Matric results 2013, in numbers

Minister Angie Motshekga Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga announcing the 2013 matric results in Johannesburg on the evening of Monday 6 January 2014.
(Image: GCIS)

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Over half a million candidates wrote South Africa’s school-leaving national senior certificate – or matric – exams last year, and 78.2% of them passed. This is the highest matric pass rate in the country’s modern democratic history, according to results released by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga on Monday 6 January 2014.

A total of 258 question papers were set, and 9.1-million printed and written at 6 676 examination centres, supervised by 65 000 invigilators. Of these, 8.7 million completed scripts were marked by 35 000 markers at 118 marking centres.

A total of 551 schools, or 8.3%, received a 100% matric pass rate, while almost half of all schools – 49.9% – achieved a rate of 80% to 100%.

We bring you more facts and figures about the Class of 2013 matric results.

Candidates

In 2013, 562 112 full-time candidates wrote the matric results, up by 50 960 from the 511 152 candidates who wrote in 2012. Of these, 439 779 passed – an increase of 61 950 on the 2012 figure of 377 829.

The number of part-time candidates rose by 11 059, from 81 552 in 2012 to 92 611 in 2013.

A total of 654 723 full- and part-time candidates wrote the matric exams in 2013.

Results over the years

The 2013 matric pass rate of 78.2% is the highest in 19 years. Over the past four years, the rate has steadily increased, from 60.6% in 2009, to 67.8% in 2010, 70.2% in 2011, 73.9% in 2012, to this year’s 78.2%.

01-results-by-year

“In 1995, when this cohort entered grade 1, the national pass rate percentage was 54.4%, and 19 years later, the national pass rate percentage is 78.2%”, Motshekga said in her announcement of the results.

More top achievers

The Class of 2013 also achieved the highest bachelor pass rate – results good enough for university entrance – in the past few years, with 171 755 qualifying for bachelor degree studies.

02-bachelor-passes-by-year

“I’m extremely pleased by the fact that all indicators of quality are also part of the upward trend,” Motshekga said. “The percentage of grade 12 learners who qualified for bachelor’s studies was 20.1% in 2008, 19.9% in 2009, 23.5% in 2010, 24.3% in 2011 and 26.6% in 2012. It has now increased to 30.6%.”

The number of distinctions earned in 12 main subjects in 2013 was 67 855, up by 12 205 from 55 650 in 2012.

Provincial pass rates

The Free State came out tops in the 2013 results, supplanting Gauteng as the best-performing province. North West had the second-highest matric pass rate, followed by Gauteng, the Western Cape, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, the Northern Cape, Limpopo and, finally, the Eastern Cape.

The province to score the biggest improvement was North West, which upped its pass rate by 7.7%, followed by Mpumalanga with an increase of 7.6%.

03-results-by-province

In ascending order, the provincial pass rates are:

  • Eastern Cape: 64.9% – up 3.5% from 61.4% in 2012
  • Limpopo: 71.8% – up 4.9% from 66.9% in 2012
  • Northern Cape: 74.5% – down 0.1% from 74.6% in 2012
  • KwaZulu-Natal: 77.4% – up 4.3% from 73.1% in 2012
  • Mpumalanga: 77.6% – up 7.6% from 70% in 2012
  • Western Cape: 85.1% – up 2.3% from 82.8% in 2012
  • Gauteng: 87% – up 3.1% from 83.9% in 2012
  • North West: 87.2% – up 7.7% from 79.5% in 2012
  • Free State: 87.4% – up 6.3% from 81.1% in 2012

Pass rates by subject

The 2013 results showed improvements in the priority subjects of Mathematics – “pure” Maths – as well as Physical Science and Life Sciences. The pass rates for all major subjects increased, except for Mathematical Literacy, which fell slightly.

04-results-by-subject

The priority subject results for 2013 are:

Mathematics

  • Number of passes 2013: 142 666, with a pass rate of 59.1%
  • Number of passes 2012: 121 970, with a pass rate of 54%
  • Improvement: 20 696, with the pass rate up 5.1%

Physical Science

  • Number of passes 2013: 124 206, with a pass rate of 67.4%
  • Number of passes 2012: 109 918, with a pass rate of 61.3%
  • Improvement: 14 288, with the pass rate up 6.1%

Life Sciences

  • Number of passes 2013: 222 374, with a pass rate of 73.7%
  • Number of passes 2012: 193 593, with a pass rate of 69.5%
  • Improvement: 28 781, with the pass rate up 4.2%

Pass rates in other subjects

  • Accounting: 65.7% – up 0.1% from 65.6% in 2012
  • Geography: 80% – up 4.2% from 75.8% in 2012
  • Economics: 73.9%, up 1.1% from 72.8% in 2012
  • History: 87.1%, up 1.1% from 86% in 2012