What is the Difference Between the IEB and NSC

Want to know what’s the better option between the IEB and NSC? This solely depends on your personal needs and what you as a student are capable of.

Not sure which programme to enrol for between the IEB and the NSC? Well there are a few things you need to know before deciding which one is best for you or your child. The biggest difference between the IEB and NSC is that the IEB focuses on preparing students for life abroad. Most people wonder which qualification between the IEB and NSC is better. This solely depends on your personal needs and what you as a student are capable of. 

Student sitting with her laptop. You can find out all you need to know about matric qualifications and the difference between the IEB and NSC

 

What is the IEB?

IEB stands for the Independent Examinations Board. This is a private assessment board that offers examination services to private or client schools. They are accredited by Umalasi to offer school and adult assessments. They’re also accredited by the QCTO (Quality Council For Trades & Occupations) for the Foundational Learning Competence and the ETDP SETA for training courses in assessment practices. 

The IEB claims to better prepare students for further studies. Apart from the curriculum, the IEB also aims to give students critical thinking and problem solving skills. At the end of your school career, you will receive a matric certificate issued by Umalasi

What are the Benefits of IEB?

So what exactly makes the IEB different from other matric qualifications? Here’s what students can expect from the IEB. 

  • Learners are taught to apply the knowledge they pick up, and not just repeat it parrot learning style. 
  • IEB prepares learners for the bulk of work they will receive in university or college.
  • This curriculum encourages learners to think critically and solve problems in a creative manner.

Is the IEB the same as A Levels?

There are several reasons people seek alternatives than the traditional South African matric qualification. Parents often seek this option to prepare their children for the rest of the world, and not just life here in South Africa. But is the IEB the same as A Levels? The IEB programme is equivalent to the UK AS Levels. Their English and Mathematics programmes are equivalent to the UK A Levels. Many of their past students have been accepted and studied at prestigious universities around the world. 

Student in a dark room studying. Here you can learn more about the differences between IEB and NSC

What is the NSC?

The NSC or National Senior Certificate is the traditional high school certificate school-leavers receive once they finish grade 12. This qualification is commonly known as the matric certificate, but the formal name for it is NSC. 

To receive this certificate, students need to study at least seven subjects including:

  • Two South African languages
  • Mathematics or Maths Literacy
  • Life Orientation
  • Three elective subjects

What is NSC Level?

All subjects in the NSC are taken on the same level. There are no higher grade or standard grade options for the NSC. To pass a subject, the student must achieve a minimum score of 40%. 

The minimum matric pass requirements are:

  • A 40% in your Home Language
  • Achieve a 40% in two other subjects
  • Need 30% for four other subjects
  • Must pass at least 6 out of 7 subjects

Importance of NSC

The unemployment rate in South Africa is rising at a concerning rate. And while having a matric certificate may be important, it simply isn’t enough on its own. Depending on your skills and interests, you will need an something extra to achieve your career goals. Or stand out from the candidate pool. Yes, having a matric is important but not if your marks are preventing you from applying for certain jobs, colleges or universities, receiving bursaries, etc. However, there are many options available if you didn’t receive the results you wanted. 

IEB and NSC – But What are my Other Options?

The IEB and NSC aren’t your only options when it comes to securing your future. There are many alternative options available, and you can choose the best one that suits your needs. 

Get Your GED – The GED is an alternative to the American A Level tests. This qualification is recognised worldwide. Students with this qualification can easily apply to study at most American universities or colleges. 

Study Without Matric – Don’t like the idea of traditional classroom environments? Well you can study further without matric. There are accredited programmes you can enrol for without matric. You can get a professional ICB qualification, or study to become an accountant with CIMA

Get Vocational Training – Get workplace knowledge and gain practical experience while you’re at it. The National Vocational Certificate NC(V) is another great alternative to the matric. This qualification allows you to further your education and get a certificate, diploma or a degree. The NCV only takes one year to complete. 

How do you know what the best decision would be for your future? Well, you have to look at the bigger picture. You need to determine which industry you would like to work in and what you want to do post matric. 

There are also other things to consider, like the availability of these options in the area you live. If they’re not available in the area you live, you can consider studying via distance learning and get your qualification from home with us. 

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Last Updated: September 3, 2021

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cherri-Lee Rhode
Cherri-Lee Rhode
Cherri-Lee is the Head Writer and Content Team Leader at Skills Academy. She enjoys writing but loves the mentoring and training aspects of her job just as much. Her philosophy and answer for everything is 'skills are taught'. You can view her LinkedIn here

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