Matric Pathways @ Home

Compiled  by Hanlie Wentzel on 30 May 2018.


Is it possible to get your matric at home? Yes, it is!

There are currently 3 pathways to a matric (NQF 4: National Qualifications Framework Level 4) qualification  in South Africa, that I am aware of. The first is the NSC (National Senior Certificate) of the Department of Basic Education. If you don’t want a South African quality controlled matric certificate but something more international, you can get a GED Certificate (American) or a Cambridge Certificate (University of Cambridge).


A. National Senior Certificate (DBE)

The National Senior Certificate or NSC is a high school diploma and is the Department of Basic Education ‘s school-leaving certificate in South Africa. This certificate is commonly known as the matriculation  (matric) certificate, as grade 12 is the matriculation grade. Pupils study at least seven subjects, including two compulsory official South African languages, either Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy, Life Orientation and three elective subjects. NSC is a three-year program (Grades 10, 11, and 12) and your child has to have passed Grades 10 and 11 to get into Grade 12.

Once your child is in Grade 12, he or she has to first submit portfolios of the year’s work in each subject because there is a year mark as well as an exam mark. The problem you have here as a homeschooler is that the Department of Basic Education will not allow you to send your child’s portfolio to the nearest school to be marked.

At the barest minimum, you need to register with a private organisation that is accredited to mark the portfolio and other assessments. Organisations like Impaq Education , Brainline Distance Education , Hatfield Christian Online School and  Alpha Education  offer these services. You will have to pay examination fees and assorted other costs. These organizations also offer study guides, workbooks, portfolio books, electronic downloads, videos, facilitator guides for you, a suggested timetable, lesson guidance and explanations.

If you prefer to write the matric exam through the Department of Basic Education, rather than the IEB or SACAI, then you can enroll your child in a correspondence college like INTEC or Damelin Correspondence . Intec or Damelin will provide the curriculum, set and mark the continuous assessments and then your child will write the DBE matric examination. One of the advantages of Intec and Damelin is that they will offer you massive choices in subjects, ranging from academic to technical and vocational, as well as flexible study options.

B. Cambridge Matric

Cambridge homeschool matric is one of the options for South African high school homeschool students to get a matric certificate with university exemption. Cambridge Assessment International Education is part of Cambridge Assessment, Europe’s largest assessment agency and a department of the University of Cambridge. The curriculum is highly rated across the world because of its emphasis on deep engagement.

In South Africa most students do two courses: IGCSE (grade 10 – 11) takes 18 months – 2 years to complete and is for students from 14 – 16 years of age. This is the same as grades 10 and 11 in local schools although the subject content is different. Your student will take 7 subjects on this level.

Following this, South African high school students do the AS Levels (grade 12) normally from about 16 – 19 years of age. This is also an 18 month – 2 year course and is the equivalent of Grade 12 in South Africa and is recognized by the South African Matriculation Board as the equivalent of Senior Certificate subjects (NQF4) passed at the Higher Grade, which is a necessary requirement for University Entrance. Your student will take 5 subjects on this level.

A levels is optional. To achieve the equivalents of  A Levels the South African student needs to complete a Grade 13, but most students do not take this option as it is not necessary for matric exemption and university exemption. The Full A-Level course is only required for students wishing to enroll at an International University
that requires this qualification. It is incumbent on the student to ascertain from the tertiary faculty for course entrance requirements. In many respects only the AS-Level is needed.

C. GED Matric & SAT

A GED homeschool grade 12 equivalent is a popular alternative to getting a matric online. The GED (General Equivalency Diploma) does not have the status or the intellectual depth of Cambridge, but if you are looking for a simple and cheap way for your child to exit school with a matric level qualification, then it will work. The South African Qualifications Authority has evaluated the GED at the NSC level, and most universities in South Africa accept it as a matric equivalent, although your child might have to fill in extra forms and do extra entrance requirements.

The GED test series, which is currently used internationally, including SA, is a series of four subject tests. The GED alone is usually adequate for candidates wanting to study at colleges – but always check first. Those wishing to apply to study at university need a letter of foreign conditional exemption from USAF.

