South Africa’s “true” matric pass rate: 42%

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has released the 2015 National Senior Certificate results, revealing a matric pass rate of 70.7%.

However, the official pass rate does not tell the full story. Equal Education highlighted that a large percentage of students drop out before they write the matric exams.

“For broader perspective and context on the overall matric pass, one should use a cohort matric pass rate,” said Equal Education.

The organisation defines the cohort matric pass rate as the percentage of learners in grade 2 who pass matric 11 years later.

Of the 1,118,690 grade 2 cohort class enrollment, only 667,925 students made it to the matric final exams. This is a dropout rate of 40%.

The 2015 cohort matric pass rate – sometimes referred to as the true pass rate – is therefore 42.2%.

The table below shows the cohort matric pass rate over the last five years using Equal Education’s calculations.

Year Number who wrote matric Pass rate Cohort enrollment in grade 2 Cohort pass rate
2015 667,925 70.7% 1,118,690 42.2%
2014 532,860 75.8% 1,109,201 36.4%
2013 562,112 78.2% 1,111,858 39.6%
2012 511,152 73.9% 1,012,892 37.3%
2011 496,090 70.2% 944,977 36.8%

More on matric results

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Matric results 2015 – where to get them online

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South Africa’s “true” matric pass rate: 42%