Some universities in South Africa will require you to write the NBTs, in addition to your Matric exams.

If you have no idea what the NBT is, or how to prepare, don’t panic — we’ve put everything you need to know about NBTs in one place.

What is the NBT? 

  • The National Benchmark Tests (NBT) are used to measure how academically prepared you are for university.
  • Most unis use your NBT marks to measure how much support you will need to complete your degree.
  • Not all universities require you to write the NBT. However, some unis use the NBT marks as an entrance requirement. Take a look at the university’s prospectus to find out if you need to write it.

How many tests do you need to write for the NBT? 

  • The Academic and Quantitative Literacy (AQL) Test is compulsory for anyone who applies to write the NBT.
  • But the Mathematics (MAT) Test is mostly written by STEM subject students (subjects with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
  • Both tests are written on the same day. The AQL is written in the first session and the MAT is written in the second session.
  • Some degrees will require that you write both, and some will only require the AQL — so double check the requirements for the degree you’re applying for before registering to write the NBT.

How do you register for the NBT?

  • You can register for the NBT via the NBT website.
  • There is a registration fee you need to pay to write the NBT.
  • Writing just the AQL test costs R145. Writing both the AQL and MAT costs R290.

How to pay for the NBT

  • You can pay online on the EasyPay website.
  • You can also make an EFT or direct deposit to the NBT project.
  • Or you can take your registration letter and money to an EasyPay point like Pick ‘n Pay, Shoprite, Checkers or Spar to pay your NBT registration fee.

Documents needed to register for the NBT

  • You need a copy of your ID to apply.
  • If you don’t have an SA ID, you can also apply with your passport.
  • You also need to have an email address where you can receive your registration letter and info about your test date, test venue, and test results.

What will you need on the day you write your NBT? 

  • You will need to bring your proof of payment for the NBT.
  • You also need to bring your ID or your passport.
  • The only stationery you need to have is an eraser and a pencil. There are no calculators or rulers allowed.
  • You can bring some lunch with you, and some water to keep yourself hydrated.

What time does the NBT test start?

  • You will need to check-in at the test venue at 7:30 AM.
  • Make sure you pick a venue that you can get to early.
  • And put the NBT test date in your calendar so you have a reminder.

How long does it take for NBT results to be released?   

  • Your NBT test results will be sent to the universities where you applied 3 weeks after you’ve written.
  • And you will get the results 4 weeks after your test date.
  • So make sure you write on a date that is at least 4 weeks before the earliest due date for your uni applications.

Where can you get NBT past papers? 

You can visit the NBT website to get MAT and AQL example questions to help you practice for your tests.

How else can you study for the NBT? 

The NBT covers topics from all the grades you did in high school, which can be a lot to revise.

Luckily, you can use FoondaMate to help you revise any topic from any subject and any grade.

Say hi to +27 60 070 3213 on WhatsApp to get past papers and explanations for any topic to help your prepare for the NBT.

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About the author : Bernard Dlamini