School pass marks in South Africa vs the rest of the world


The Department of Basic Education recently requested public comment on several new proposals for changes to pass marks at public schools in South Africa.

Among the changes – which comprise mostly of clarifications of the terms within legislation – there are also proposals to change what constitutes a pass for a learner, and alterations for promotion requirements from grades 7 to 9.

As it stands in South Africa, anything under 30% is considered a fail – but pass conditions are a little bit more complicated than maintaining a 30% average at bare minimum. Specifically, learners have to get:

  • 50% or more in one language at Home Language level;
  • 40% or more in the second required official language at First Additional Language level;
  • 40% or more in Mathematics;
  • 40% or more in any…

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