Everything That You Need To Know About Grade 10 

Grade 10 is the start of the Further Education and Training (FET) phase. Here, you will begin to focus your studies more closely on specific subjects. These will be the subjects you chose at the end of Grade 9. 

The subjects you choose at the end of Grade 9 will affect the courses you will be able to study after Matric. For example, if you want to study Medicine, you must take Physical Sciences. If you want to study Accounting, you must take Accounting. 

Always remember to keep your options open. Aim to be able to study at university even if you do not want to. It is better to have the option available and not use it than to want to do something and not have the option available to you. 

Is Grade 10 A Hard Year?

Grade 10 can be a big adjustment from Grade 9. However, with hard work and good time management, it can be made easier. It is important to note that when you begin Grade 10, you will be starting with the subjects you chose at the end of Grade 9. 

This means that your classwork will be much more focused on the topic, and will go into a lot more detail. This may take some getting used to, as Grade 9 takes a much broader look at things. Once you are used to it, it will get easier to study. 

Some tips to help make the change to grade 10  easier:

  • Always get a good night’s sleep
  • Study ahead, cramming days before a test or exam is stressful and unhelpful 
  • Start projects as soon as you get them – having to do them fast does not let you do your best
  • Keep your work up to date, having to catch up makes extra work and more stress 
  • Make yourself a homework/study schedule and stick to it as closely as possible – remember to account for sports and after school activities
  • Always remember that you can ask for help, even if it is after school

How Do I Choose A Subject In Grade 10?

Choosing your subjects for Grade 10 can feel like a lot to deal with, but remember to go step-by-step, and you can streamline the process to make it simpler. Some tips to narrow down your options:

  • Decide what fields of study you are interested in
  • See what subjects your school offers
  • See how many subjects you need to choose
  • Check which subjects are compulsory
  • Find out what you can study at university with those subjects 
  • See if there are any subjects that help with your fields of interest
  • If not, see if you can find generally good subjects, such as dramatic arts to help with communication and interaction skills, or languages, or business studies
  • Aim to take subjects that can help you get into university even if you do not want to go to university – it is always best to keep your options open

This should considerably narrow down your options which can help you choose which subjects to take in Grade 10. 

What Are The Compulsory Subjects For Grade 10?

There are four compulsory subjects that you must take in Grade 10 all the way to Matric. These four subjects are:

  • Home Language
  • First Additional Language
  • Maths or Maths Literacy
  • Life Orientation

Remember once you complete Matric, you must pass Life Orientation to pass Matric. If you fail Life Orientation, you will not pass Matric. 

What Are The Subjects For Grade 10?

The elective subjects are the three subjects you can choose. The official subjects that you can choose from are:

Accounting Agricultural Management Practices
Agricultural ScienceAgricultural Technology
Business Studies Civil Technology
Computer Applications TechnologyConsumer Studies
Dance StudiesDramatic Arts
EconomicsElectrical Technology
Engineering Graphics and Design Geography
History Hospitality Studies
Information Technology Life Sciences
Mathematics Mathematical Literacy
Mechanical TechnologyMusic
Physical Sciences Religion studies
TourismVisual Arts

From this list of subjects, you can see which ones your school offers. You must then choose three of those subjects for Grade 10 to Matric.

What Are The Requirements To Pass Grade 10?

To pass Grade 10 and continue to Grade 11, you must achieve the following:

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

Can You Do Grade 10 From Home?

Yes, you can study Grade 10 from home. You can do this by joining a home school group, or continuing home schooling if you are already studying that way.

Once you begin Grade 10, you are starting the FET phase of education. This means that you will no longer be considered a home schooled student, you will be considered a distance learning student. 

What Is FET Phase In Education?

FET stands for Further Education and Training. This is the phase of education that begins the foundation for studying at a university. This phase begins at Grade 10, or NQF level 2, and continues to Matric, or NQF level 4. 

This phase of education is designed to prepare you for a university style of studying. This is done by beginning to refine your subjects, going into more detail and focusing on more specific areas of study. This is why you choose subjects at the end of Grade 9. 

Grade 9 is the last year of the compulsory education phases. There are three compulsory education phases, followed by the optional FET phase, which make up the full 12 years of schooling. These phases are: 

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

Each educational phase is three years long. Learners are given a maximum of four years to complete each educational phase. Learners may choose to leave school at the end of the Senior/General phase or at any point in the FET stage. However, this is not recommended. 

