Different Types Of Matric Exemption Certificates

The matriculation exemption is a legal requirement for the first-degree study at a South African university. Did you know that there are different types of matric exemption certificates. Read further to find out more.


Exemption certificates are issued to students who obtained a Senior Certificate without endorsement or an equivalent foreign school-leaving qualification and wishes to pursue first degree studies at a university in South Africa. There are different types of matric exemption certificates.

The type of matric exemption certificate depends on the qualifications of the applicant.

Complete exemption certificates are:

  • certificates that do not have expiry dates but take effect on a date that is dependent on the qualification based on which it is awarded.  A detailed explanation of the different types of exemption certificates can be found on this page of the website.

Conditional exemption certificates are:

  • Mature age which is offered to 23-year-old students and lasts for the full-time duration of study plus two years,
  • Foreign conditional which lasts for the full-time duration of study plus two years and
  • Ordinary conditional which lasts for a year, and have to be renewed every year until the student meets the requirements of the exemption.
  • Senate’s discretionary exemption, which is granted once the student, has completed a recognized Access course or a Foundation programme and it lasts for three years.

If you plan on pursuing an undergraduate degree at a South African university but you have not passed your Senior Certificate with endorsement then you will be required to apply for a matriculation exemption through the Matriculation Board.

Due to the exemption certificate types varying from one to another, the validation period varies and is indicated on the certificate.

The Matriculation Board takes approximately 5-10 working days to process the online/faxed inquiries and if you should qualify for exemption a provisional letter will be issued and will be sufficient in facilitating your admission to a South African public university granted the applicant has met the requirements at the university.

For more information on matric exemption, click here. 


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