Life After Matric: How To Continue Your Education Even If You Didn't Pass


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The Matric exams are the most important and challenging assessments for South African learners. They are the culmination of 12 years of schooling and the gateway to higher education and career opportunities. 

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However, not everyone who writes these exams will pass or achieve the results they hoped for. While this is a setback, those who are concerned about what their results will show come January 2024 need to know that they still have options, an education expert says.

“If you are one of those learners who did not pass Matric or did not get the exemption you needed, you may feel disappointed, discouraged, and hopeless about your future. You may think that you have no options left and that your dreams are shattered. But this is not true,” says Siyavuya Makubalo, Marketing Manager at Oxbridge Academy, a brand of ADvTECH, SA’s leading private education provider.

There is life after Matric, and there are many ways to continue your education and improve your prospects, even if you did not pass. You do not have to give up on your goals or settle for less than you deserve. You can still pursue your passions and interests, and acquire the skills and qualifications you need to succeed in the 21st Century.

The most important first step for those worried about their results is to stay positive and remain proactive.

“Many people are unaware that there are different study options, especially vocational ones that are sought-after in the job market, that don’t need a Matric certificate.

If you can bounce back from this challenge, and promise yourself to not neglect your education but instead work hard towards a goal you can be enthusiastic about, you have a formula for success on your hands.

The following options are flexible, affordable, and accessible, and they can help you achieve your full potential:

Rewriting Certain Subjects

If you did badly in only one or two subjects, it is an option to rewrite those subjects you didn’t pass, or those in which you want to get higher marks.

Repeating Matric

If you fail or don’t qualify for Matric exemption, you can still finish your Matric through distance learning. This option is cost-effective, can be done from your own home (which means that you don’t have to go back to school), and learning materials are easy to use and understand.

If you go this route, make sure that you find a good institution with consistent support available to ensure you can make a success of your studies.

Complete A Bridging Course Or Similar Qualification

An Intro to N4 course is similar to a bridging course, as it allows you to advance to N4, N5 and N6. After completing N6, you can apply to the Department of Higher Education and Training for a National Diploma, provided that you have gained 18 months of relevant practical experience.

Passing an N4 level qualification is equivalent to Matric, and continuing through N4 to N5 will make you more employable than someone who only has a Matric certificate.

Enrol For A Vocational Course

A vocational course will allow you to step into the job market after completion. It provides the specific skills and theoretical knowledge required in fields such as, for example, project management, health and safety, logistics and supply chain management, and contact centre operations.

All of these courses can be completed without having a Matric certificate and through distance learning, which means that you can even start earning while you’re learning.

Enrol For An Occupational Certificate

An occupational certificate is a qualification that is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated competence in a specific occupation or trade. It is a nationally recognised qualification that is based on industry standards and is designed to equip learners with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a particular occupation.

In South Africa, occupational certificates cover almost all sectors including agriculture, business, construction, education, health, hospitality, manufacturing, mining, transport.

While disappointing, failing or doing badly in Matric is not the end of the road for you or your aspirations.

“There are many options available to you if you did not pass Matric, or if you want to improve your results. You do not have to let your past define your future, and you can still achieve your goals and dreams, and make a positive contribution to society.”

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Matric exam scripts

Approximately one million learners participate in the 2023 final matric exams. While matric exams are currently being marked, a lot of work must be done before candidates receive their matric results in January 2024. 



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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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