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Get a Matric Certificate Outside High School

by Hannah Maidment

Getting a matric certificate outside of high school might seem impossible, but it’s easier than you realise. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about completing Matric outside of high school.

Entering the working world without a National Senior Certificate (NSC) can be incredibly daunting. If you don’t have one (or aren’t working towards one) already, you’re probably feeling pretty disheartened. But this isn’t the end — you’re not out of options.

There are many people who have been unable to complete Matric successfully at a conventional high school for a myriad of reasons, often beyond their control. Each of these people will be facing challenges and limited employment opportunities because of their lack of this basic qualification. In an increasingly competitive working environment, people without their matric certificate may be severely disadvantaged.

There are usually two main reasons that someone is unable to complete Matric at a conventional high school:

  • they are unable to enroll in high school because of their age
  • they have had to drop out of high school for financial/family reasons.

Completing Matric outside of high school might seem like a strange idea at first, but it’s not as difficult or as inconvenient as you might think. There is a wide range of options available for you to choose from to become qualified in a way that suits you.

How can I get a matric certificate?

In order to write your matric exams, you will have to go back to some kind of formal learning institution.  In South Africa, there are many private colleges that offer matric on a part- or full-time basis. You are also able to choose between completing these courses via correspondence (distance learning), or with contact sessions — lessons where the work is presented to you by teachers. Completing matric part-time can be extremely useful, especially to those who were unable to complete high school because of financial reasons.  

Part-time learning means that you are able to have a job and earn a living while working towards your NSC at the same time.  It might take a bit longer for you to complete your studies, but at the end of the day you’ll have your qualification and some work experience to put on your CVPart-time studying can either be in the form of night school – where all of your classes will be in the evenings, weekend classes – or correspondence.

Writing Matric exams is one thing. Actually passing Matric is another. When the results come out, not everyone necessarily gets to celebrate the end of a successful high school career. Read further to find out what other options you have.

Why is obtaining a matric certificate a good choice?

The NSC qualification is the foundation to all of your future learning and will make you a much more competitive member of the working world. Completing Matric outside of high school gives you the opportunity to tailor the way you work towards this qualification to suit your needs. While still achieving the same level of qualification that you would if you were doing it through a traditional high school. Passing your NSC exams outside of high school means that you are giving yourself the foundation you need to pursue your academic goals, and to enter into South Africa’s workforce as an educated, motivated and competitive member of society. 

What kind of student support is offered from independent institutions?

Because the NSC is highly standardized, in order to complete the qualification you will need to register with some independent institution or at a public TVET college. All of these institutions provide the support they feel is necessary for a student to pass matric. This support is both academic and non-academic, with some of the institutions also offering career advice and course guidance. As we know, every student is different and needs different kinds of support. The support offered by these institutions can take various forms, from contact sessions, to email correspondence, to online chat rooms and discussion boards. If you intend on registering with one of these institutions, you will have to carefully research each institution to decide which is best for you.

Pursue your matric with ICESA

ICESA is one of the private institutions mentioned above, but one that takes it a little further. The college boasts a 75-80% Matric pass rate, a highly qualified and experienced group of educators, as well as free career guidance and course advice. ICESA has all of the support and resources you will need to successfully complete Matric and begin your tertiary education or start your career with confidence.

What ICESA offers? 

  • Located in Pietermaritzburg and Durban
  • Offers NSC subjects from grade 10 to Matric
  • Opportunity to form a solid foundation in all subjects before tackling Matric exams

ICESA has four campuses across these two cities and offers a strong support structure, helping you build on the knowledge you have from your existing school subjects.

Studying Matric outside of high school might seem intimidating, but it’s worth it. If you choose to study at an independent college you will interact with like-minded people with similar goals, all while doing your best to achieve your own. It will be challenging, but with the right mindset, adequate support and positive people around you, it can easily be one of the best decisions of your life.

Are you looking to study further? Take a look at institution application dates.

More information about life at the ICESA and more to help you make your decision on whether to apply to ICESA. You can also browse similar institutions in South Africa and abroad.

EduConnect 2Cents

If you feel that the conventional matric isn’t for you, you might want to take a look at enrolling in a TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) College. These colleges offer courses that equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to pursue more technical and hands-on careers in a variety of fields. Some TVET colleges also give you the opportunity to complete a technical matric and pursue tertiary education in your chosen field.  Or if you did complete your matric but didn’t achieve the marks you need to get into a course, find out how to do a bridging course.

If you do decide to pursue a Matric outside of school, it might be worthwhile for you to have a look at some resources available to grade 12’s.

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