Everything That You Need to Know About Grade 11

Many students have questions about Grade 11. Here is everything you need to know. 

Grade 11 is the second year of the Further Education and Training (FET) phase of education. There are three years in the FET phase. In Grade 11 you will begin to study in even more detail than before and get both a deeper and broader understanding of your subjects. 

The beginning of Grade 11 is the last time you may change your subjects before reaching Matric. Once you have written your Grade 11 June exams, you cannot change any of your subjects. 

How Difficult Is Grade 11?

Grade 11 is often considered the most academically difficult year in high school. This is because you will begin to study your subjects in more detail than before. The workload will also increase as you approach your Matric year. 

However, with good time management and dedication to studying, you can make it easier. It is important to remember that sleep is as important as studying. Make sure you do not overwork yourself. 

Make yourself a flexible homework and study schedule that you can stick to. Plan ahead for any changes in plans, such as a sports match or a school field trip. Make sure you can make up the study time easily when unexpected things happen. 

Make sure you account for breaks in your study time. Studying non-stop for too long can have the opposite effect, making you forgetful because you are tired. Study for 45 minutes or less, and then get up and move around for 5 to 15 minutes. 

The adjustment from Grade 10 to Grade 11 can be a lot. The workload increases as well as the detail of your studies. But with the right mindset, you can make it work.

Do Your Grade 11 Marks Matter?

Yes, your Grade 11 marks do matter. Most of the pressure is put on your Matric marks, however, you must pass Grade 11 to do Matric. Some universities will require your Grade 11 marks. This is so that you can apply early before your Matric results are released.  

Your marks are also important for work opportunities. If you do not want to continue studying after Grade 11, it is important that your marks are the best they can be to help you get good job opportunities. 

Why Is Grade 11 So Important?

Doing well in Grade 11 is important so that you have a good foundation of knowledge to start Matric. Doing well in Grade 11 will help you be able to do your best in Matric. Doing well in Matric is important to help you get better employment or be able to study at a university.

Do Universities Look At Grade 11 Marks?

Yes, universities do sometimes look at your Grade 11 marks, though not always. Most universities will allow students to apply early using their Grade 11 report. This means that you can apply before your Matric results are released. 

Using your Grade 11 marks, a university may grant you provisional entry. This means that you have been accepted on the condition that you meet their expectations for your Matric year. 

Once your Matric marks have been released, you will submit them to the university and a final decision on your admission will be made. 

What Age Is Grade 11 In South Africa?

Most South African learners are 17 in Grade 11. Some are 16, and a few are 18, but most are 17 years old.

Can A Grade 11 Learner Apply For University?

Yes, you can apply to university using your Grade 11 report. With your Grade 11 marks, a university can grant you provisional entry. Once you have completed Matric and your results have been released, you will submit your results to the university for the final decision. 

Can I Go To University With Grade 11?

No, you cannot go to university with only Grade 11. You can apply using your Grade 11 marks to gain provisional entry, but you cannot be accepted into a university without successfully completing your Matric. 

Provisional entry means that you have been granted admission to the course you have applied to on the condition that you successfully complete your Matric year to the university’s satisfaction. 

If you do not complete Matric, or if you fail to meet the university’s requirements, your provisional entry will be withdrawn. This means that you cannot study the course you applied to, and you will have to reapply once you have completed or improved your Matric. 

What Are The Requirements To Pass Grade 11?

To pass Grade 11, you must achieve the following: 

  • 40% or above for your Home Language
  • 30% for Life Orientation 
  • 40% for two other subjects 
  • 30% for two other subjects 
  • You may fail one subject

How Can I Study Effectively?

Studying effectively has a number of factors, such as:

  • Time spent studying
  • Breaks in study time
  • Sleep
  • Notes and resources

The time you spend studying will have a large impact on how well you are able to do. However, it is important to study smartly and not for too long. 

