What to do if your matric results are disappointing

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Your Matric year can be stressful since those results determine whether or not you’ll qualify to study further. However, it’s possible that your results could be disappointing or you could even fail certain subjects. Not to worry, if this does happen, we’ve listed four of your options here.

Request a Re-mark

So you feel you’ve been marked unfairly and you want to get your final exam answers re-checked and scored. You can submit an application for a re-mark or recheck to your local education department. A re-mark means that exam moderator will assess your answer script all over again; and a re-check means that they’ll just go through the script to make sure the marks have been allocated correctly for each question. Be sure to check the department’s website for the re-mark request cutoff date so you don’t miss it. You’ll also have to pay a fee of about R92 for a re-mark and R23 for a recheck.


If you’ve failed more than 2 subjects and you don’t really want to explore options outside of getting your NSC certificate, it may be a good idea to re-do matric. This does mean that you’ll have to set the year aside to attain your matric certificate, but a lot of the learning materials are available online so it’s slightly more flexible than going to high school. Click here for rewrite registrations and subject resources.

Register at an FET

Further Education and Training colleges offer a variety of options if you haven’t completed matric. You can choose to take up a course that doesn’t require matric but will add value to your CV. Be sure to look at the college’s prospectus to see which courses you qualify for. Alternatively, you could choose to do courses that credit towards the NSC certificate equivalent, while training in your field of interest.

Write supplementary exams

If you’ve failed one or two subjects, you have the option of re-doing only the subjects you haven’t passed. You need to motivate an application for a supplementary exam by either submitting medical documents proving that you were unable to write, or that you underperformed due to poor health or a learning deficiency. Or you can submit proof of death in the family (a death certificate), or written evidence showing that you need better marks to qualify for a specific tertiary qualification. You’ll have to contact your nearest education department for assistance with a supplementary exam in January.

Generally, life can be a bit unpredictable and disappointments do happen. So if your matric results aren’t as great as you’d hoped, don’t worry, there are still ways to get that matric certificate and go for the career you’ve always wanted. Remember that it’s very important to be realistic when choosing the most viable option for you, should the unfortunate happen.

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