How The NBT Online Test Works - What To Know


Please share this article

If you are a matriculant who recently applied to study at one of South Africa’s public universities, then there is a chance that you will be required to sit for and write the National Benchmark Test. If you are curious as to how it works, read more to find out.

Advertisement i

The National Benchmark Test (NBT) is intended to gauge a prospective first-year student’s level of academic preparedness to study at University. Here's how it works.

The NBT consists of two tests, the first one is the Academic Literacy and Quantitative Literacy domains (AQL), which tests a student's levels of academic literacy and quantitative literacy competence. 

It is combined into one multiple-choice test with each section timed for a total of three hours of writing time. The AQL test is written by applicants of all programmes. 

The second test is Mathematics (MAT), which tests the student's level of competence in mathematics. This test is written by those who have applied to study courses that require a pass in Mathematics. It is also a multiple-choice test that is timed to be written in three hours.

While the National Benchmark test is an initiative of the Department of Higher Education, it is run by CHED's Centre for Educational Testing for Access and Placement (CETAP). 

UCT is among other leading South African universities that use this test to supplement the information from an applicant's performance on the National Senior Certificate.

The NBT does not supply any previous tests for preparation as it is deemed to be confidential and is not made available to anyone.

The NBT was established in 2006 to assist universities in interpreting applicants' school-leaving results, determining the level of support first-year students may require, and addressing any adjustments to entry-level courses that may be required.


Suggested Article:

multiple choice exam paper

If you plan on pursuing your tertiary studies then you may have to write NBTs in order to meet admission requirements at your preferred institution. Here is how much NBTs cost and how to pay. 

Online Shopping Links

Takealot - Temu - Amazon - Shein



WhatsApp Channel

Sponsored Ad

Google News

Post-Matric Options


After completing your matric certificate exams, you are faced with a lot of post-matric options that can shape your future paths.

These options range from pursuing higher education at universities or colleges, entering vocational training programs, joining the workforce, or even starting your own business. There are so many choices but we are here to help.


Where to Study

Advertisement m

Other Articles

According to the recently released Global Skills Report of 2024 by Coursera, there is “a pressing need to develop a skilled domestic workforce” in South Africa. In the report, South Africa ranked 100 out of the 109 countries that were assessed in terms of skills availability; meaning that we lack most skills required for jobs of the future.


Latest SASSA articles

Sassa revealed that individuals can submit Sassa grant applications online. Here's everything you need to know about Sassa online grant applications. 

Millions of people living in South Africa are unemployed. These people can apply for the R370 grant in June 2024. 


Careers Advice

Everyone is spending so much time online these days - which has lead to Digital Marketing growing into a big business. Working in Digital Marketing promises a long and profitable career but what exactly does a Digital Marketer do? And how do you get into Digital Marketing?

Advertisement i