2020 Matric Results are IN!

The Matric Results 2020 are in – and the pass rate is better than expected despite the circumstances.

The national Matric pass rate has dropped by over 5% – from 81.3% in 2019 to 76.2%, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced. Had progressed learners being excluded from the official statistics, the pass rate would have been similar to 2019 stats with a pass rate of 81.2%

“I am very grateful and appreciative of our teachers and our learners who held their own in very difficult conditions. We tried everything in our power to claw back on lost time, which we couldn’t”, she said speaking at a ceremony regarding the release of the 2020 NSC Examination results.

In the end, a total of 440 702 Grade 12 learners passed the 2020 NSC Exams, outperforming the class of 2019. Out of all the candidates that passed:

  • 36.4% achieved a bachelor’s pass (down 0.5% from 2019)
  • 26% passed with a diploma pass
  • 13.7% passed with a higher certificate pass
  • 0.01% passed with a National Senior Certificate (NSC) pass.

Free State outperforms all to come out tops

The Free State province came out on top as the province with the highest pass rate of 91.6%, with Gauteng province not far behind with an 88.4% pass rate.

Pass rates for all provinces bar progressed pupils for the Matric Results 2020 were:

  • Free State – 91.6%
  • Gauteng – 88.4%;
  • Western Cape – 82.9%;
  • KwaZulu-Natal – 81.9%;
  • North West – 81.5%;
  • Mpumalanga – 77.9%;
  • Northern Cape –  76.1%;
  • Eastern Cape – 74.2%; and
  • Limpopo – 73.9%


  • 2 058 out of 2 161 special needs learners passed their exams, including 943 who passed with a bachelor’s;
  • Out of 124 prison inmates who wrote exams, 71 achieved a bachelor’s pass, 23 passed with a diploma pass and 13 achieved a higher certificate pass;
  • Over 24 000 progressed pupils out of 65 000 passed their Matric exams, with more than 3000 gaining a bachelor’s pass.

History gains highest distinction rate among students

6.3% of students earned themselves a distinction in History, with Accounting (6.2%) not far behind. The rest of the subjects with a high distinction rate include Business Studies (3.9%), Physical Science (3.7%), Mathematics (3.2%), Life Sciences (2.3%), Economics (1.3%), and Geography sitting at 1%.

View the full report regarding the Matric Results 2020 NSC examinations online from the Department of Basic Education here.

Also Read: NSFAS Halts Funding of Nursing and Teaching Qualifications

Published on 22 February 2021


  1. Petunia Mazibuko

    Is it too late for me to register for 2021 matric rewrite?

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