How The NBT Online Test Works - What To Know


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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.


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.


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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. 



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Post-Matric Options


After completing your matric certificate exams, you are faced with a multitude 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 considering entrepreneurial ventures, each offering unique opportunities for personal and professional growth.

You've probably been contemplating the next chapter of your life all throughout the year asking yourself, 'what am I going to study after I finish completing my matric certificate exams?', 'am I going to study? What else can I do when I pass'? Well, we can help.


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