IEB class of 2019 registers pass rate of 98.82%

Over 12,500 candidates wrote the IEB matric exams in 2019, while over 790,000 wrote the department of basic education exams.
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The Independent Examinations Board (IEB) matric class of 2019 achieved a pass rate of 98.82% – slightly down from the 98.92% registered in 2018.

According to the independent assessment body:

  • 89.51% of the candidates who passed in 2019 achieved a pass rate that allowed them to study for a degree (compared to 90.65% in 2018);
  • 7.91% qualified for entry to diploma study (compared to 7.33% in 2018); while
  • 1.4% achieved entry for study at a higher certificate level (compared to 0.95% in 2018).

The IEB said 11,818 full-time (up from 11,514 in 2018) and 779 part-time candidates (down from 858 in 2018) wrote the national senior certificate examinations in October and November at 227 examination centres across southern Africa.

Most of the candidates who sat for the exams were in Gauteng (6,839), KwaZulu-Natal (2,144) and the Western Cape (1,207). Outside SA there were also candidates from schools in Mozambique (381), eSwatini (279) and Namibia (193).

The number of candidates who sat for the IEB’s exams was small compared to those who sat for matric examinations conducted by the department of basic education.

The department had 790,405 candidates who sat for 147 question papers at 7,416 examination centres nationwide. The department also conducted examinations for 212 pupils at correctional facilities.

The IEB said national quality assurance body Umalusi monitored all aspects of the 2019 examination process and declared the results to be fair and valid.

“There is a clear realisation among IEB learners, their parents and teachers that having the knowledge and understanding that lies behind the results on the certificate is far more important and meaningful for success after one’s schooling,” said the board.

The IEB added that all 71 candidates who sat for the Combined Abitur-NSC examinations – a qualification offered by German schools in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria – passed with entry to degree study.

The qualification consists of five subjects assessed by the IEB and seven subjects assessed by the German education authorities.

The board said successful pupils in the Combined Abitur-NSC are recognised by German education authorities for entry to German universities and by SA education authorities for entry to local universities.

“The IEB sees its involvement with this qualification as a means of keeping South African students in touch with global standards and developments.”


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