Primary & Secondary Education News South Africa

Matrics of 2023 achieve highest pass rate in the history of NSC exams

The Matric class of 2023 have achieved a pass rate of 82.9%, which is the highest pass rate in the history of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said at the release of the 2023 National Senior Certificate examination results on Thursday, 18 January, that 572,983 candidates passed the 2023 NSC exams.
Image source: rawpixel –
Image source: rawpixel –

The 2023 Matric exam results in numbers, however, is the second highest in the history of the NSC exams, explained Motshekga. "When expressed as a percentage, the pass rate of the 2023 NSC exams is the highest in the history of the NSC so far," she said.

The 2023 results are also an improvement to the previous years of 2022 and 2021 by 2.8% and 6.5% respectively, and 40.9% of candidates that passed did so with bachelor passes, which is also the highest percentage for bachelor passes in the history of the NSC examinations.

"Diploma level passes stand at some 27.2% of candidates. Higher certificates are at 14.8%, while those who passed with a National Senior Certificate stand at 0.01%," Motshekga said.

A total of 897,775 candidates, both full-time and part-time, enrolled for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations in 2023.

Provincial rankings pass rate from highest to lowest

  • Free State is the leading province at 89.0%, an increase of 0.5% from 2022.
  • KwaZulu-Natal, which is the third most improved province, achieved 86.4%, an increase of 3.4% from 2022.
  • Gauteng achieved 85.4%, an increase of 1.0% from 2022.
  • North West achieved 81.6%, an increase of 1.8% from 2022.
  • Western Cape achieved 81.5%, an increase of 0.1% from the previous year.
  • The Eastern Cape is the second most improved province, with a pass rate of 81.4%, an improvement of 4.1% from the previous year.
  • The most improved province is Limpopo, with an achievement of 79.5%, a 7.4% improvement from the previous year.
  • Mpumalanga achieved 77.0%, a 0.2% increase from the previous year.
  • Northern Cape achieved at 75.8%, a 1.6% increase from 2022.

IEB Matric pass rate

The Independent Examinations Board Matric results have slightly improved from the previous year with a 98.46% pass rate from 98.42% in 2022.

A total of 15,180 students wrote the IEB NSC exams in October and November 2023 at 275 examination centres and 88.59% of those that passed achieved entry to degree study, compared to 89.32% in 2022.

For diploma study, 8.31% qualified for entry compared to 7.52% in 2022; and 1.57% achieved entry for study at the higher certificate level, same as the 1.57% in 2022.

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