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Attention: NBT writers

As you are aware, there have been student protests at a number of universities across South Africa. Many of these universities have taken the decision to keep their campuses open and have provided additional security. Where we have national session venues at these campuses, we have been in continual contact and are monitoring the situation. All testing is currently going ahead as scheduled.

Should the need arise to reschedule a session or change the venue, NBT writers will be informed via SMS or email.

The National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) were commissioned by
Universities South Africa (formerly: Higher Education South Africa: HESA) with the task of assessing academic readiness of first year university students as a supplement to secondary school reports on learning achieved in content specific courses. 

The NBTs assess the ability to combine aspects of prior learning in competency areas - Academic Literacy (AL), Quantitative Literacy (QL) and Mathematics (MAT) - that directly impact on success of first year university students. AL and QL are combined in the AQL test and written in a three hour morning session; the MAT is written in a three hour afternoon session. Both are administered under standardized testing conditions at sites across South Africa on designated ‘national’ test dates.

The NBTP reports results on a scale of 10-99 and by Benchmarks to better inform learners and universities about the level of academic support that may be required for successful completion of programmes. Results are also used by universities in course development, programme planning and placement decisions.

NBT Brochure 2016:

Download a brochure that includes basic information you need to register for and write the NBTs in 2016.

NBT brochure in other languages: