Amended senior certificate

A National Senior Certificate (NSC) or Matric is one of the most important qualifications a person can obtain in South Africa. This certificate shows that the student has completed their high school education and enables them to pursue tertiary studies. That is why a matric is often a vital first step for anyone wanting to pursue their dreams.

While many people obtain their matric certificate through their high school at the age of 18. Not everyone is fortunate enough to finish their matric in high school with many people dropping out due to family responsibilities or other unforeseen circumstances beyond their control. This is precisely where an amended senior certificate comes in.

What is an Amended Senior Certificate?

An Amended National Senior Certificate, also known as an adult matric, is awarded to those that complete an Adult Matric Course. These courses provide an opportunity for students that were unable to complete their matric. It can also be obtained by learners who are unhappy with their matric results and wish to improve their results can write a matric upgrade which will also award an Amended Senior Certificate with the updated results upon completion. Additionally, an Amended Senior Certificate carries the same distinction as the NSC differing only in name and how it is obtained. Therefore, universities and other tertiary education institutions accept amended senior certificates for applications. Allowing students to pursue their dreams without limits.

Who qualifies for admission to the Amended senior certificate?

While the amended senior certificate offers a second chance for learners to obtain their matric certificate. There are a number of requirements set by the Department of Basic Education (DBE) candidates must meet to qualify for admission to the amended senior certificate program. These requirements are as follows:

  • Adult learners who are 21 years and older who have:
    • A General Education and Training Certificate (GETC); or
    • A Grade 9 school report stating that they have passed Grade 9
    • A recognised equivalent qualification obtained at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level which requires two official languages.
  • Adult learners who are 21 years and older with an incomplete Senior Certificate qualification.
  • Adult learners who are 21 years and older with an incomplete National Senior Certificate.
  • Only in exceptional cases, out-of-school youth, who are 18-21 years old and who could not complete their school education due to circumstances beyond their control, as verified by the Head of Department in the Provincial Education Department.
  • Adult candidates who are 21 years and older with an incomplete NSC may choose to complete the NSC, or convert to the Senior Certificate. Should the candidate choose to convert to the Senior Certificate, they may not revert to the NSC and attempt to complete the NSC qualification.
  • Adult candidates who have already obtained a qualification but wish to improve their results/status.

How to get an Amended Senior Certificate

If you want to complete your matric as an adult and you meet all of the DBE requirements mentioned above. You’re probably wondering where you can get an Amended Senior Certificate. There are a number of options available to you however the first step is to register with the DBE which can be done online here. To register you will need to submit the following:

  • Completed registration form
  • A certified copy of your ID document, birth certificate, or passport (foreign candidates)
  • Repeater candidates must attach a copy of their previous highest qualification
  • If you have entered and wrote any other Grade 12 or equivalent examination before you will need to supply the examination numbers for those exams.

Once you are registered for the Amended Senior Certificate with the department the next step is to decide how you will learn the course material. While you can obtain the materials yourself and study, this is not advised. This is because in order to pass and obtain your Amended Senior Certificate you must pass 6 subjects. These can be challenging for many especially if it is your first encounter with these subjects.

Once registered for the Amended Senior Certificate examinations you can then enrol in one of the many distance learning institutions that offer an adult matric course. These institutions offer the full course material online with some of them even providing lessons or recorded lectures on the subjects. Additionally, many of these institutions will assist you with registration for the program and registration for your exams. These can provide exceptional value in helping you pass your Amended Senior Certificate. 

The Downside of the Amended Senior Certificate

The downside of the Amended Senior Certificate is that it does not have a good success rate. There are primarily two reasons for this. 

  1. It does not include a yearmark, only the final exam mark makes up the final mark. This is not ideal because the continuous assessment that makes up the yearmark forces candidates to be up to date with the exams. There is no external motivation for students to be working consistently so many think they can prepare 3 months before the final exam and be ready. Secondly it also helps your marks slightly to have a good year mark.
  2. Few people know that the academic year for the Amended Senior Certificate is from August to May/June, which means they only enquire when the academic year starts in January for most other courses. That means they have missed on on a few months of work already when they register in Janaury or February.  

The alternative to the Amended Senior Certificate

Adults can still do the National Senior Certificate and it is especially useful for Matric Rewriters to rather do the NSC. Most rewrite institutions do not offer the NSC to adults because they are not registered to offer the School Based assessment (year mark), but some are, like Elroi Academy. 

If you do not have a Matric at all, it is still better to do Grade 10, 11 and 12 with the National Senior Certificate rather than the Amended Senior Certificate, because it is unlikely that you will be able to pass the ASC in less than 3 years anyways. We highly recommend that you do your Matric with the NSC rather than the ASC because of the success rate. 


We all know that a matric qualification is of the utmost importance to allow people to improve their quality of life. It opens doors to numerous career and educational opportunities. This is why it is fortunate that students who miss their chance to obtain their matric in high school can get a second chance with an Amended Senior Certificate. A far better option is to do the National Senior Certificate, although it is a 3 year qualification and more expensive. We hope this article has provided you with everything you need to know about this qualification and how you can obtain it. So that you can pursue your dreams and make them a reality.

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