I Failed Matric, Now What? Here Are Your Options

We all know and understand the disappointment that comes with not achieving the results you wanted. For many students this means exams, after which you naturally will choose a career pathway and move on with life. While this may be simpler for some, what if you don’t get the results you expected?

Failing matric can be heart wrenching, but the good news is that it’s really not the end of the world. There are several options available for students to consider after they have failed their matric year. 

Those learners who passed their matric, but didn't achieve their desired marks or the required marks for entrance into degree study, have the following options:

Get a remark 

If you’ve failed a subject or two by a slight percentage or if you are certain you’ve studied hard enough and just can’t understand how you have failed, consider getting a remark. While it is not a guarentee that your results will improve by much, it is worth a try. Matrics can apply for a remark at their schools.

Supplementary exams

The supplementary exam is available to students who wish you improve their results or who were not able to write their exams but wish to complete it. Supplementary exams are usually written at your high school. The best part is that supplementary exams are free.

Re-doing your matric

There is absolutely no harm in redoing your matric. For some, this option might actually benefit them in the long run. Having a good matric opens many doors for you.

Take a bridging course

Bridging courses allow you to take shorter courses to improve your marks and assist you on your way to completing your diploma or degree. There are many institutions listed on our website that offer bridging courses, namely Damiln, IIE Varsity College, Intec College, Oxbridge Academy and more.

Try a second chance programme

The second chance programme is for the following learners.

  1. Senior Certificate (amended) Examination Candidates: Learners registered to write the Senior Certificate (amended) examinations in June.  
  2. NSC Examinations Part-time candidates: Learners who attempted the NSC examinations post 2015 and will write the examinations in November.

Benefits of the second chance programme:

  • Learners are able to meet the requirements of the NSC or SC and obtain a Grade 12 matric certificate
  • Increase learner retention
  • Increase computer skills, job opportunities and career pathing
  • Learners are able to access bursary opportunities for further studies


This might sound cliché which continues to exist because it is true, is that it does not matter how many times you fall – it matters only how many times you stand up.  

You need to put yourself and your future first and by doing this you will get ahead.


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