Understanding APS: Academic or Admission Point Score

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Different universities may have different ways of calculating this point score. (This does not apply to  Universities of Technology, which have their own requirements.)

How to calculate your APS score:

  • The APS system allocates point values to seven NSC subjects.
  • Write down your relevant Grade 12 subjects and the levels you have obtained.
  • Allocate points according to the table below.
  • Add up the number of points you have scored for all seven subjects. If you have eight or more subjects, use Life Orientation plus your six best subjects to calculate your APS. Refer to the one on the website which calculates it for you.
  • Compare your APS against the minimum APS required for the qualification for which you wish to apply.
  • If your APS is lower than the direct admission requirement set for a specific qualification, refer to the testing band range to determine if your score falls within the range to be referred for an access assessment test.
NSC NSC % APS APS %
8 90 – 100 %
7 80 – 100 % 7 80 – 89 %
6 70 – 79 % 6 70 – 79 %
5 60 – 69 % 5 60 – 69 %
4 50 – 59 % 4 50 – 59 %
3 40 – 49 % 3 40 – 49 %
2 30 – 39 % 2 30 – 39 %
1 0 – 29 % 0 0 – 29 %

Table credit: Nelson Mandela University

Example:

  • First language (language of teaching and learning)  65%:  5 points
  • Additional recognised language  71% = 6 points
  • Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy  61% = 5 points
  • Accounting  68% = 5 points
  • History  81% = 7 points
  • Geography  86% = 7 points
  • Life Orientation  84% = 7 points

Total APS = 42

The NBT: National Benchmark Test

The National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) assess academic readiness of first-year university students as a supplement to secondary school reports on learning achieved in content-specific courses.

Apart from having the right APS, the applicant must have the required subjects for the qualification. Applicants with the highest APS generally get preference but all applicants must still write a Benchmark test.

What is tested:

  • Academic Literacy (AL),
  • Quantitative Literacy (QL)
  • Mathematics (MAT)

AL and QL are combined in the AQL test and written in a three hour morning session; the MAT is written in a three hour afternoon session. Both are administered under standardized testing conditions at sites across South Africa on designated ‘national’ test dates.

The NBTP reports results on a scale of 10-99 and by Benchmarks to better inform learners and universities about the level of academic support that may be required for successful completion of programmes. Results are also used by universities in course development, programme planning and placement decisions.

Click here for more information about the NBT

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