The matric final exams are one of the most stressful times in any learners schooling career. It’s a determining factor of whether you’d be able to further your studies or if you’ll be able to obtain any form of scholarship. This means you have to be fully prepared to work hard for the upcoming exam period.
We have sourced the scheduled dates for the preliminary, national senior certificate (NSC), and independent exam board (IEB) exams to ensure that you have ample time to prepare. These dates are subject to change. If there are any changes that will be communicated by the Education Department and your school.
2021 Matric Preliminary Exam Dates
This year’s mid-year matric exams were scrapped to provide grade 12 learners enough time to complete the curriculum. So, the third term’s preliminary exams are particularly important. It provides you with an opportunity to boost your subject averages, while giving you a great trial run for your final exams.
Each school has their own matric prelim exam timetable, but it’s scheduled to take place between August – September 2021.
2021 National Matric Exam Dates
There are a couple of changes to this year’s scheduled NSC exams;
- All the home language paper 3s have received a writing time extension of 30 minutes and will now be a three-hour-paper;
- A third paper of 2.5 hours has been added to all of the second additional language papers;
- Geography papers 1 and 2 will now both be three hours long and written on separate dates;
- Matrics will now be able to write marine sciences paper 1 and 2.
The national matric final exams are scheduled to last six weeks, starting on the 1st of November and finishing on the 7th of December 2021. It will start later than previous years to ensure that matriculants receive enough time for learning and teaching.
The released matric exam dates exclude the written matric final exams for Life Orientation (LO), and the practical exams for Computer Application Technology (CAT), Information Technology (IT), Performing Arts, and Visual Arts and Design – which will take place earlier.
|Monday, 6 September 2021||Life Orientation (LO) (2.5hrs)|
|Tuesday, 19 October 2021||Computer Applications Tech (CAT) P1 (3hrs) Practical|
|Wednesday, 20 October 2021||Information Technology P1 (3hrs) Practical|
|16 August to 15 October||Performing Arts Practical|
|11 October to 22 October||Visual Arts and Design Practical|
The provisional NSC matric final exam timetable for 2021 is as follows:
|Monday, 1 November 2021||English HL P1 (2hrs)|
English FAL P1 (2hrs)
English SAL P1 (2hrs)
|Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telegu, Urdu HL P1 (2hrs)|
Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telegu, Urdu FAL P1 (2hrs)
Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telegu, Urdu SAL P1 (2hrs)
Hebrew SAL P1 (2hrs)
German HL, SAL P1 (2hrs)
|Tuesday, 2 November 2021||Business Studies P1 (2hrs)||Arabic, French, Italian, Mandarin, Modern Greek,
Serbian, Spanish SAL P1 (2hrs) |
Latin SAL P1 (3hrs)
Portuguese HL, FAL, SAL P1 (2hrs)
|Wednesday, 3 November 2021||Afrikaans HL P1 (2hrs) |
Afrikaans FAL P1 (2hrs)
Afrikaans SAL P1 (2hrs)
|Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telegu, Urdu HL P2 (2½hrs) |
Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telegu, Urdu FAL P2 (2hrs)
Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telegu, Urdu SAL P2 (2hrs)
Hebrew SAL P2 (2hrs)
German HL P2 (2½hrs), SAL P2 (2hrs)
|Thursday, 4 November 2021||RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY|
|Friday, 5 November 2021||Mathematics P1 (3hrs) |
Mathematical Literacy P1 (3hrs)
Technical Mathematics P1 (3hrs)
|Arabic, French, Italian, Mandarin, Modern Greek,
Serbian, Spanish SAL P2 (2hrs) |
Latin SAL P2 (1½hrs)
Portuguese HL P2 (2½hrs), FAL, SAL P2 (2hr)
Equine Studies (3hrs)
Maritime Economics (3hrs)
|Monday, 8 November 2021||Mathematics P2 (3hrs) |
Mathematical Literacy P2 (3hrs)
Technical Mathematics P2 (3hrs)
|Religion Studies P1 (2hrs|
|Tuesday, 9 November 2021||Economics P1 (2hrs)||Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telegu, Urdu HL P3 (2½hrs),
FAL P3 (2½hrs)|
Portuguese, German HL P3 (2½hrs)
Portuguese FAL P3 (2½hrs)
Marine Sciences P1 (2½hrs)
|Wednesday, 10 November 2021||Business Studies P2 (2hrs)||Engineering Graphics and Design P1 (3hrs)|
|Thursday, 11 November 2021||Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Xitsonga, Tshivenda HL P1
(2hrs), FAL P1 (2hrs), SAL P1 (2hrs)|
