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How to prepare for the National Benchmark Tests


Once you have registered for the National Benchmark tests, you will need to prepare for the big day. There are a few resources that you can use to help you feel ready for the day that you write.


There are two booklets that are available for teachers to help you through. These booklets are available for download on the NBT website

The booklets are available for the AQL test and the MAT test. In these booklets, there are sample questions that you can work through in order to get a feel of what the tests will be like. 

There are no NBT past papers that you can access, the sample questions serve as your only formal preparation for the tests.

Test Day

On the day that you will be writing your tests, you will have to start checking in at the test venue in the morning. The list of test venues is available on the NBT website. Check-in starts at 07:30 and doors close at 08:30

In order to check in you will need to bring:

  • Your South African ID or foreign passport or a birth certificate with an affidavit from the police including a recent photograph.

  • Pencils and eraser

  • Lunch and water if you are writing both tests

The AQL test is written first and then the MAT test is written in the afternoon.

You will have 3 hours and 25 minutes to write the AQL test, this test is timed and consists of seven sections. You will then write the MAT test which is also timed and 3 hours long.

Once you have completed the tests you registered for and the time is up, you may then go home. 



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