The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test that enables students to show colleges what they know as well as how well they can apply that knowledge. Most students in the USA take the SAT during their grade 11 year and again during their grade 12 year of high school, to improve their scores and almost all colleges and universities in the USA use the SAT to make admission decisions.




1. Cambridge Matric Support

There are a number of distance colleges who offer distance tuition, such as:

The British International Distance College


CL Education

Clonard Education

Theocentric Christian Education

Think Digital College

For further support regarding subject choice, Matriculation Exemption, textbooks, etc., please visit:

Cambridge International


#Think Digital College

THINK Digital College is the first virtual school in South Africa providing both the CAPS and Cambridge curriculum. We provide the CAPS and Cambridge curriculum in an integrated, engaging and effective way.Our aim is to produce young adults who are innovative, creative and independent in their thinking, who have courage, perseverance and resilience and who believe in themselves and their potential. Our name derives from our strong belief that thinking is one of the most important skills a child can be taught.  We have so much information at our finger tips, but we need to learn how to think creatively in order to use this information to plan, design, innovate – for anything new!With THINK, all this and more is possible.  Instead of being forced to turn off your devices and pack them away during school, we encourage you to utilize them to enhance your learning experience by accessing the highest quality content. You are living in the most exciting times and your education has now caught up with THINK Digital College.

Courses and subjects currently offered:


English First Language
Afrikaans First Additional Language
Chemistry and Physics
Business Studies

AS Levels (choose a minimum of 5 subjects)English First Language
Afrikaans First Additional Language
PPP (Personal Power Programme)



Grade 12 will be available from 2018

Information on the costs involved, see Products and Pricing




CambriLearn is an online education platform that prepares students for their Cambridge O-levels and AS/ S-levels. Our technology platform enables learning and learner support in the easiest possible way. The delivery of our learning is flexible and customized to suit the needs of each individual and his/ her career growth. Our platform includes active tutoring, continuous assessments and learner forums.

We have selected highly qualified and Cambridge experienced tutors to write the interactive and Cambridge content appropriate Study Guides. Our dynamic teaching methodologies leverage the right mix of content, interaction and media to enable students to achieve their full potential.

Our goal at CambriLearn is to make quality education accessible so that success is no longer exclusive.

Courses and subjects currently offered:


  • English Language (0500)
  • French (0520)
  • Math (0580)
  • History (0470)
  • Chemistry (0620)
  • Physics (0625)
  • Biology (0610)
  • Economics (0455)
  • Business Studies (0450)
  • Accounting (0452)


  • English language (9093)
  • Pure math paper 1 (9709)
  • Pure math paper2 (9709)
  • Mechanics paper 4 (9709)
  • Statistics Paper 6 (9709)
  • History (9389)
  • Chemistry (9701)
  • Physics (9702)
  • Biology (9700)
  • Economics (9708)

Information on the costs involved, see Fees and Payment options

Textbooks and study materials

The cost of textbooks and study materials is dependent on course registration and the exchange rate. Kindly note that textbooks and study materials are not included in the tuition fee.


#British International Distance College

British International Distance College

Subjects offered:

Foundation (Grades 7,8,9)

  • Afrikaans / French
  • Combined Sciences (Biology, Physics & Chemistry)
  • English
  • ICT Skills
  • Integrated Topics (Business Studies, Expressive Arts, Geography, Health Education, History)
  • Mathematics

IGCSE (Grades 10,11)

  • Accounting
  • Afrikaans 1st & 2nd Language
  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Computer Studies
  • English 1st & 2nd Language
  • English Literature
  • French Foreign Language
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Science (Physics & Chemistry)
  • Sociology

AS Level (Grade 12)

  • Accountancy
  • Afrikaans
  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English Language
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Psychology

Schedule of Fees 2018

*Their fees include textbooks*

Study Pack – Your study pack for each subject will contain the following:
 A work programme with a weekly planner to keep you on track.
 Assignments set by the Tutors to assess your progress.
 Textbooks.
 Additional materials both digital and printed.
 Syllabus and 3 years of past Cambridge examination papers.