You can over-study, which means that you stop remembering the information you are revising. This also makes you more tired, making it more difficult to remember information. 

Make yourself a study timetable. Set out sections of work to revise in a way that will give you at least a week before a test or exam to ask questions about things you do not understand. 

Keep notes while you are studying so that you remember all the questions you wanted to ask your teacher or classmates. 

Remember to take breaks in your study time. Our brains start to lose focus after roughly 40 minutes of studying. When this happens, get up and move around for at least 5 minutes. Drink some cold water to help keep you refreshed. 

Make sure that you are getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep will affect your studying results a lot. A tired brain cannot take in new information, and also struggles to recall information. 

Make sure you have a good set of notes and decent resources to work with. Matric Downloads have a wide range of Grade 11 past exam papers and memos that you can download and use for free. 

Can You Get Progressed In Grade 11?

Yes, you can be progressed in Grade 11. To understand what this means, you must know what it means to be progressed. 

What Is Being Progressed?

Being progressed means moving on to the next school grade regardless of having failed the year. You may only fail once in each educational phase. 

If you fail a year and repeat it and fail again, you will be progressed to the next grade anyway. You will then be progressed through each grade even if you fail until you reach the next educational phase. 

This system has been put in place because you cannot write Matric once you are over the age of 21. Once you are over the age of 21, you must write an Adult Matric. 

What Is An Educational Phase?

There are four educational phases, and each phase is three years long. Students are given a maximum of four years to complete each educational phase. The educational phases are: 

Phase Grades
Foundation 1 – 3
Intermediate 4 – 6
Senior/General Education and Training 7 – 9
Further Education and Training 10 – 12

The first three phases are compulsory. Once you have reached the end of the Senior/General phase – meaning you have passed Grade 9 – you may choose whether to continue with the FET phase. It is recommended that you complete the FET phase. 

Once you have successfully completed the FET phase, you can choose to continue your studies at a tertiary education institution. You can also choose to begin working.

Can You Do Grade 11 From Home?

Yes, you can do Grade 11 through homeschooling. You can join a homeschooling group, or continue with homeschooling if this is how you have been studying. 

Grade 11 is the second year in the FET phase, so you will no longer be referred to as a homeschooling student, but as a distance learning student. 

What Can I Do With Grade 11?

There are many options available to you once you have completed Grade 11. Such options include: 

  • Skills-based work that you can start with training or with your own experience
  • Short courses at a reputable distance learning college
  • Accredited ICB courses

There are many reputable distance learning colleges that offer short courses, such as Skills Academy, Ember Academy and Learning Group. These courses require only that you are over the age of 16 and that you can understand, read and write in English. 

You can also choose to study an accredited ICB course. There are two courses you can study with Grade 11: 

  • Business Management
  • Financial Accounting

Business Management requires you to have completed Grade 11 to apply. There are three course levels, going up to the Diploma level. 

Financial Accounting requires only Grade 10 to apply. There are four course levels going up to the Diploma level. 

There is also an ICB course in Office Administration. However, this requires you to have Matric to apply. 

You can study either of these accredited ICB courses at the following reputable distance learning colleges:

Or you can choose to complete your high school education. This is the recommended path, as this will help you be able to further your studies even more and get better career opportunities. 

What Have We Learned?

Grade 11 can be difficult, but with good time management ad dedication to your studies, you can make it easier. Grade 11 marks do matter. Grade 11 is important for a good foundation to start Matric. Universities sometimes look at grade 11 marks. 


Most Grade 11 students in South Africa are 17. You can apply for provisional entry to a university with your Grade 11 marks. You will then submit your Matric marks once they have been released for the university to make a final decision. You cannot go to university without Matric. 


You can study well by making sure you work smartly, manage your time, sleep well and start studying early. You can get progressed in Grade 11. You can study Grade 11 from home. There are many work and study opportunities once you have completed Grade 11.

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: 3 June 2022