Dear Grade 12 students, As you approach the end of your high school journey, understanding your Admission Point Score (APS) is crucial for your university applications. Here’s a simple guide on how to calculate your APS and tips to keep it high.

What is an Admission Point Score?

The APS is used by universities to determine eligibility for admission. It is calculated based on your Matric marks, with each subject’s percentage mark translating into a point score ranging from 1 to 7​​.

Calculating Your APS:

  • Know Your Marks: Understand the marks you have obtained in your Matric examinations. They range from 0 to 100%. It’s important to have accurate figures for each subject to ensure a correct APS calculation.
  • Convert to Points: Each mark is translated into a point score between 1 and 7. The conversion is based on set brackets:
    • 80-100%: 7 points
    • 70-79%: 6 points
    • 60-69%: 5 points
    • 50-59%: 4 points
    • 40-49%: 3 points
    • 30-39%: 2 points
    • 0-29%: 1 point This means a score of 45% in a subject like Mathematics would earn you 3 points.
  • Sum the Points: Add up the points for your six best subjects. Remember, Life Orientation is excluded from this calculation. This total is your APS. It’s important to choose your six highest-scoring subjects to maximize your APS.
  • Check for Accuracy: Once you’ve summed your points, double-check your calculations. Errors can affect your overall score leading to misunderstandings about your eligibility for certain university programs.
  • Use APS as a Guide: Your APS is a guiding tool for understanding which courses and universities you can apply to. It helps in setting realistic goals and expectations for your post-Matric education path.

Example: Consider Student X’s results:

  • Mathematics: 65% (5 points)
  • English Home Language: 68% (5 points)
  • Afrikaans First Additional Language: 59% (4 points)
  • Life Sciences: 81% (7 points)
  • Physical Sciences: 71% (6 points)
  • Business Studies: 68% (5 points) Student X ‘s total APS is 32, qualifying him for a Bachelor’s degree study​​.

Subjects Counting Towards APS:

In the journey to calculate your APS score, understanding which subjects contribute to this score is vital. Your APS is derived from three compulsory subjects and three elective subjects.

Compulsory Subjects:

  1. Home Language: This includes any one of South Africa’s official home languages, such as Afrikaans, English, IsiNdebele, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda, or Xitsonga.
  2. First Additional Language: Choose another official language different from your Home Language. It is crucial to perform well in this subject as it significantly impacts your APS.
  3. Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy: Whichever you choose will depend on your field of interest and university requirements. Mathematics is often required for science and commerce courses, while Mathematical Literacy is more suited for humanities.

Elective Subjects: You also need to select three elective subjects. These are typically chosen based on your interests, strengths, and the requirements of the field of study you wish to pursue in university. Electives can range from sciences like Physical Sciences or Life Sciences to commerce subjects like Accounting or Business Studies, and arts subjects like Visual Arts or Music. It’s important to choose electives that align with your future career aspirations and where you can excel to maximize your APS.

APS Thresholds for Different Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree pass: Minimum score 23
  • Diploma pass: Minimum score 19
  • Higher Certificate pass: Minimum score 15
  • NSC pass: Minimum score 14​​

Maximizing Your APS:

Maximizing your APS requires a strategic approach towards your studies. Here are some detailed steps you can follow:

  • Focus on Core Subjects: Achieving high marks in your compulsory subjects is crucial. Create a study schedule that allows ample time for each subject, and don’t neglect languages and mathematics, as they form the foundation of your score.
  • Choose Electives Wisely: Select electives not only based on interest but also on your strengths. Consider the university course you wish to pursue and choose electives that align with it.
  • Consistent Study Habits: Establish a regular study routine. Break down study sessions into manageable chunks and avoid cramming. Consistency in studying aids in better retention and understanding of the material.
  • Seek Help When Needed: Utilize your resources – teachers, study groups, online forums. If you’re struggling with a concept, asking for help can provide clarity and prevent misunderstandings.
  • Practice Past Papers: Regularly practicing past exam papers can greatly aid in understanding the format of the exams and the types of questions asked. This also helps in time management during exams.
  • Balance Your Workload: Avoid overburdening yourself with too many challenging subjects. Balance is key to maintaining a high score.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest examination guidelines and requirements. Understanding the assessment criteria can help you focus your efforts where they count most.
  • Health and Well-being: Don’t neglect your health. Proper nutrition, exercise, and sufficient rest are essential for optimal cognitive function.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable targets for each subject and work steadily towards them. Celebrate small victories to stay motivated.
  • Reflect and Adjust: Regularly assess your performance and make necessary adjustments to your study strategies.

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Remember: While a good APS is important, it doesn’t guarantee university admission. Universities also consider other criteria like specific subject requirements and available space in courses​​.

Your APS is a key factor in your university application process. Focus on maintaining high marks and understand the scoring system to enhance your chances of getting into the university and course of your choice.

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