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Attaining an SA Matric Exemption through Cambridge

The main reason for using Cambridge is that it is flexible. One does not need prior school reports to write the Cambridge exams. Exams can also be written over several sittings. There’s no need for doing portfolios for year marks. Cambridge is also recognised by South African universities.

A rough equivalence of Cambridge Exam levels vs South African Grades:

IGCSE (or O-levels): Grade 11

AS (or half A-levels): Grade 12

AL (or A-levels): Grade 12+1


Students need to pass 5 subjects:

Most Common Subjects Option: 4 AS Level subjects and 1 IGCSE subject. English at the AS level is compulsory for this option.

Option 2: 2 A level subjects and 3 IGCSE subjects.

Option 3: 3 A level subjects and 1 IGCSE subject.

Subject requirements

1st subject: A First language is compulsory e.g. English

2nd subject: A second language is also compulsory e.g. Afrikaans

3rd subject: A third language, Maths or a Science subject

4th and 5th subjects: The two remaining subjects can be taken from any of the subject groups e.g. History, Geography, Accounting, Business etc.

Detailed subject choices are listed on: https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/…/523166…

Minimum marks for Exemption requirements (Bachelor’s Matric Pass)

A Level subjects – E symbol (40%)

AS Level subjects – D symbol (50%)

IGCSE subjects – C symbol (60%)

“Two-sitting” Rule

The above subjects must be written in two calendar years. Mid-year and end-of–year exams are available. This means that exams can be written over 4 sittings in two calendar years.

Afrikaans can be written in October of the year before the two calendar years kick in, with its result combined with the results of the May/June exams of the first calendar year. This means a 5th exam sitting is allowed for Afrikaans.

Extending AS to A levels

A-Level exams are to be written within 13 months of the AS level exams. This is after the the two calendar year period. A student has a maximum of two attempts to convert an AS level result towards an A level result.

University acceptance 

University Faculties will in addition set their own entry requirements over and above the above requirements.

Trust that the above is helpful.

Thank you

Siraj Ghoor