National Senior Certificate and Senior Certificate - What Is The Difference Between Them?


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The National Senior Certificate and the Senior Certificate are different in a very simple way. Where the one is school-based, the other is examination based, but there are also other differences. 

A National Senior Certificate and a Senior Certificate are often very easily mistaken for the same thing or for each other, but there is actually a difference between the two.

Youth Capital gave us insight into the difference between the two as they tackle the Second Chance Matric Programme which in simple terms is responsible for Matric rewrites.

National Senior Certificate (NSC)

An NSC is what you receive after completing grade 12 before the age of 21. If you are do not have an NSC, you still have a chance to get one.

If you are under 21 years old and left Grade 12 less than three years ago, you can re-enrol for a full-time NSC. You can take the full complement of matric subjects through the full-time route.

Those who failed their matric exams, passed but want to improve their results, or reached Grade 12 but didn't write exams, can register as part-time candidates to write the NSC. You must be under 21 years old and have left Grade 12 less than three years ago. 

Senior Certificate (SC)

An SC is awarded to people who finished their matric year after the age of 21.

It is for people who completed Grade 9 but, dropped out of school before reaching the Grade 12 exams, and those who wrote their matric exams more than three years ago, but either failed or passed but want to improve their results. 

The SC is an equal qualification to the NSC, but while the NSC combines examinations and the School-Based Assessment to reach a final result, the SC is based only on examinations.

Second-chancers have the following routes to the qualification available to obtain a matric certificate: a National Senior Certificate (NSC) or a Senior Certificate (SC). Please note that regardless of which route second-chancers take, those who do not manage to pass their exams receive a statement of results. This statement assists in articulation pathways into post-school opportunities.

Applications for Matric rewrites are currently open and will close on 31 March. You can can register online here to rewrite or visit the district office and complete a form there.


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