Are IEB Matric Pass Requirements The Same As NSC?

Group of students in a class environment seemingly engage in discussion.

Not sure which programme to enrol for between the IEB and the NSC? Well, there are a few things you need to know before deciding which one is best for you or your child. 


What is the NSC?

The National Senior Certificate, also known as the NSC, is the common high school certificate school-leavers obtain once they finish grade 12. This document is commonly known as the matric certificate, but the formal name for it is NSC. 

To obtain this certificate, students need to study at least six subjects including:

  • Two South African official languages
  • Mathematics or Maths Literacy
  • Life Orientation
  • Choice of three elective subjects

All subjects in the NSC are taken on the same level. There are no higher grade or standard grade options for the NSC. To pass a subject, the student must achieve a minimum score of 40%. 

The minimum matric pass requirements are:

  • 40% in your Home Language
  • Achieve 40% in two other subjects
  • Need 30% for four other subjects
  • Must pass at least 6 out of 7 subjects

Importance of NSC

The unemployment rate in South Africa is rising at a concerning rate. Having a matric certificate is vital, but it simply isn’t enough on its own. Depending on your skills and interests, you will need something extra to achieve your career goals or stand out from the other candidates.

Yes, having a matric is important but not if your marks are preventing you from applying for certain jobs, colleges or universities and receiving bursaries. However, there are many options for you available if you didn’t receive the results you wanted.

What is the IEB?

IEB stands for the Independent Examinations Board. This is a private assessment board that offers examination services to private schools.

They are accredited by Umalusi to offer school and adult assessments. They’re also accredited by the QCTO (Quality Council For Trades & Occupations) for the Foundational Learning Competence and the ETDP SETA for training courses in assessment practices. 

The IEB claims to better equip students for further education and training studies. Apart from the curriculum, the IEB also aims to give students critical thinking and problem-solving skills. At the end of your school career, you will receive a matric certificate issued by Umalusi. 

What are the Benefits of IEB?

So, what exactly makes the IEB different from other matric qualifications? Here’s what students can expect from the IEB. 

Learners are taught to apply the knowledge they pick up, and not just repeat learning style. 

The IEB curriculum also encourages learners to think critically and solve problems in a creative manner.

Is the IEB the same as A Levels?

The IEB programme is equivalent to the UK AS Levels. Their English and Mathematics programmes are equivalent to the UK A Levels. 

Many of their candidates have been accepted and studied at reputable universities around the world. In terms of the pass rate requirement, IEB and NSC use the same average criteria.  Both the IEB and NSC use the South African National Curriculum, which is regulated by the Department of Basic Education.

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