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Check the application deadlines and information on the university websites.


Pre-selection based on your final Grade 11 results. You will be provisionally admitted (if your marks are good enough :APS and minimum % for some courses : check on the university prospectus) or not admitted (if your marks are too low).

Final selection in January, based on your Grade 12 results. Your admission is either confirmed or declined through sms or email.

Late application* in January. You can still apply or reapply at some universities (UJ, TUT and VUT ) with your Grade 12 results, for the courses which are not full. Other varsities do not accept late applications (but if you have at least 3 distinctions, you can still give it a try by speaking to the head of the Faculty). You can also try to apply via the CACH system (Central Application Clearance house) of the Department of Education which will try to find a spot in any University in the country)

*University of Johannesburg important information to note 

  • January, final Gr 12 results are received and proceed to final selections. Applicants admitted based on performance. 

  • Poorer performing applicants are placed on the waiting list to give better performing applicants a chance to register. 

  •  If the applicant is admitted for both choices simultaneously, the decision then lies with the applicant for which qualification they want to register. 

  • The most important to understand is that spaces are limited and preference is given to best performing applicants.  

*The "Late application" system at UJ allows you to reapply  for a course (if there is still space). Your can even reapply for another course, if you have been already admitted  : the first admission will only be cancelled if your late application is successful. UJ will send you an sms, within 3 or 4 working days.

*NB: UKZN applications for first year students are done through CAO -

                                                                                  2. WHAT DO YOU NEED IN ORDER TO APPLY?

  • Grade 11 final results (you cannot use your mid-year Grade 12 results)

  • ID number

  • Cell phone number

  • Email address


  • Be realistic : if your Admission Point Score (APS) is over 30, you can apply for a degree. If your APS is over 25 but under 30, you can apply for an extended degree or a diploma.

  • Do not apply for a Bachelor of accounting if your accounting mark is under 50 % or for Medicine if your Maths mark is under 70%.

   If your marks are too low, rather improve your Matric marks and reapply the following year, than apply for a course you will not like.

  •  Some popular courses are quickly full like Law, Education, Engineering and Accounting degrees, Psychology and health.

  • Apply to least at 3 universities : this will give you more options and increase your chance of being admitted


  • Apply for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) bursary (see separate page)

  • Register for an NBT (national benchmark test) if necessary (not compulsory at UJ, compulsory at Wits and UCT for Sciences and health)

The NBT tests will be available to all universities to which a learner has applied.  You need to register on the website There are two tests - the Academic and Quantitative Literacy Test and (only for some Faculties), the Mathematics Test.

Note that you will not be admitted at Wits if you fail the tests. So prepare for it : the tests is about logical thinking and your ability to understand a text. It is not a knowledge based test. ​

  • University of the Free State and Rhodes University require NBTs for all programmes 

  • Stellenbosch University and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University require NBTs for certain programmes. Please refer to each University faculty brochures. 

  • Apply for accommodation in university residences (see "accommodation" page).

  • In January, if you have top results (at least 2 distinctions in core subjects like Math and accounting), go and see the head of the Faculty of your choice as soon as the university reopens, to push for your admission. Some top Matriculants have been admitted even when registration was closed.


  • Universities receive the Matric results from the Department of Education. But in some few cases they do not, so check with the university in January, if you have not received any news about your admission.

  • Apply online as it is much faster and there are fewer risks of mistakes in the filling in of the application.

  • Very important: if your cellphone number or your email address change, you need to inform the university!

1. The 3 Steps of the Application Process
2. What Do You Need in Order to Apply?
3. Increase Your Chances of Being Admitted
4. Don't Forget
5. Tips
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