Bachelors, Diploma and Higher Certificate Pass Requirements Explained

We often get asked to check if learner (Insert your name) will or will not pass with a bachelorsdiploma or certificate.

Now we love you guys 🙂 but hopefully this post will clear up the concise section on our results page.


Understanding the difference between each pass type is critical to your future studies.

Luckily, its pretty straight forward.

  • Bachelors – Will gain you provisional entrance into any University or degree course.
  • Diploma – Will gain you provisional entrance into any Technikon or diploma course.
  • Certificate – Will gain you provisional entrance into any College or certificate course.

I hope you noticed the provisional entrance part or the statements above………

Lets say Minki wants to go study mechanical engineering at UCT (University of Capetown).

Minki however is not that good at Mathematics and only scores 60% for her matric year. Even though she has a bachelors degree pass, she will not be able to study engineering because UCT requires 80% and above for admission…..

Now that sucks but that’s reality.

So please make sure that you are clear on what marks you need to achieve for your particular course.

Subject Choices

Not all subjects are viewed equally.

Mathematics will always be harder Tourism…..So it has a higher rating than Tourism.

Subjects are split into two main categories, Lower and Higher Credit.

Lower Credit Subjects

  • Agricultural Management Practices
  • Agricultural Technology
  • Civil Technology
  • Computer Applications Technology
  • Dance Studies
  • Design Studies
  • Electrical Technology
  • Hospitality Studies
  • Life Orientation
  • Mechanical Technology
  • Tourism

Higher Credit Subjects

  • Languages
  • Accounting
  • Agricutural Science
  • Business Studies
  • Consumer Studies
  • Dramatic Arts
  • Economics
  • Engineering Graphics & Design
  • Geography
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematical Literacy
  • Music
  • Physical Sciences
  • Religion Studies
  • Visual Arts

Each matriculant needs a minimum of seven subjects which must include two languages and life orientation.

Below are possible scenarios for each pass type

Bachelors Pass Requirements

Compulsory Subjects

Home Language (Higher Credit) – 40% or more

First Additional Language  – 30% or more

Life Orientation (Lower Credit) – 30% or more

Other Subjects

Higher Credit – 50% or more

Higher Credit – 50% or more

Higher Credit – 50% or more

Lower Credit – 30% or more


  • 4 Higher Credit Subjects above 50%
  • 2 Lower Credit Subjects above 30%
  • You must not fail any subject

Diploma Pass Requirements

Compulsory Subjects

Home Language (Higher Credit) – 40% or more

First Additional Language (Higher Credit) – 40% or more

Life Orientation (Lower Credit) – 30% or more

Other Subjects

Higher Credit – 40% or more

Higher Credit – 40% or more

Lower Credit – 30% or more

Lower Credit – 30% or more


  • 4 Higher Credit Subjects above 40%
  • 3 Lower Credit Subjects above 30%
  • You may fail one subject but you must have a year mark for the subject failed

Certificate Pass Requirements

Compulsory Subjects

Home Language (Higher Credit) – 40% or more

First Additional Language (Higher Credit) – 30% or more

Life Orientation (Lower Credit) – 30% or more

Other Subjects

Lower Credit – 40% or more

Lower Credit – 40% or more

Lower Credit – 30% or more

Lower Credit – 30% or more


  • Home Language above 40%
  • 2 Subjects above 40%
  • 4 Subjects above 30%
  • You may fail one subject but you must have a year mark for the subject failed
  • One of your languages must be English or Afrikaans


Please do not hesitate to ask for further help in the comments below and happy studying.


124 Responses to “Bachelors, Diploma and Higher Certificate Pass Requirements Explained”

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  1. sivuyile memela says:

    Does the subjects Life orientation and Computer applications Technology help you abtain a bachelor’s certificate at Matric?

    • howtopassmatric says:

      5 Higher Credit Subjects above 40%
      2 Lower Credit Subjects above 30%
      You must not fail any subject

      Life orientation and Computer applictions technoloy are both lower credit subjects. So you will also need 5 higher credits subjects above 40%.

