What is the National Benchmark Test?

Before you start your journey into higher learning, you may need to write a National Benchmark Test. Get all the valuable information you need right here.

Do you want to study further after getting your matric? Chances are that you have to write a National Benchmark Test for acceptance into a university in South Africa. But what is it all about? Get the ins and outs of the test right here.

What is a National Benchmark Test?

The National Benchmark Test (NBT) is an assessment conducted by an institution to all first-year applicants. The institution will use it to support the applicant’s acceptance into the university. You will need to write the test before admission into the institution.

There are two National Benchmark Tests. These are the:

  • Academic and Qualitative Literacy Test (AQL)
  • Mathematics Test (MAT)

Which Test Should I Write?

All students are required to write the AQL test. If you are planning on studying a course that requires mathematics such as science, you will need to write the MAT test as well. If not, you will only be writing one test.

Purpose of the NBT

The NBT evaluates prospective students’ readiness for admission. Therefore you can’t fail or pass the exam. It checks if you are ready for higher learning. If you score low on the test, the faculty will offer you assistance in your studies. The NBT tests your:

  • Maths skills
  • Academic and quantitative skills
  • Ability to follow instructions 

Format of the Test

The NBT will be written at designated test venues in South Africa. Both the MAT and AQL tests are three hours long. They are multiple choice questions. The AQL test is written in the morning, and the MAT test is written in the afternoon. If you are writing both tests, they have to be written on the same day.

Student sitting at a desk smiling as he writes his National Benchmark Test.

Is the NBT Compulsory?

Yes and no. Some institutions may require you to write an NBT and submit it along with your application for admission. Other institutions may only require your matric certificate to apply. This does not make the test any less important. It is a great way for the institution to decide which support they need to offer you. 

Preparing for the NBT

There are no past test papers or specific subjects you need to write the NBT. It assesses your existing knowledge you have gained in high school. To give you an idea of how the questions are structured, there are exemplar questions available to you. 

To ensure that you are prepared to write the test, you’ll need:

  • 2 pencils
  • Eraser
  • ID or passport

You are not allowed to have a calculator, cell phone or any additional resources with you in the exam venue. If you are writing both tests, you are allowed to take your lunch with you.

Writing Your NBT Online

Since the NBT is accessible to all, you can apply to write the NBT online as well. There are strict guidelines you need to follow in order to write the test online. If you do not adhere to these online NBT rules, your test will not be valid.

Should I Write an NBT to Enrol at Skills Academy?

With us, you don’t need to write the NBT. You can join us at any time you want. Since we offer amazing courses via distance learning, we give you the support you need as you reach your goals!

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Last Updated: June 3, 2022

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Charnell Ward
Charnell Ward
Charnell is a top-class content creator at Skills Academy. She creates engaging content with the aim to provide useful information on distance learning and further study opportunities. Her passion for writing goes beyond her career, as she enjoys writing short stories and volunteering as a writer in her free time. View my LinkedIn profile