Understanding Matric Distinctions

Many people talk about Matric distinctions, and how important they are. So what are they, and why are they so important?

What Are Matric Distinctions?

A distinction in Matric is a mark of 80% or above. To get a distinction in Matric, you must achieve an average of 80% for the subject. This includes your year’s work, such as projects and tests, as well as your Matric final exam. 

What Percentage Qualifies As A Distinction?

A distinction is 80% and above in Matric. After Matric, if you choose to further your studies at a university or college, a distinction is 75%. 

Does A Distinction Equal A Bachelor’s Pass?

No, achieving a distinction does not necessarily mean you will have a Bachelor’s Degree Pass. A Bachelor’s Degree Pass is calculated based on your final Matric marks, which will determine your APS. The requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree Pass are:

  • 40% or above for Home Language
  • 50% or above for four subjects 
  • 30% or above for two other subjects 

How APS Is Calculated?

APS is calculated using your final Matric marks. It is a system used by universities to determine what courses you may be eligible to apply to study at the institution.

Each percentage bracket is allocated a number of points. Using your final marks, you can find the number of points you achieved for each subject, and add them up to get your APS.

Remember to exclude Life Orientation from your APS, as it does not count for your APS. 

The point allocation is: 

Percentage Bracket

Point Allocation

80% – 100%


70% – 79%


60% – 69%


50% – 59%


40% – 49%


30% – 39%


0% – 29%


What Subjects Count For APS?

The subjects that count for your APS are as follows: 


Agricultural Management Practices

Agricultural Sciences 

Agricultural Technology

Business Studies 

Civil Technology

Computer Applications Technology

Consumer Studies 

Dance Studies

Dramatic Arts 


Electrical Technology

Engineering Graphics and Design 



Hospitality Studies

Information Technology 

Life Sciences 


Mathematical Literacy

Mechanical Technology


Physical Sciences 

Religion studies 


Visual Arts

Your Home Language subject, First Additional Language subject, and your maths subject will also count for your APS. However, Life Orientation will not count for your APS.

This means that if you choose to calculate your APS online, you must remember to input your Life Orientation mark in the single point bracket, no matter what your actual marks were.

Importance Of Matric Distinctions

Matric distinctions are an indication that you have studied well and have good study ethics. This gives universities motivation to allow you to study with them. The more distinctions you have, the more likely universities are to accept you, provided you have met other subject requirements as well.

Distinctions are also more likely to help you with anything else you choose to do after Matric if you do not go to university. It can help you with things such as college courses, internships and learnerships, or applying for jobs. 

How To Achieve The Best Results You Can

There are many study tips out there to help you get your best results. Our top tips are:

  • Start Early
  • Take Short Naps
  • Stay Active
  • Ask Questions

Start Early

Start studying at the beginning of the year. Keep notes, and revise at the end of each week. Test your knowledge at the end of a month or a section by teaching someone else. The best way to find the areas you do not understand is to teach. If you can teach or explain the topic, you understand it very well. 

Take Short Naps

Naps have been proven to help you retain information. Make sure you get enough sleep every night. Take short naps during your studying to keep you from getting too tired. 

Stay Active

Keep your body healthy. You will study better and retain more information the healthier you are. Go for a short walk along your road if it is safe, or around your garden. Or, do some contained exercises in your room or study area. Get your heart pumping to keep you focused and energised. 

Ask Questions

After teaching someone and realising you do not understand something, ask about it. Ask your teacher to help you, or ask friends if they also have trouble understanding. Help each other by asking questions so that you can all get the best results you can.

If you are studying at a distance learning college like Skills Academy, you can talk to a course expert. Contact details are as follows: 

  • Call us on 0800 39 00 27
  • Fill in our contact form for a call back

What Have We Learned?

  • A Matric distinction is 80% and above
  • A distinction in university is 75% and above
  • A distinction does not equal a Bachelor’s pass
  • A Bachelor’s pass is calculated using your final marks and APS
  • Life Orientation does not count for APS
  • There are many ways to ensure you get your best possible results

Let us help you. Chat to a course expert at Skills Academy so you can better understand what comes next. Join us today!

Author: Chloe Bydawell 
Editor: Razeen Dollie
Date: June 29, 2022

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