Once you have completed the FET stage of education, you may begin tertiary education. This is studying at a college or university, and is known as Higher Education and Training. This is not considered a phase in education, as this encompasses all studies after Matric.

Can You Get Progressed In Grade 10?

Yes, to know whether or not you can be progressed, you first need to know what it means to be progressed.

What Is Being Progressed?

Being progressed means being moved to the next school grade regardless of having failed the year. This system was put in place because you may only write Matric up to the age of 21 in South Africa. Once you are over the age of 21, you must write Adult Matric/Senior Certificate Amended.

You may be progressed once in each educational phase up to and including the FET phase. You will be progressed if you fail a grade more than once. For example, if you fail grade 7 you will repeat the year. However, if you fail a second time, you will be progressed to Grade 8 regardless of having failed Grade 7 a second time.

You may also only fail once in each educational phase. Once you have repeated a year, you will be progressed each year regardless of whether or not you passed until you reach the next phase.

How Many Hours Should A Grade 10 Student Study?

The general recommendation of study time outside of homework time is one to two hours. However, be aware that this is not two continuous hours. This means two hours of work with breaks in between. 

Our brains begin to lose focus after 30 – 40 minutes of studying. There are many recommendations on how to split your time, such as:

  • 20 minutes studying, 10 minute break
  • 30 minutes studying, 10 minute break
  • 40 minutes studying, 15 minute break
  • 45 minutes studying, 15 minute break

Most people find that it is easier to go with the options of either 30 or 40 minutes of studying. 20 minutes of studying is not enough to focus on the material, and 45 minutes makes the last 5 – 10 minutes of studying ineffective. Try out different options and see which works best for you. 

How Can I Study Effectively?

When it comes to exams, one hour of studying is unlikely to be enough to get through all of the term’s work, so start studying ahead of time. 

The best way to study is to revise the week’s work at the end of each week. Revise sections each time you complete a section, and keep notes. This will make studying faster and easier. 

Also, try to get extra study resources. Matric Downloads offers a wide subject range of Grade 10 past exam papers and memos for you to use in your studying. This can help you learn how questions are likely to be structured, as well as how best to structure your answers to get the marks. 

How Old Is A Grade 10 Student In South Africa?

In schools, most South African students are 15 or 16 years of age in Grade 10, and a few are 17. 

What Can I Do With Grade 10?

There are many options available with Grade 10, though it is recommended that you complete Matric if you can. Your options are:

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

Can You Go To College At 16 In South Africa?

Yes, you can go to college at the age of 16 in South Africa. Some of the most well-recommended colleges are Skills Academy, Ember Academy and Learning Group. 

Skills Academy and Ember Academy offer a wide range of skills-based courses, which require you to be 16 or older and to be able to understand, read and write in English. 

You can also choose to study an accredited ICB Financial Accounting course. Accredited means that it is recognised by employers as a formal qualification. This course only requires you to have Grade 10 to apply. You can study ICB Financial Accounting at:

What Have We Learned?

Grade 10 is the start of the FET phase of education. The FET phase is designed to prepare you for the style of university studying. The FET phase has four compulsory subjects, and three subjects that you can choose. 

You may fail one subject excluding Life Orientation, and still pass Grade 10. You can choose to study Grade 10 from home. Because it is the FET phase of education, you are no longer considered a homeschooled student, you are considered a distance learning student. 

There are four educational phases. The first three educational phases are compulsory. The last phase of education is voluntary, however it is recommended that it is completed. Once you have successfully completed the FET phase, you can move on to tertiary education. 

Grade 10 can be easier with good time management. Choosing your subjects can be made easier by following a simple process. The subjects you choose will affect the tertiary education courses that you can study. 

 A Grade 10 student should study one to two hours a day with breaks in between. Most Grade 10 students are 16 years old. You can do well with good study tips and extra resources. You can always ask for help if needed. 

There are many work and study opportunities once you have completed Grade 10. You can choose to begin working a skills-based job, or you can choose to further your studies. 

You can choose to attend a distance learning college with just Grade 10. You can choose to study a short course or an accredited ICB Financial Accounting course. You can choose to complete the FET phase of education and continue to Higher Education. 

Author: Chloe Bydawell 
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: 22 June 2022