Grade 12 Examination Guidelines 2023 Pdf Download

Grade 12 Examination Guidelines 2023: A Comprehensive Guide for South African Students


The Grade 12 examination is a pivotal milestone in the academic journey of South African students. It marks the culmination of their secondary education and serves as a gateway to higher education and future career prospects. To ensure fairness, consistency, and transparency in the examination process, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has established comprehensive guidelines for Grade 12 examinations. These guidelines provide students with essential information regarding the examination format, assessment criteria, and preparation strategies.

Examination Format

The Grade 12 examination consists of two components:

  • National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examinations: These are externally set and marked examinations that assess students’ knowledge and skills in various subjects.
  • School-Based Assessment (SBA): This component involves assessments conducted by teachers throughout the year, which contribute to students’ final marks.

Assessment Criteria

The NSC examinations are assessed using a range of criteria, including:

  • Knowledge and understanding: Students’ ability to recall, comprehend, and apply concepts and information.
  • Cognitive skills: Students’ ability to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information.
  • Problem-solving skills: Students’ ability to identify and solve problems using appropriate strategies.
  • Communication skills: Students’ ability to express their ideas and knowledge clearly and effectively.

Preparation Strategies

To excel in the Grade 12 examination, students are advised to follow these preparation strategies:

  • Start early: Begin studying well in advance to avoid last-minute cramming.
  • Create a study schedule: Allocate specific time slots for each subject and stick to them.
  • Attend classes regularly: Pay attention in class and take comprehensive notes.
  • Review regularly: Revise your notes and practice answering past exam papers.
  • Seek help when needed: Don’t hesitate to ask your teachers or peers for assistance if you encounter difficulties.
  • Manage stress: Engage in stress-reducing activities such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.
Read also:  Business Studies Past Exam Papers And Memos Grade 9

Examination Procedures

Students must adhere to the following examination procedures:

  • Arrive on time: Punctuality is crucial to avoid missing any part of the examination.
  • Bring necessary materials: Ensure you have all the required stationery, including pens, pencils, and calculators.
  • Follow instructions carefully: Read the examination instructions thoroughly and follow them precisely.
  • Manage your time wisely: Allocate time for each question based on its weight and difficulty.
  • Answer all questions: Attempt all questions, even if you are unsure of the answer.

Grading System

The NSC examinations are graded on a seven-point scale, with each grade representing a specific range of marks:

  • Grade 1: 80-100%
  • Grade 2: 70-79%
  • Grade 3: 60-69%
  • Grade 4: 50-59%
  • Grade 5: 40-49%
  • Grade 6: 30-39%
  • Grade 7: 0-29%

Results and Appeals

Examination results are typically released within a few weeks after the examinations. Students who are dissatisfied with their results may submit an appeal to the DBE. Appeals must be based on specific grounds, such as errors in marking or administrative irregularities.


The Grade 12 examination guidelines provide a clear roadmap for students to navigate the examination process successfully. By adhering to these guidelines, students can maximize their preparation, minimize stress, and achieve their academic goals. The DBE remains committed to ensuring a fair, transparent, and credible examination system that empowers South African students to succeed in their future endeavors.

Additional Resources