Career Info

“Mathematics is a language – it is a human activity. It helps to develop mental processes that enhance logical and critical thinking”


Admission Point Score (APS)
Guidelines for admission to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) undergraduate programmes

  • Prospective students must meet the statutory minimum requirements based on the National Senior Certificate (NSC) or equivalent school-leaving certificate for admission to a higher certificate or national diploma programme. Four of their seven subjects must come from the designated list for admission to a degree programme.
  • Provisional admission is based on levels/symbols obtained in your grade 11 final or grade 12 June / September examinations. However, the final decision for studying at NMMU is based on your final grade 12 exam results.
  • Admission to an undergraduate programme will be further determined by an applicant’s Admission Point Score (APS).

Admission Requirements

National Senior Certificate (NSC)

  • The table below explains what you need to achieve to meet the minimum entry requirements for each type of qualification.
  • It is important to note that the table refers to minimum statutory entry requirements.
  • The university may add additional requirements for specific programmes.
Qualification Minimum entry requirement
Higher Certificate Pass NSC, with a minimum of 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the higher education institution, together with any other university requirements.
Diploma Pass NSC with a minimum of 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the higher education institution, coupled with an achievement rating of 3 (40–49%) or better in four recognised NSC 20-credit subjects, together with any other university requirements.
Bachelor’s degree Pass NSC with a minimum of 30% in the language of learning and teaching of the higher education institution, coupled with an achievement rating of 4 (50–59%) or better in four NSC 20-credit subjects from the designated list, together with any other university requirements.

Please note that the achievement of the minimum NSC admission requirements does not necessarily guarantee admission to any programme or field of study at NMMU. 

NSC language requirements
While NMMU is committed to multilingualism, the predominant language of learning and teaching is English. The statutory language requirements can be met by obtaining a rating of 3 (40-49%) or better in English, Afrikaans or isiXhosa as a home or first additional language.

Designated school subjects

  • If you are intending to enrol for a degree programme at NMMU you need to ensure that four of your seven subjects are from the designated list and that you obtain at least a level 4 (50-59%) in each of them.
Accounting Languages
Agricultural Sciences Life Sciences
Business Studies Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
Dramatic Arts Music
Economics Physical Sciences
Engineering Graphics and Design Religion Studies
Geography Visual Arts
History Consumer Studies
Information Technology  

How to calculate your Admission Point Score (APS)

  • The APS system allocates point values to seven NSC subjects.
  • Allocate points according to the table below.
  • Add up the number of points you have scored for all seven subjects. If you have eight or more subjects, use Life Orientation + your six best other subjects to calculate your APS.
  • Compare your APS against the minimum APS required for the qualification you wish to apply for.
  • Include Life Orientation (LO) when you calculate your APS, unless otherwise indicated.

Admission Point Score (APS)

    8 90 – 100 %
7 80 – 100 % 7 80 – 89 %
6 70 – 79 % 6 70 – 79 %
5 60 – 69 % 5 60 – 69 %
4 50 – 59 % 4 50 – 59 %
3 40 – 49 % 3 40 – 49 %
2 30 – 39 % 2 30 – 39 %
1 0 – 29 % 0 0 – 29 %

To enrol for the BCom (Accounting for Chartered Accountants) you need an Admission Point Score (APS) of at least 38, as well as four subjects from the designated list and a pass in Mathematics on at least level 5 (60-69%).

NSC Subject NSC % Level APS Points Allocated
English 70 % 6 6
Afrikaans 80 % 7 7
Mathematics 69 % 5 5
Accounting 65 % 5 5
Life Orientation 60 % 5 5
Physical Science 74 % 6 6
Life Sciences 81 % 7 7
Admission Point Score 41

This applicant has met the minimum admission requirements for the BCom (Accounting for Chartered Accountants).

Additional requirements
Over and above the minimum APS requirement, additional subject requirements have been set. These include:

  1. Mathematics: This is required for certain programmes. Only performance in the core Mathematics topics (papers 1 and 2) will be used when making admission decisions. However, school learners are encouraged to also take the optional Mathematics topics.
  2. Mathematical Literacy: In view of the importance of quantitative literacy for success at higher education studies, a minimum of a 3 (40-49%) for Mathematical Literacy is preferred for likely success at Higher Certificate and National Diploma programmes and a 4 (50-59%) for likely admission to degree programmes where Mathematics is not a requirement, unless otherwise indicated.

The above information has been provided by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU)

Study Tips

Preparing to study
Prior to commencement of your studies, you need to find a suitable learning environment. Your learning environment should :

  • Be available whenever you need to study;
  • Be without interruptions from people or devices such as telephones etc;
  • It should be a quiet place with little or no background noise.
  • Have all your study material and supplies (pens and paper etc.) at hand in your place of study;
  • Have enough space to keep all your study material in a neat manner;
  • You should have a comfortable chair, suitable desk or table and enough light.or table and enough light.

Managing your Time
It is very important that you plan your study time in advance. Therfore you need to draw up a schedule on your calendar, indicating when assignments are due. You then need to divide the work that you need to complete into the time available, leaving yourself enough time to complete the assignments before the due date on submissions.

It is useful to prepare a daily studying plan the night before, just as you have finished studying. As you will know exactly how far you are and whether you need to study extra the following day if you have fallen behind schedule. There may also be unforeseen circumstances that may consume some of your studying time and it is therefore useful to adjust your planning daily. This, however, is not an excuse to not keep to your original schedule.

One should never procrastinate, as not only do you not get to do the work you are supposed to, but this also leads to anxiety and poor performance.

Setting Goals
Set clear goals when drawing up your studying schedule. i.e. exactly how far you want to be on which date. Set yourself small, short term goals and larger long term goals. It is important to stipulate WHAT you need to do and WHEN it needs to be done.

You need to specify what section of the work you want to do at a certain time.