodies accredited by Umalusi.


Promotion requirements 

A Senior Certificate will be achieved by an adult candidate who satisfies the following requirements in these examinations:

  1. Pass three subjects at 40%, one of which must be an official language at Home Language level.
  2. Pass two subjects at 30%, one of which must be an official language at First Additional or Home Language level.
  3. Obtain a subminimum of 20% in the sixth subject.


Registration for the 2018 Senior Certificate Examination

Registration for the 2018 exams may be done at any education district office; registration closes in September.

Preparation for the 2018 Senior Certificate Examination

Learners that intend to write the 2018 Senior Certificate examination must commence with preparations for the examinations immediately, given that the curriculum is a year programme. Learners may obtain the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) for the relevant subject from the DBE website or the nearest provincial education office. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has made available an Examination Guideline, which provides a framework on the structure and format of the examination.

Exemplar question papers based on CAPS are also available on the DBE website.

FAQs on Senior Certificate (amended)
  1. Question: I wrote my matric in 2013 but did not gain university exemption. I would like to rewrite some of the subjects that I failed so as to gain entry into university. Will writing the ASC help me?

    Answer: Currently the ASC exam certificate does not offer the opportunity to enter any higher education institution but the department is negotiating with Higher Education on this matter. The 2013 NSC candidates’ SBA marks are valid until 2018, therefore they may repeat their NSC exam – all or only subjects of their choice.

  2. Question: I failed 2 subjects when I wrote my matric in 1999. If I write the ASC examinations will I be able to combine my 1999 SC results with the ASC results?

    Answer: Yes you can, but keep in mind that only selected subjects are available and you have to comply with the subject choice requirements.

  3. Question: I wrote 3 subjects in the 2015 ASC exams and wrote 3 more in the 2016 ASC exams but on my statement of results it is written ‘incomplete’. Must I write more subjects?

    Answer: Not necessarily. You have to apply for a combination of results and you have to comply with the subject choice requirements.

  4. Question: I want a matric certificate but the subjects I want to offer are not on the ASC Subject list. What options do I have?

    Answer: Currently only selected subjects are available for the ASC exam, but the possibility is that all subjects could be available for selection from 2018.

Contacts for enquiries

Eastern Cape

MS N Lehlakane: Tel:043 604 7709 / 7701

Free State

Mr TK Basjan: 051 404 8397 |


Mr P Masilo: 011 355 0588/9


Mr RC Penniston: 031 332 5173


Ms V Tshetlo: 015 290 9439


Mr CS Manyabeane: 013 766 0006

North West

Mr BJ Nothnagel: 018 388 0803

Northern Cape

Mr S Maketlo: 053 839 6301/2 or

Western Cape

Mr AP Clausen: 021 467 2945/2541

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