#Distance Learning Academy

Distance Learning Academy

Subjects offered

IGCSE (Grades 10 & 11)

  • English Language (1st Language)
  • Afrikaans (2nd Language)
  • French (2nd Language)
  • Mathematics
  • Accounting *
  • Business Studies *
  • Computer Studies *
  • Economics
  • Co-ordinated Science (a combination of Chemistry, Biology & Physics)
  • Geography
  • History

* To study these subjects at AS-Level, a student must take mathematics

AS Level Courses

  • English 1st Language
  • Mathematics
  • Accounting *
  • Business Studies *
  • Computing *
  • Economics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geography
  • History

* Students wishing to take these subjects to qualify for a Matric certificate, must have passed IGCSE Maths with a grade C or higher.

International AS Level & Matric Exemption

To obtain a matric exemption a student must obtain the following:
(i) Pass English with a grade D or higher.
(ii) Have passed a second language at IGCSE Level.
(iii) Pass one of the sciences with a grade D or higher.
(iv) Pass the remaining two subjects with a grade D or higher.
(v) Have passed at least one IGCSE subject with a grade C or higher (excluding English).

What is included in our fees?

The fees cover all of the subject material including the study pack, work schedule, assignments, syllabus, past papers and unlimited support, via telephone Skype or email.


2. GED Matric Support


#Online GED South Africa

Many high school homeschoolers choose the GED® in South Africa. The GED® homeschool grade 12  equivalent* enables families to continue with their own unique high quality courses of study, until such time as a candidate is old enough and academically ready to start preparing for the GED® tests.In addition, the GED® credential is a high school equivalency* that opens the doors to future opportunities for homeschoolers. 

What Must Your Child to do Before the GED?

Many parents with children younger than 15 or 16 ask what they should do before the GED. Since there is no prescribed curriculum to follow to prepare for the GED you can give your children a unique, customized education and let them pursue whatever interests them. However, since the GED tests four subjects, it makes sense to encourage your children to develop their skills in those subjects. This article has some recommendations of homeschool curricula for younger children, which they recommend for this purpose: What to Do Before the GED®

The GED tests can be written at 38 test centers in South Africa. There are more than 3 000 test centers worldwide.

The GED tests four subjects:

  1. Mathematical Reasoning
  2. Reasoning Through Language Arts
  3. Social Studies
  4. Science

What is the SAT?

The SAT is a globally recognized college admission test that enables students to show colleges what they know as well as how well they can apply that knowledge. The SAT consists of three major sections:

  • Critical Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Writing

Most students in the USA take the SAT during their grade 11 year and again during their grade 12 year of high school, to improve their scores and almost all colleges and universities in the USA use the SAT to make admission decisions.

Information on the costs involved, see Enroll for GED

Sourced from:

  5. Wayne. “How to get a matric at home.”, THE POST / 1 February 2018 at 3:00pm. Web. Accessed: 30 May 2018

Update received on 12 September 2018 regarding FOREIGN CONDITIONAL EXEMPTION for South African with a GED®

The GED is still recognized as a foreign grade 12 option by SAQA.*
USAf has confirmed in writing that they will not consider applications for foreign conditional exemption from South African-based holders of the GED® who

a. Register for, or begin work on the GED® after the end of 2018. (This will allow people currently enrolled for the GED® to complete the credential, seek admission to a foreign university and apply to the Matriculation Board for foreign conditional exemption. It will however, mean that this route will be closed to new South African GED® candidates); or
b. Obtain the GED® credential after December 2019.

This means that the GED is still recognized as a foreign grade 12 equivalent but that FOREIGN EXEMPTION will not be issued to South Africans anymore as from the end of December 2019.

This means that after that date, South Africans with a GED® who wish to apply for a DEGREE course at a university, will have to qualify for one of the OTHER CATEGORIES of exemption, which we have already listed on the University page of this website.
Students wishing to apply for Diploma courses and Higher Certificate courses at SA universities and colleges do not require exemption and should be accepted with a GED®.