      • Kenneth says:

        I got
        50+ Maths Lit.
        50+ Home language
        50+ 1st additional language
        50+ Life orientation
        40+ Geography
        40+ Life science and

        Which endorsement did I get? (Symbol)

  2. Zintle says:

    Hey what is my pass symbol if

    English 50
    MATHS 50
    Engineering Graphics and design 50
    Mechanical technology 50
    Afrikaans 30
    Life orientation 70

    • howtopassmatric says:

      As far as I can tell you have a minimum of 4times 50% nothing under 30% and both your home and second language above 40/30. This would mean a Bachelor Pass

  3. kadimo says:

    What is my pass symbol I got

    Setswana HL 70+
    English FAL 60+
    Life sciences 50+
    Geography 40+
    Mathematics 40+
    Life orientation 80+
    Physical science 30+

  4. Prudence says:

    Hi. If I pass my 5 higher credit subjects (Afrikaans FAL, Business Studies, English HL, History & Life Sciences) & my lower credit subject (Life Orientation) with +50% & at the end of my finals, but get 30% for Mathematics core, will I get an admission to a Bachelors degree or a diploma?

    I have been accepted provincially at Rhodes University, but I have to get admission to a Bachelors in order to really get accepted, & now I’m extremely worried because of my poor Maths marks.

    Please, please respond.

  5. tristan says:

    are these results accurate because everywhere else on the internet it says 50% pass in four higher grade subjects and on the pamphlets they gave out at school?

  6. Josh says:

    Hi I was wandering why I only achieved a diploma pass for my term 3 results, I got over 50 for all of my subjects and had a 62 average, so is there any other reason that I might have only achieved a diploma pass?

  7. Yasmeen says:

    What was the requirements to pass matric with a Bachelors degree in 2013?

  8. cheryl says:

    what if my cass is 12 or 11..will it be added if i get 20 % on the 75 % of my final mark? what if i fail 1 subject and pass 4 with 40 or above..wil i get a diploma?

  9. onalenna says:

    Does computer application technology helps one to obtain bachelor’s certificate in matric ??

  10. lelo says:

    Hello im confused does Life orientation count towards a bachelors pass?

  11. Simon says:

    what is my pass symbol if

    Home language=56%
    maths lit=65%
    Life science=67%

    • howtopassmatric says:

      Everything is above 40% including the higher credits. This would mean a Bachelor pass for studying at an university

  12. naty says:

    would like to ask wats my pass symbol if I get
    life science 47
    tourism 72
    geography 70
    mathematics literacy 43
    life orientation 80
    English first additional 82
    isizulu 79

    • howtopassmatric says:

      I am sorry, Diploma not Bachelor. Thank you for the correction.

      • btp34 says:

        why do you say that? there are only 3 higher credit subjects over 50. tourism and LO are lower credit subjects?

        • howtopassmatric says:

          Yes you are right, Tourism and LO are lower credit subjects.

          • btp34 says:

            do you know when the higher credit/lower credit came into play? I was not aware of this, was only aware that LO was not really counted. All the info I had and the talk at the matric parents evening at school was that for a Bachelors you needed a minimum of 50% for 4 subjects, one of which had to be home language. My daughter achieved this, but because one of her subjects was CAT she only got a diploma

          • howtopassmatric says:

            I am sorry, I dont know.

  13. waydene says:

    What will my pass rate be? ? ?
    Bussiness Studies-54%

    • howtopassmatric says:

      You need another Higher credit above 50% for a Bachelor. So I believe your grade will be Diploma Pass. LO is a lower credit and does not count as a +50%. Good luck 🙂

  14. Mici says:

    Hi there

    I got a diploma pass and I’m looking into what I will need to rewrite to get a bachelors.

    All my subjects were higher credit, does that mean that they all need a min of 50% or
    Does it mean that I can pass any 3 with 50% and 1 with 30%?

    Home Language: 69%
    Second language: 48%
    Mathematics: 44%
    LO: 48%
    Accounting: 55%
    IT: 63%
    Physics: 37%

    I’m hoping to get Maths to at least 50% and leave science at 37%. Would that cut it?

