#CommitToFinish: the matric Class of 2020 in numbers | Western Cape Government


#CommitToFinish: the matric Class of 2020 in numbers

1 November 2020

Nearly 100 000 candidates will write their NSC exams in the Western Cape this month – a much larger group than would ordinarily write during the November session. 95 427 will write this month, compared to 64 465 for the same session last year.

The reason for this increase is that the May/June 2020 exam session could not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and was instead combined with the November session. Of candidates writing this month, 54 741 are full-time matric learners. 10 544 part-time/repeat candidates, and 19 286 May/June Senior Certificate candidates will write in this session, as well as 10 856 learners who were due to write supplementary exams this year following the 2019 NSC exams.

The subject with the largest number of candidates writing is Mathematical Literacy, which will be written on the 12th (Paper 1) and 16th (Paper 2) of November by 56 754 candidates.

Eight subjects have just one candidate: Equine Studies, Latin Second Additional Language, Modern Greek Second Additional Language, IsiNdebele Home Language, Setswana First Additional Language, Sport and Exercise Science, UNISA Practical Music Grade 7, and Urdu First Additional Language.

Administering the NSC exams is difficult enough in an ordinary year, without the added complications of a combined session amidst a global pandemic. The following figures give a sense of the sheer scale of the task:



95 427

Exam papers to be written


Exam centres


Invigilators appointed

2 540 community members

Number of exam scripts to be marked

1 000 000

Marking centres

10 schools plus the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute


2 964

Mark checkers

889 students


The main marking period is 5 – 21 January 2021, and the national minister is expected to announce the results on 22 February 2021.

The WCED Examinations Directorate has done a sterling job in preparing for this session. I thank all of our WCED officials and school staff members for their extensive preparations so far, and wish them the very best in the running of the exams ahead.

Media Enquiries: 

Kerry Mauchline
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Ministry of Education