The matric class of 2017 finally have their individual results and the statistics of their performances are now available for us to look at and analyse.

Two important metrics are the subjects of mathematics and physical sciences as they are crucial in the STEM fields and have been historically weak areas.

With the National Senior Certificate School Subject Report now available, we can compare the pass rates of these two subjects all the way back to 2012, when the first such report was released.


  • 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%


  • Maths – 51.9%
  • Science – 65.1%

Both subjects have seen a marginal increase compared to last year with mathematics picking up just 0.8% and physical sciences making up a bit more with a 3.1% increase.

Something to keep in mind when looking at these numbers is the amount of students who sat for the exams, as this has an effect on the overall percentage achieved. Unfortunately both subjects saw a decrease from last year: mathematics by 20 707 and physical sciences by 13 057.

If you’re interested in the matric performance of other subjects, the Department offers a neat table of the eleven most popular subjects in the country with statistics stretching back to 2013. For anything earlier than that, see their list of annual reports.