    • howtopassmatric says:

      I believe it will. You did not pass Bachelor because you only have 3 credits up 50%. But because you have all higher credits I am not entirely sure what the rules will be. Please ask your school and let them explain you what you need to get a Bachelor Pass. And please share it with us 🙂

  15. tebogo says:

    hi if i ask what my pass rate it is if i get this? :
    English 40%
    geography 36%
    life orientatin 50%
    life sciences 48%
    mathematicz 31%
    physical science 28%
    home language 54%

  16. tebogo says:

    hi if i ask what is mi pass rate if i get this ?:
    English 40%
    geography 38%
    life orientation 50%
    life sciences 48%
    mathematicz 31%
    physical sciences 28%
    home language 54%

  17. Zipho says:

    Hi there I would like to know in my case wheather I would still make a diploma should :
    English 76%
    Afrikaans 82%
    Maths 31%
    Geography 74%
    Toursim 84
    Hospitality 73%
    LO 81%
    Knowing that I have I’m only get above 50% for 3 of 4 creditted subjects?

  18. ntiyiso says:

    hei i wrote my accounting with a pen and pencil, will they mark my work?

  19. Mia says:


    I have gotten a BD pass – bachelor degree pass
    What would a remark entail and what would be the costs ?

    With an IEB BD – pass will I be able to re-write two more subjects to improve my marks ?

    And is 30 percent for a subject considered a pass ?

    Tx 🙂

  20. Nandi says:

    I got a Diploma Pass and wanted to know if I take supplementary exam for maths and got 50% , Would I then get a Bachelors pass?

    Afrikaans 46
    English 60
    Maths 43
    LO 65
    Drama 65
    EGD 53
    Computer App Tech 53

  21. Bonga. says:

    what if i get .

    English 76%
    xhosa 80%.
    Life orientation 68%

    Business studies 78%
    Economics 68%.
    Accounting 60%
    Mathematics 20%

  22. lelo says:

    Hello life orientation count for bachelors pass

  23. lelo says:

    What is my symbol
    English 50
    Business 50
    Life science30
    Maths 30
    Life orientation 50

    • Austin says:

      That is a Diploma.

      • Takadimane says:

        Hi, I completed my Matric on 2011 with admission to Diploma my subjects are:
        Sesotho HL 70%
        English FAL 46%
        Afrikaans SAL 49%
        Maths Lit 66%
        LO 66%
        Accounting 46%
        Economics 52%

        last year I went back to re-write my English FAL and got 52%.
        So will it possible for me to get admission to Bachelor Degree when I combine my statemets?

  24. zinhle says:

    if I get
    home language-78
    first language-70
    business studies-80

  25. zinhle says:

    what if I get

    business studies-85%
    will I get a bachelor?

  26. Yolanda Koyana says:

    Hi. If all my subject are around 70%, except my Engineering Graphics and Design mark (48%), will Iget a Bachelors Pass?

  27. Austin says:


    I’d like to know if I achieve 50% and/ or higher in 6 subjects which are Accounting, Afrikaans, Business Studies, Economics, English and Life Orientation but my Mathematics is below 30%, what symbol will I achieve?

    Thank you.

  28. Zuko Mahlasela says:

    What is My Symbol?
    Maths Literacy_55
    English HL_50
    Business studies_55
    Computer Application Technology_60

  29. Liakha says:

    What symbol will I get if I meet all the requirements of a Bachelor pass except for mathematics, let’s say I get 29-39%.
    Will that mean a Bachelor pass?

    Please help!

  30. destiny says:

    is this a diploma or a batchor
    home language:60
    life sciences:50
    physical science:22
    agricultural management practice :50

  31. Nomthandazo says:

    what if i score above 50 for 5 subjects and above 30 for one subject, then get 28 for the other subject, what will my pass rate be?

  32. ZIE says:

    What is my pass symbol if Life orientation=50 Isizulu=60 English=60 Physics=40 Accounting=40 Consumer=40 Life science=50 Maths=20

  33. Lesedi says:

    What Does it mean when I will get :
    Eng HL : 65
    Afr Fal : 43
    LO : 76
    EGD : 42
    L Sc : 56
    P Sc : 38 / 40
    Math : 25
    Which Pass type will I get

  34. Tracey says:

    Hey i want to study engineering related and design and i have passed wth highr certificate is it possible for me to study engineering related and design at fet tvet collages

  35. lungiswa says:

    what is my pass rate be?? if i get… Isizulu 50,English 60 life orientation 60 Business studies 30 Accounting 30 Economics 40 mathamatics 20

  36. johnny says:

    Hry what if all my subjects are about 50% but my afrikaans is bellow 30% eg
    ENGLISH 50
    MATH LIT 50
    L.O 50
    and other 3 subjects 50 and above
    what type of pass would I get?

