Department Reveals Matric Exam Challenges During This Year's Finals

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As the final week of the 2023 National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams commence, thousands of learners will begin the wait. This wait will last more than one month to receive their NSC results. 

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The Department of Basic Education (DBE) confirmed that learners will receive their matric results on Friday, 19 January 2024. However, before matric results are released to candidates, the 164 matric exam papers written by almost a million learners must be marked, checked and recorded. 

While no major challenges expired during the 2023 exams, the DBE said the emergence of fake news and scams sought to undermine the integrity of the examination process. The department says they promptly responded to these manipulated videos, 

These videos of the minister herself, together with our chief communicator these were manipulations indicating that papers have leaked and there's going to be a rewrite fortunately this was picked up immediately and we were able to quell concerns that may have emerged in the minds of parents as well as learners. 

It was also revealed that one individual attempted to solicit money from students by offering them early access to examinations. However, the department described this as a scam as the individuals used information from examinations which were already written. 

The DBE also apologised for a question in the Mathematics Literacy exam where the term “mandatory Palestine was used”. The DBE says no malicious intent was meant with the use of the term. 

The question was phrased as “Timothy will fly from the United States of America to Mandatory Palestine to play in a tournament. Before he leaves, he wants to exchange $2 580 for new Israeli shekel (NIS). The currency used in Mandatory Palestine is the new Israeli shekel (NIS).”

Our examiners did this with no malicious intent our Maths panel or Maths literacy panel were focusing on the mathematics and they lost sight or did not even give consideration to the context that they were describing through this question 

The final examination of the 2023 exam season will be written on Wednesday, 6 December 2023. Learners will complete Computers Applications and Technology Exams or Information Technology exam rewrite. 

The Department explained that the rewrite opportunity is available for learners who may have experienced technical difficulties when they wrote earlier this year. 

You may find that the learner struggles to retrieve his or her responses so in such a case we then allow the learner to rewrite so those were the technical problems which are computer related where learners are allowed to to rewrite.

Matric Standardisation

After all matric exams are marked the DBE will commence the process of standardisation. This meeting brings together several stakeholders to discuss marks and results. 

Challenges experienced by learners and teachers will be taken into consideration along with other factors that may have impacted the grade 12 examination results. The information gathered in this meeting is carefully considered and where the stakeholders see fit, marks obtained by learners will be adjusted.

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dbe minister in charge of matric exams

The release of the 2023 final matric exams are just over a month away. However, several important tasks will be take place before candidates receive their results. 

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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.


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