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National Benchmark Tests

The National Benchmark Tests (NBT) measure an applicant's academic readiness for University.

They are one of two national assessments in South Africa, the other being the National school leaving examination, the National Senior Certificate (NSC), which is a statutory requirement for entry into higher education.

The NBT Project is criterion-referenced, meaning the results can be used to predict the performance of the test-taker in that subject. The NBT tests students in three domains: Academic Literacy (AL), Quantitative Literacy (QL) and Mathematics (MAT).

The purpose of the NBTs is to identify academic potential in any learners who have not had access to adequate schooling and to ensure appropriate learning support when they get to university. The strength of the tests lies in the fact that they contribute to and improve success at higher education institutions.

UCT is not the only university to use these tests to assist with access and placement of candidates. The NBT Project is a national initiative run by Higher Education South Africa (HESA, recently renamed Universities South Africa). Eight other South African universities use the NBTs in addition to the National Senior Certificate (NSC) for access to higher education, while 10 institutions use the tests to determine the kind of learning support a student will need during their studies.

Visit the NBT web site.