What Are The Requirements For A Higher Certificate Pass?

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The Higher Certificate Pass is the lowest National Senior Certificate (NSC) Pass level that a student can attain above just receiving the NSC. Nonetheless, despite this fact, a student who has passed with a Higher Certificate Pass still has ample opportunity for certain types of further education and jobs that only require a Higher Certificate qualification.


A Higher Certificate Pass is just above the minimum pass requirement that a student can achieve for their matric NSC. It is below the Diploma Pass but above the minimum NSC pass requirement, which reveals the minimum that a student can attain to pass their matric year, but often does not allow for the student to pursue any university education post-matric.

Nonetheless, the Higher Certificate Pass is still an essential pass level as it allows for the student to attain provisional entrance into any college or certificate course offered in South Africa.

Like the Diploma Pass, the Higher Certificate Pass does not allow the student to pursue studies at a degree level, but there are career options available for study with this pass level.

With a Higher Certificate Pass, a prospective student has the chance to study in programmes such as certified bookkeeping which includes three streams of study: financial accounting, business management, and office administration.

Furthermore, the student can also pursue educare, human resources management, becoming a legal secretary, marketing management, and so on.

The student also has the option to study courses that do not require a matric certificate at all, such as: beauty courses, childcare, tourism, event planning and wedding planning among other things.

It must, however, be noted that the requirements for these study options may differ between different institutions.

To achieve a Higher Certificate Pass, the learner should meet the following requirements:

  • The learner must achieve at least 40% for their Home Language subject.
  • The learner must achieve at least 40% in two other subjects excluding Life Orientation.
  • The learner must achieve at least 30% in any other three subjects.
  • The learner can only fail one subject.

If the student is able to meet all of these requirements, their final matric mark will be awarded a Higher Certificate Pass, which will open up a path for the student to study in a selection of Higher Certificate education options.


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