2023 NSC matric pass rate climbs to 82.9% in South Africa

 ·18 Jan 2024

The Department of Basic Education has published the final National Senior Certificate (NSC) results for the 2023 matric year, showing a 2.8 percentage point increase in the pass rate to 82.9%.

Speaking during an address to the nation on 18 January 2024, the basic education minister Angie Motshekga, said that the 2023 cohort was the most resilient yet, facing various challenges such as load shedding, and dealing with the continued fallout from Covid-19.

For the past ten years, the NSC pass rate has been going up from 60% in 2009 to over 80% to date, and the matric class of 2023 maintained this trend despite the astronomical challenges, said Motshekga.

She said the increase to 82.9% marks the highest since democracy.

According to the department, over 897,775 matrics registered to take the exams last year. Of these, 80% (715,719) were full-time candidates.

The number of bachelor passes increased by 10.6%, and the number of diploma passes also improved. She added bachelor passes have tripled since 2008.

Out of the 2023 matric class, 40.9% of students achieved a bachelor’s pass, 27.2% achieved a diploma pass, and 14.8% achieved a higher certificate pass. This class faced significant challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, starting in their grade 9 year in 2020.

The minister of fifteen years detailed the size and scope of the matric examinations, listing the following figures:

  • 691,690 candidates wrote the exams
  • 162 question papers were set
  • More than 10.4 million question papers were printed
  • 72,000 invigilators were placed across the country
  • 52,000 markers

Fewer students (691,690) wrote in 2023 than in 2022 (920,000), Motshekga said.

Motshekga said that all provinces improved with the following results (including progressed learners):

  1. Free State: 89%
  2. KZN: 86.4%
  3. Gauteng: 85.4%
  4. North West: 81.6%
  5. Western Cape: 81.5%
  6. Eastern Cape: 81.4%
  7. Limpopo: 79.5%
  8. Mpumalanga: 77%
  9. Northern Cape: 75.8%

Read: IEB matric exam results for 2023

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