How To Pass Matric Exams With Distinctions In 2023

Filed in Articles by on November 17, 2022 0 Comments

This is a guide on how to pass Matric exams with distinctions. In this article, we shared helpful tips to help you prepare, write and pass your Matric exams with good grades.

In South Africa, matriculation (or matric) is the final year of high school and the qualification received on graduating from high school, and the minimum university entrance requirements. In general usage, the school-leaving exams, which are government-administered, are known as the “matric exams”; by extension, students in the final year of high school (grade 12) are known as “matriculants”.

Once the Matric year has been passed, students are said to have “matriculated”.

Officially, the qualification obtained at the end of secondary schooling is the National Senior Certificate, and the school-leaving examinations are the “Senior Certificate Examinations”. The National Senior Certificate can be completed through either the Department of Education or the Independent Examination Board. Students applying to a South African university with foreign school qualifications can obtain a “Matriculation Exemption” to show that they meet the same standards.

South African universities do not set their own entrance examinations, although many use standardized entrance tests of linguistic, numerical and mathematical ability, called the National Benchmark Tests. National Senior Certificate

The National Senior Certificate or NSC is the current matriculation (matric) certificate, with grade 12 as the matriculation grade.


Students study at least seven subjects: two of the eleven official South African languages one of which must be at “home language” level, Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy, Life Orientation, and three elective subjects. Students have the option of either taking the NSC (National Senior Certificate) or the NCV (National Certificate Vocational).

Subject Requirements

Students study at least 7 subjects: 4 compulsory and 3-4 optional. All subjects are set at one grade only and are no longer set at Higher or Standard Grade. Not all schools offer the full range of elective subjects as listed here. Each school may offer subjects specific to its academic orientation. For example, agriculture schools will offer agriculture-oriented subjects whereas technical schools will offer practical and mechanical-oriented subjects.

What are the Requirements to Pass Matric?

Firstly, all matric students are required to register to write at least 7 subjects and they may not fail more than one subject. Failing more than one subject means you have failed the matric. However, to pass you need:

  • At least 40% for your Home Language
  • Pass two other subjects with 40%
  • Get 30% for three other subjects

How To Pass Matric Exams With Distinctions

Passing Matric with good marks is great, but passing with a distinction is even better. You can pass with a distinction if you commit yourself to your studies. A distinction pass is when you obtain 80% or above in your subjects. This is how you can do it:

Attend Class

To pass your Matric with distinctions, you must attend classes. This is how you will gain knowledge and skills. When you are in class, you participate in-class assessments, which helps you learn information that you will need when writing assessments.

Attending classes helps you prepare for exams. You are told about the exam and what to expect. Teachers also provide you with past question papers which you can use to study.

Ask Questions

Students who pass with distinctions are those that ask questions in class. If you ever feel lost in class, it is your right and responsibility to ask the teacher to explain again. The teacher will try to explain until you understand. If you do not, they will refer you to other students who can and this will help you.

When you answer your assessments, you will do it confidently because you know how to answer questions.

Make Notes

When the teacher is busy teaching you in class, this is your chance to make notes. Some teachers will write down the notes on the board, while others will bring hard copy notes of what they will be teaching. Keep these copies and use them as notes.


To pass with distinctions, you will have to study a lot. Studying daily is the way to go. If you want to pass with distinctions, you must do what other students are not doing. Go the extra mile in your studies.  

Study for at least three hours after school. During the weekends, study for at least five to six hours. You will easily remember information because you keep revising it. This will help you when you write exams, you will remember what you learnt.


There are exam papers from exams written in years before you got to Matric. These questions papers are relevant. You must use them to practise for the exams. You can also look for memorandums for each past paper and use them to study.

Using past papers helps you familiarise yourself with the exam. By the time you write your exams, you will be ready. You will know how to answer questions. 

Study Groups

Join a study group with other Grade 12 learners who want to achieve distinctions. In this study group, you will learn from other learners. People have different ways of answering questions, through this you will find more than one way to answer different questions.

Study groups help you share ideas. If you do not know something, someone else might, and they can teach you.

Extra Class

Learning in class or having study groups may not be enough for some students to gain distinctions. You can attend extra classes. This will give you a different perspective on things. You may understand better through extra classes.


You must keep motivating yourself to study and reach for your goals. It is not easy to study daily. It requires discipline and hard work. Keep reminding yourself that you are doing this to gain access to university and study the course you want. This is how you will secure your dream career.

Complete Assessments

Completing all your assessments is one of the most important parts of completing your Matric.  Ensure that you complete all assessments in time and submit them. These assessments will help boost your final exam mark.

If you do not understand your assessments, always ask the teacher to explain so that you answer the questions correctly.

Prepare For The Exams In Due Time

The last step to getting your distinctions is the exams. Prepare for your exams in time. Show up to write all your exam papers and answer all questions. You will reach your distinction passes and follow your dream career.

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