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Many people are asking what is NASCA (National Senior Certificate for Adults) and how can you obtain it.

NASCA-National Senior Certificate for Adults. What is NASCA and how can you obtain it?
NASCA-National Senior Certificate for Adults

NASCA stands for National Senior Certificate for Adults. It is basically a matric certificate for adults. You can now obtain a NASCA certificate by passing at least four subjects with a minimum of 50%. The four subjects include two (2) compulsory mathematics and a language subject. According to Umalusi the curriculum developer and the quality assurer for National Senior Certificate, NASCA has NQF Level 4 qualification on the General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Sub-framework of the National Qualifications Sub-framework (GFETQSF). This means that NASCA is equivalent to Grade 12 or Matric level. NASCA is also registered under SAQA and is a Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) qualification.

What is NASCA replacing and the shortcomings of the previous Senior certificates

NASCA is replacing two National Senior Certificates that were running concurrently which are Technical Matric N3 and Amended CAPS. The two curricula had their own weaknesses which prompted Umalusi not only to revise them but to completely bring in a new curriculum that somehow superimposes the two into one. This means that by end of 2021, previous curricula will cease to exist.

Technical Matric N3

Technical Matric N3 was obtained by passing six subjects of which two were compulsory languages. The two languages where Business English and Sake Afrikaans. The other four subjects were any engineering subjects under N3. The student had to pass all the subjects with a minimum of forty percent (40%). Upon passing the six subjects, the student after application with DHET was awarded a National Senior Certificate under technical studies.

The main disadvantage of this curriculum was that it did not offer students any alternatives when it came to the two compulsory languages. This meant all students had to do Business English and Sake Afrikaans. As a result, students without the Afrikaans background tended to struggle more with the Sake Afrikaans subject. This resulted in students either failing to obtain the certificate and being stuck with five subjects or not registering for Technical Matric at all.

Amended CAPS

Amended CAPS was obtained by passing six subjects of the two were compulsory languages. The two languages where English and any home language of choice. The Amended CAPS somehow was a solution to students who failed to qualify to do Technical Matric due to the Afrikaans language barrier it posed.

The main disadvantage of this curriculum was the pass rate and the demand of the curriculum. In as much as forty percent (40%) was the pass mark for two languages and thirty percent (30%) for the other four subjects, students struggled to pass all the six subjects. The course was characterised by serious dropouts and low pass rate. Analysis of results across the years showed that the requirements of the syllabus were too heavy for students to meet. Amended CAPS also had a challenge of only accepting students who were twenty one (21) years and above, shutting out many learners who were below the age.

What is the new matric promising

NASCA is promising to offer a solution to students a more flexible curriculum which students can complete within a year. The curriculum allows students to learn from home (distance learning), or attend class of their choice and only come for exams. It is designed with the adult learner in mind allowing one to meet both work commitments and the demands of the syllabus. The maximum subjects one needs to pass is four (4).

NASCA Qualification requirements

One of the good thing when it comes to NASCA is its qualification requirements which they revised to avoid the red tape that other previous curriculums had.

There are no specific requirements that need to be submitted when applying for NASCA.

Students can enroll for the course without having to worry with grade 9 or 10 reports and all other frustrating information.

Just like any other studies, students need to choose subjects of which they have background knowledge. In as much as there are no specific requirements, students need to choose wisely the subjects they want to study. For example, a student who did not study pure mathematics will find it difficult to pass pure mathematics under NASCA as it requires background knowledge of the subject.

The following can also help a student in choosing the relevant subjects of study under NASCA

  • A grade 9 or 10 report that indicates the subjects the student studied-please note that this is NOT compulsory.
  • A general Education and Training Certificate for Adults (GETC)
  • Any other SAQA registered NQF level 2 or level 3 qualification with mathematics and a language will offer an added advantage.

A National Senior Certificate for Adults will be issued to someone who has met the following conditions:

  • Passed four (4) subjects of which two are mathematics or mathematical quantitative literacy
  • The pass mark for all the subjects is 50%
  • The other two subjects must be from the relevant choice of subjects under NASCA subjects. A second official language can be chosen from these subjects. The subject matrix is shown below.
  • The subjects can be written all at one exam sitting or different sittings depending on the student. The exams are offered once per year during mid-year (June).
  • Upon completion of the four subjects, the student can apply to Umalusi for the subjects to be combined should they have different statements and then issued with a National Senior Certificate for Adults.
  • Please note that you need to be turning 18 years and above to qualify to register for NASCA
  • For foreign nationals, a valid study or work permit will be required upon registration.

Subject matrix for NASCA

OF 3 Business,
Commerce and
Management Studies
OF 4 Communication
Studies and Language
OF 7 Human and
Social Sciences
OF 10 Physical,
Computer and
Life Sciences
Economic and
Management Sciences
Human and
Social Studies
Quantitative Literacy,
Natural Sciences,
Information and
Subject matrix for NASCA

*a student must pass 50% in four subjects

*two subjects are compulsory. One subjects from organising field 4 (languages) and one subject from organising field 10 which can be either mathematics or quantitative literacy.

*two remaining subjects can be from any field. The following however is not allowed. You cannot study two related languages for example choosing IsiZulu and SiSwati and you cannot choose both mathematics and quantitative literacy.

*you need to do subjects related to your career path and its requirements

*you are allowed to do more than the minimum requirement of four subjects depending on your career path and university requirements.

International opportunities that NASCA brings to you as a student

The certificate is comparable to international curriculums mainly GED Tests offered by American Council of Education (ACE) and Mature Student High School Diploma offered by Manitoba Education, a provincial education department in Canada. This means that it is also recognised by international bodies and can provide access to higher training institutes.

Study options for NASCA

There are a number of ways in which you can prepare yourself for the final exam. Students can enrol at a public adult centre (Abet centre nearest to them) or through a private FET college nearest to them and accredited by Umalusi. The method of study includes the following:

  • Attending full-time or part-time classes
  • Home study or distance learning (correspondence learning)
  • Self-study

Registering for NASCA

Registration for NASCA will be announced soon and we will be opening our registration soon so that students can begin registrations. Check the following page for latest information relating to registrations, fees and many more. Click Here

More resources to help you complete your matric

Download N1-N6 Previous Papers with Answers

N1-N6 previous Papers with answers

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Register for N1-N6 Engineering Courses 2021

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N1-N3 Engineering Courses