isiZulu, isiXhosa, Siswati, isiNdebele HL P1 (2hrs), FAL P1 (2hrs), SAL P1 (2hrs)
South African Sign Language HL P1 (2hrs)
|Geography (Climate and Weather, Geomorphology and Mapwork) P1 (3hrs)|
|Friday, 12 November 2021||Physical Sciences (Physics) P1 (3hrs) |
Technical Sciences P1 (3hrs)
|History P1 (3hrs)|
|Monday, 15 November 2021||Physical Sciences (Chemistry) P2 (3hrs)|
Technical Sciences P2 (1½hrs)
|Engineering Graphics and Design P2 (3hrs)|
|Tuesday, 16 November 2021||English HL P2 (2½hrs)|
English FAL P2 (2½hrs)
English SAL P2 (1½hrs)
|Civil Technology (3hrs)|
|Wednesday, 17 November 2021||Accounting P1 (2hrs)||Geography (Rural and Urban Settlement, Economic Geomorphology of SA and Map work) P2 (3hrs)|
|Thursday, 18 November 2021||Economics P2 (2hrs)||Visual Arts (3hrs)|
|Friday, 19 November 2021||Life Sciences P1 (2½hrs)||Design (3hrs)|
|Monday, 22 November 2021||Life Sciences P2 (2½hrs)||Electrical Technology (3hrs)|
|Tuesday, 23 November 2021||Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Xitsonga, Tshivenda HL P2 (2½hrs) FAL (2½hrs ) SAL P2 (1½hrs) |
South African Sign Language HL P2 (2½hrs)
isiZulu, isiXhosa, Siswati, isiNdebele HL P2 (2½hrs), FAL P2 (2½hrs), SAL P2 (1½hrs )
|History P2 (3hrs) |
Marine Sciences P2 (2½hrs)
|Wednesday, 24 November 2021||Accounting P2 (2hrs)||Mechanical Technology (3hrs)|
|Thursday, 25 November 2021||Afrikaans HL P2 (2½hrs) |
Afrikaans FAL P2 (2½hrs)
Afrikaans SAL P2 (1½hrs)
|Religion Studies P2 (2hrs)|
|Friday, 26 November 2021||Agricultural Sciences P1 (2½hrs) |
Nautical Science P1 (3hrs)
Sport and Exercise Science (3hrs)
|Computer Applications Tech P2 (Theory) (3hrs)|
|Monday, 29 November 2021||English HL P3 (3hrs) |
English FAL P3 (2½hrs)
English SAL P3 (2½hrs)
|Tuesday, 30 November 2021||Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Xitsonga, Tshivenda HL P3 (3hrs), FAL, SAL P3 (2½hrs) |
isiZulu, isiXhosa, Siswati, isiNdebele HL P3 (3hrs), FAL, SAL P3 (2½hrs)
South African Sign Language HL P3 (3hrs)
|Information Technology P2 (Theory) (3hrs)|
|Wednesday, 1 December 2021||Afrikaans HL P3 (3hrs) |
Afrikaans FAL P3 (2½hrs)
Afrikaans SAL P3 (2½hrs)
Consumer Studies (3hrs) |
Hospitality Studies (3hrs)
|Thursday, 2 December 2021||Agricultural Sciences P2 (2½hrs) |
Nautical Science P2 (3hrs)
|Music P1 Theory (3hrs)|
|Friday, 3 November 2021||Dramatic Arts (3hrs)||Agricultural Management Practices (3hrs)|
|Monday, 6 November 2021||Dance Studies (3hrs)||Agricultural Technology (3hrs) |
Music P2 Comprehension (1½hrs)
|Tuesday, 7 November 2021||IT and CAT rewrite||N.a.|
2021 IEB Matric Exam Dates
The matric exam dates for private schools differ slightly from the NSC matric exam dates. Grade 12 learners can expect to start writing their IEB matric final exams on Monday the 18th of October and end on Tuesday the 30th of November.
The full timetable is available at your school or by contacting the Independent Schools Association of South Africa (ISASA) on 011 648 1331.
The IEB matric final exams for IT and Advance Placement (AP) subjects will be written on:
|Tuesday, 19 October 2021||Information Technology (IT) P1|
|Thursday, 21 October 2021||AP Mathematics|
|Friday, 22 October 2021||AP English|
|Monday, 25 October 2021||AP Physics|
*Please note dates are subject to change, and may differ depending on your school.
Will the COVID-19 pandemic impact the Matric Exams?
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the current matric class of 2021 really hard. It has prevented them from finishing the 2020 syllabus and led to a late start to the 2021 academic year. So, it’s completely normal if you’re scared of a potential increase in infection rates impacting the matric final exams.
Take heart in knowing that the Education Department will communicate any changes around the matric exams in a timely manner. Your school will also take the necessary steps to ensure that you and your peers are safe, while providing a way for you to complete your matric year!
Start preparing for exams and life after school!
If you are struggling to prepare for your exams, we have a few tips that will help you study better and reduce exam stress. During the next few months you are also going to need to plan for life after school. If you want to study further, you should make sure you choose the right institution and then if you need further help with funding, we can help!
We are wishing you the best of luck for your matric exams!