  37. Kgosi Lotlhare says:

    What is my pass symbol if my results are like this:

    Mathematics: 40%
    Physical Sciences: 30%
    Engineering Graphics and Design: 70%
    Setswana Home Language: 60%
    English First Additional Language: 70%
    Civil Technology: 40%

  38. Doug says:

    Hi, I was wondering, if you do 7 subjects only, how does that work towards a diploma pass if you fail one?
    For instance:
    Physical Science-32%
    Life Orientation-65%
    Life Science-60%
    Information Technology -35%

    • howtopassmatric says:

      For Diploma:

      4 Higher Credit Subjects above 40%
      3 Lower Credit Subjects above 30%
      You may fail one subject but you must have a year mark for the subject failed

      • jabulani says:

        I qualify for a bachelor of arts film nd television…but I received a diploma admission on my matric result..what does this mean

        Maths 40
        Account 56
        Eco 56
        Afrika 48
        England 60
        Computer app 60
        Lo 72

        Do I need to rewrite?

        • howtopassmatric says:

          Depends on what you want? You symbol is a Diploma but thats probably enough for admission to the bachelor of arts film and television. You can try to get Afrikaans or Math above 50% for a Bachelor.

  39. sthabile says:

    what if I get
    home language-70
    first language-65
    accounting- 47
    business studies-82

  40. Farai says:

    Hi, what is my pass symbol if my marks are as follows

    Maths lit -78%
    Life orientation-59%

  41. thuto mosimaneeng says:

    What is my pass symbol if
    Home language-60%
    Life science-40%

  42. Prianca says:

    To many subjects are you allowed to fail??

    • howtopassmatric says:

      For bachelor you can not fail any subject. For Diploma: You may fail one subject but you must have a year mark for the subject failed. For Certificate: You may fail one subject but you must have a year mark for the subject failed.

  43. Instine says:

    I don’t understand what this symbols stands for A,B, C

  44. masego says:

    can one get a distinction if passed with diploma?

  45. Anny says:

    So if all my subjects are more the 50 but my egd is 30 its a diploma?

  46. Chantal says:

    what is my daughters symbol if she passed the following way,
    Eng 51
    Afrik 63
    Maths Lit 43
    Life Orientation 54
    Geography 35
    history 35
    Life Science 30


  47. thobeka mbanjwa says:

    i got this marks what is my symbol

    Isizulu 72
    afrikaans 55
    English 60
    Life Orientation 72
    Life sciences 36
    Cat 32
    maths 25
    physical science 26

  48. man P says:

    I was upgrading I got 57 with Mathematics 46 with physical science and 43 with life sciences and Home Language 68 and English 69 geography 49 life orientation 80 can I get a bachelor with this marks help fast

  49. neecy says:

    What is my symbol if I passed. Enlish 54%. Afrikaans 66%. Mathematics 38%. Life orientation 68%. Geography 34%. History 52%. Life Science 27%

  50. Jessica Ramodike says:

    Please advise if I achieved a Bachelors or Diploma with the below symbols

    English Home language 61%
    Afrikaans 1st additional language 68%
    Mathematics 43%
    Electrical Technology 63%
    Engineering graphics and Design 51%
    Physical Science 42%
    Life Orientation 63%


  51. Tshepang says:

    Hi, i got my statements of results today and i qualified for a diploma with the following results:

    Setswana Home language: 75%
    English first language: 76%
    Mathematics: 46%
    Life orientation: 83%
    Computer application technology: 56%
    Life sciences: 64%
    Physical Science: 49%

    is this a true reflection of my results

  52. Lutendo says:

    Am doing 7 subject include l.o
    wat ic ma symbol
    *english =61
    *life science =60

  53. Vee says:

    English 48% , Afrikaans 46% ,Maths Literacy 55% , Life Orientation 55% ,Business Studies 61% ,Economics 50% ,Tourism 63%….what symbol do I get?

