When should I write NBTs?

When should I write NBTs?

You should write the NBTs when you feel ready. However, you must also meet the closing dates and deadlines for the institutions where you are applying. Remember also that you must allow time for your NBTs to be processed, scored and the results sent to institutions.  The dates on which results are available are shown in the test schedule.

Different institutional and faculty requirements determine the deadlines for learners to submit NBT results, which may be as early as June or July.

The time of writing should not be a cause for concern; available data suggests that learners writing the test late in the year have no advantage over those writing in earlier sessions.

However, learners who have not completed the curriculum, or who feel that they may benefit from further revision, may choose to write the tests later in the cycle, but must still meet posted institutional deadlines.
Click here to view the test schedule.

Do I write both tests on the same day?

Yes. The NBT Project does not allow a learner to write the AQL on one day and the MAT on another. If you wish to write a second time, you still must write the AQL in the morning and the MAT in the afternoon.

What if I can’t write on a Saturday?

As shown on the NBT test schedule, there are writing sessions scheduled on Fridays and Sundays.

What if I miss my scheduled test?

Registration for the NBT is specific to the date and the site you selected.  If you miss your scheduled date, or change your mind about the test session, you must register and pay again.

Should there be an emergency, you must send an e-mail to nbt@uct.ac.za as soon as possible. NBT Project staff will contact you the following week to explore your options for a make-up test.

With documentation of a legitimate emergency, you may not be required to pay a second time.

Legitimate situations that have occurred in the past include taxi accident on the way to the test site, hospitalization, broken collar bone, and family funeral.

What time do I have to be at the test centre?

Check-in at all sites in South Africa begins at 07:30. Door closes at 8:30, after which no one is allowed inside the test rooms. The AQL test is written in the morning and the MAT test is written in the afternoon.

No learner is allowed to come mid-day to write just the MAT test. If you are writing the MAT test, you must write it the same day as you write the AQL test.

What if I am applying to two institutions with different applications deadlines?

If you are applying to more than one institution or faculty then you need to register and write the NBTs to meet the earliest deadline, even if you are also applying to a university that will write the test during registration.

You need only write the tests once, even when applying to more than one institution. All institutions to which you apply will be able to access your NBT results.

Are there any special requirements if I am applying to Health Sciences?

All applicants to programmes in the Health Science Faculties must write both the AQL test and the MAT test. Each institution sets its own deadlines to submit results and some deadlines are in June and July.

You must check with the faculties to which you are applying to ensure that your NBT results are received by the deadline.

Health Science Faculties work with the NBT Project to ensure that sufficient writing sessions and seats are available that meet deadlines at all institutions.


Overview of Public Universities in South Africa

Here's an overview of some public universities in South Africa, including general admissions requirements and estimated application periods. Keep in mind, specific program requirements and dates can vary significantly, so it's important to check each university's official website for the most current information.

University of Pretoria

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with minimum scores in specific subjects related to the chosen program; for international students, equivalent qualifications.
  • Application Period: Usually opens in March and closes at the end of July for most programs.

University of Cape Town

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with pass levels required for degree study; subject-specific requirements depending on the program.
  • Application Period: Application opens in April and closes at the end of July.

Stellenbosch University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required marks; some programs have additional testing.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and typically closes at the end of June.

University of the Witwatersrand

  • Admissions Requirements: Matriculation certificate with university exemption; required scores vary by faculty.
  • Application Period: Begins in March and ends on the 30th of September.

University of Johannesburg

  • Admissions Requirements: Matric exemption with a minimum APS score; specific subject requirements based on the faculty.
  • Application Period: Opens in April and generally closes by the 30th of September.

University of the Free State

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific marks for the program applied to; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Typically opens in April and closes at the end of August.

University of Venda

  • Admissions Requirements: Completion of the National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for diploma or degree studies; specific APS scores needed.
  • Application Period: Usually from May to September.

University of Fort Hare

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; certain programs may have specific requirements.
  • Application Period: Opens around May and closes at the end of September.

University of the Western Cape

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific performance levels; additional requirements for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Generally from May to September.

North-West University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with university exemption; program-specific requirements may apply.
  • Application Period: Opens in March and usually closes by the end of August.

Rhodes University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate or equivalent; minimum academic performance in certain subjects.
  • Application Period: Applications open in April and close at the end of September.

Nelson Mandela University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; portfolio or additional tests for some faculties.
  • Application Period: Opens in April, with a deadline at the end of August for most programs.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores; additional requirements for certain courses.
  • Application Period: Opens in May and typically closes by the end of September.

University of Limpopo

  • Admissions Requirements: Senior Certificate with endorsement for diploma or degree courses; specific APS scores for different programs.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

University of Zululand

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with an endorsement for bachelor’s degree studies; specific score requirements for various programs.
  • Application Period: Usually between April and November.

Central University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with specific scores for the chosen field of study; additional criteria for certain programs.
  • Application Period: Application period generally starts in May and ends in October.

Vaal University of Technology

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with a pass that qualifies for admission to bachelor’s degree, diploma, or higher certificate programs.
  • Application Period: Typically from May to September.

Walter Sisulu University

  • Admissions Requirements: National Senior Certificate with required scores for chosen programs; additional criteria for certain faculties.
  • Application Period: From April to September.

This list provides a starting point for understanding the admissions landscape across South Africa's diverse higher education institutions. Given the variability in programs and requirements, it's crucial to consult each university's website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.