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No, grade 12 students in South Africa won’t have 5% added to marks

A message posted on Facebook in January 2021 claims that grade 12 students in South Africa will have an extra 5% added to their final marks. 

“If you got a 35% in your English, you get 5% boosting you to 40% … and that'll be done in all your seven subjects,” it reads. This is according to “a very reliable source”.

The post has been viewed more than 50,000 times so far. 

Students in their final year of high school who wrote the national school-leaving exams in November and December 2020 are still waiting for their results. This delay is due to disruptions to the 2020 academic year because of the Covid-19 pandemic . 

But are extra marks being added to these results? 


matrics incorrect


Extra 5% for grades 4 to 9 only

In November 2020, the South African department of basic education did say it would give learners up to 5% extra if this would help them pass the 2020 academic year. But this was only for students in grades 4 to 9, and the extra 5% could only be added to the marks of three subjects. 

The decision received mixed reactions from education experts. 

But there is no evidence that an extra 5% will be awarded across all subjects to grade 12 students. If the claim were true, it would have been covered widely in the media. It hasn’t been.

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