  54. rebaone motlhale says:

    Can you tell me how did I do if I got
    Setswana 73%
    English 61%
    Mathematics 19%
    Life orientation 64%
    Geography 37%
    Life sciences 40%
    Physical Sciences 24%

    I dont want to rewrite those I failed, I want to do two more subjects which are economics and mathematical literacy inorder to pass my matric with good marks. Where can I do that???

    • howtopassmatric says:

      I am sorry I dont know that. Please contact your school and ask them about this. And please share us how you solved this.

  55. Pholo Moloele

    My child got 62 in eng, 59 afr, 27 maths, lo 80, agric 47, business studies 42, physics 27.
    Will he obtain a bachelor if he supplements maths and physics only? or does it need him to improve performance in other subjects?

    • howtopassmatric says:

      If he improves both credits above 50% it will be bachelor. Above 40% Diploma and Above 30% Certificate

  56. Jason Bourne says:

    Hello friend
    Would a bachelor’s pass be if I got

    Home language – 63
    First additional – 48
    Mathematics – 51
    History – 68
    Life Orientation – 86
    Business studies – 46
    Physical science – 39

    • howtopassmatric says:

      I believe this is Diploma. For Bachelor you need 4 Higher credits above 50%. So you need to get Business Physical science or FA above 50%

  57. lloyd says:

    I got
    Maths Lit-54%

    Is that a bacheLor pass?

  58. danny says:

    Pls help Sir, what type of pass did i get if these are my results , i was upgrading so after combination there will look like this

    ENG- 51
    Geo- 50
    L.O – 63
    L.S – 48
    Afri- 28
    Maths- 55
    Hist- 62

    • howtopassmatric says:

      Not sure, but because your Afrikaans is below 30% I believe you are failing your matric. Try to get it above 30% and you will have Bachelor. You cant fail second language.

  59. Takadimane says:

    After completing my matric on 2011 I got admission to Diploma.
    My results:
    Home language L6
    English 1st add lan L3
    Afrikaans 2nd add lan L3
    Maths lit L5
    LO L6
    Accounting L3
    Economics L4
    and went back to re-write my English on 2015 and got L4 in English, so will they be able to convert my admission to be bechelor?

  60. john says:

    computer application technology: 40%
    mathematics: 30%
    physical sciences:30%
    life sciences:40%
    Sesotho hl:70%
    English FAL:50%
    life orientation: 70%
    what would I get with these results?????

  61. Palesa says:

    My cousin got this:
    English 43%
    Afrikaans 36%
    Maths lit 44%
    Life orientation 76%
    Business studies 43%
    Geography 36%
    life science 35%
    what admission is this??

    • howtopassmatric says:

      Not sure but I believe Certificate. Try to get geograpy, afrikaans or life sciences above 40% for a Diploma

  62. Alex says:

    what is my symbol if:
    Home language 73%
    English FAL 61%
    Maths 35%
    Life Orientation 78%
    Accounting 42%
    Business Studies 58%
    Tourism 69%

  63. carol says:

    Sepedi HE 74%
    English FAL 71%
    Mathematical Literacy 55%
    Life Orientation 70%
    Tourism 64%
    Business studies 48%
    Economics 48%

    Which one do I qualify for?

  64. liakha says:

    Hello Guys i got an admission to bachelor’s degree even though I have failed mathematics.
    You can fail one subject and still get a bachelor
    My marks were:
    mathematics 10%
    home lang 76%
    first additional lang 68%
    accounting 51%
    economics 78%
    business 50%
    life orientation 83%

    i got a bachelor achievement even though my maths was low

  65. nees says:

    I passed with admission to higher certificate study. I want to do supplementary exam as I need to improve my marks to obtain a Bachelors Pass: Which subjects do you suggest I re-write(supplementary)…I thought of re-writing Physical Science & Maths & asking for a remark in Life Science
    Eng(Home Lang) – 53
    Afrikaans (Add Land – 63
    Mathematics – 24
    Life Orientation – 70
    Geographt – 51
    Life Science – 37
    Physical Science – 32

  66. Kelly says:

    I got 60 in my home language, 63 first additional, 43 in maths,24 life sciences, 33 hospitality,36 consumer studies what’s my symbol?

