How have matrics performed in maths and science over the past 5 years?

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Maths and science are two of the most critical subjects in South African schools and an area that government has and continues to focus on in order to produce the necessary skills needed for the modern and future skills market and economy.

Unfortunately, the two are also the areas where many South African schools and pupils have struggled to produce satisfactory results and build a culture of interest in them.

They’ve also been a concern for the private and public sector as schools don’t churn out enough quality results to afford youths the opportunity to pursue careers in the fields.

Matric maths and science are quite crucial, as they determine whether or not the school system has succeeded in teaching pupils these subjects and whether pupils can gain entry into maths and science-related subjects in university.

Matric performance since 2012

The overall maths and science pass rate has fluctuated over the past half decade. The tricky part is, even if the pass rate increases, it is informed by the number of pupils who write the exams. So if for example 10 people wrote maths and science in 2016 and eight passed, the pass rate would be 80%. But if five wrote in 2017 and all five passed, the pass rate would be 100%. So it’s still hard to tell exactly how well South African pupils are performing.


Maths – 54%

Science – 61.3%


Maths – 59.1%

Science – 67.4%


Maths – 53.5%

Science – 61.5%


Maths – 49.1%

Science – 58.6%


Maths – 51.1%

Science – 62.0%

The Matric class of 2016 obtained 8 070 distinctions maths, up from 7 791 in 2015 and 7 043 distinctions science, up from 5 903 in 2015.

Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga has emphasised the need to boost these results each year and will no doubt is hoping for an improvement for the class of 2017.

The matric results will be released on 4th January 2018.