National Benchmark Test (NBT)

By | May 11, 2022

National Benchmark Test (NBT)

National Benchmark Test (NBT)

National Benchmark Test (NBT)

If you’re thinking about going to a South African institution and looking at their entrance standards, you’ve probably come across the National Benchmark Test (NBT). Everything you need to know about NBTs and why you need to write them is right here.

The National Benchmark Tests are a series of exams that assess your academic preparation for college. Rather than replacing or duplicating your National Senior Certificate scores, they complement and reinforce them.

What is the purpose of the NBT, and who utilizes it?

The NBTs are used by a number of universities in South Africa to assist in the interpretation of your National Senior Certificate results.

Universities use the NBT results in different ways

  • Some Universities use them to help make decisions about your access to university. This means that your NBT results, in combination with your NSC results, are used to determine whether you are ready for academic study.
  • They use them for placement within the university. This means that the results are used to decide whether you will need extra academic support after you have been admitted to university.
  • To help develop curricula within their university.

What do I need to know about writing the NBT?

We’re sure there’s a lot more you’d like to know about the NBTs, but here are some of the most important elements to remember.

  • There are two tests – the Academic and Quantitative Literacy (AQL) test and the Mathematics (MAT) test. And that’s all you need to know
  • The university faculty to which you are applying will determine which test you have to write, so check with them. Generally, the MAT test is reserved for those who wish to apply to courses that require Mathematics, such as Engineering and the Sciences
  • There are no past papers or special study materials to prepare for the tests. The NBT assesses your prior knowledge – what you know and what you are able to do. Go to the NBT website to find out what is covered in the tests.
  • The duration of the tests is three hours each 
  • Even if you’re applying to more than one university, you need only write the tests once. The tests consist of multiple choice questions.
  • You should write the test in time to meet the university admission deadlines. If you are applying to more than one university, make sure you write in time to meet the earliest deadline

 How do I register?

  • You must register online to write the tests and pay upfront. Go to the NBT website to register.
  • The costs of the tests for the 2021 admission cycle are:
    • R100 for AQL only
    • R200 for AQL and MAT
  • Even if you’re applying to more than one university, you need only write the tests once.

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