    • howtopassmatric says:

      You are missing 1 subject? You can fail 1 subject but you need to get 3 above 40% and 3 above 30% and not fail 1st and 2nd language

      • Kelly says:

        Sorry I didn’t fail my home language
        Sepedi 60
        English 63
        Maths Lit 43
        Life Sci 24
        Consumers studies 36
        Hospitality 33
        L.O 70

  67. rronel says:

    My daughter has 58 for English home Lang 79 Africans first add Lang math 30 L o 60 history 60 life sciences 48 and physical sciences 41 what pass is it a diploma or bachelors

    • howtopassmatric says:

      I believe Diploma. She will need to get math, life science or physical science above 50% for a bachelor.

  68. Shaun says:

    Hi i was just wondering i would like to know if you can obtain a bachelors degree with the following subjects:
    Afrikaans HL
    English FAL
    Life orientation
    Computer Application Technology
    Business Studies

    Please i really want to know.

  69. Joe says:

    Hi please assist me my results are as follows
    English. 56
    Afrikaans. 38
    Arabic. 48
    Maths. 43
    Business economics. 53
    Accountancy. 77
    Life orientation 75

    I’m not sure but I think this is a diploma pass
    I would like to get a bachelors pass
    Which subjects do I rewrite?
    Thank you

    • howtopassmatric says:

      Yes i believe this is Diploma. In order to get Bachelor you probably need to rewrite Math and get it up 50%. but please check with your school to be certain.

  70. boitumelo says:

    guys i need help can i get a diploma if my additional language which is afrikaans is 35%?
    I got above 40% in ma home language ,maths,busines,tour n l.o
    then i scored above 30%in geography ..wat symbol is dat ?

    • howtopassmatric says:

      For a diploma your second langauge needs to be above 30% and you have that. You can not fail any subject. You need 4 subjects above 40% and above 30% in remaining topics. So you should have Diploma if im right.

  71. Japie says:

    Hi, I completed my Matric on 2011 with admission to Diploma my subjects are:
    Sesotho HL 70%
    English FAL 46%
    Afrikaans SAL 49%
    Maths Lit 66%
    LO 66%
    Accounting 46%
    Economics 52%

    last year I went back to re-write my English FAL and got 52%.
    So will it possible for me to get admission to Bachelor Degree when I combine my statemets?

  72. nomvelo says:

    hi what is my symbol if I passed my isixhosa 50% English 40%-49% mathematics 50%-59% physical science 40%-49% biology 33%-39%

  73. malebza says:

    Hy I obtained 45 maths literacy and 40 geography.i would lyk 2get a bachelor’s do I hve 2upgrade thse two subject ND get a bachelor’s

  74. gugu says:

    hi my lil sis got
    mathematics 33
    life science 38
    geography 31
    home language 48
    1st additional language 47
    L.O 70
    which symbol is this

  75. gugu says:

    Hy my lil sis got
    home language 48
    additional language 46
    mathematics 33
    geography 31
    life science 39
    physical science 29
    L.O 70

  76. rhys says:

    If i got low in my grade 11 exams but i get over 70% for all my subs in matric cn i get in a university

  77. Rejoice says:

    Hi I obtained this marks
    Setswana home lang67%
    Mathematical literacy 34
    Agricultural science 34
    Life orientation78
    Life sciences35 what symbol is this?

  78. brian says:


  79. wimny says:

    Hi please help I’m confused I got eng 49- afri 48,mathslit 76,lo55,business 55,economics55and life science41 will that b a Bachelor

  80. Lee says:

    hey i got the following:

    home language: above 70%
    English FaL: above 50%
    L.O: above 70%
    C.A.T” above 40%
    Life sciences: above 40%
    Maths lit: above 50%
    physical sciences :28%

  81. Leonie Samuels says:

    If a child has the below results what have they passed with:

    English – 53
    Afrikaans – 67
    Maths Literacy – 48
    Life Orientation – 71
    Business Studies 39
    CAT – 29
    Life Sciences – 30 C

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