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Test day: What to expect

What are the tests like?

  • The NBTs are multiple choice tests.
  • 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. 
  • The AQL test consists of seven sections. Each section is timed; some sections allow 25 minutes and some allow 30 minutes of writing time. The total writing time for the AQL is three hours and five minutes.
  • No one is allowed to leave once the AQL test begins. The MAT test is also timed, with three hours of writing time allowed.
  • No learner is allowed to come mid-day to write just the MAT test. If you are writing the MAT test, you must write it the same day as you write the AQL test.

What will happen on test day?

Get a good nights’ sleep and be sure to have your travel plans firm. You must check in at 7:30.

  • Check-in at all sites in South Africa begins at 07:30. Door closes at 8:30, after which no one is allowed inside the test rooms. The AQL test is written in the morning and the MAT test is written in the afternoon.
  • At check-in, you will be given an answer sheet with your name and ID number printed on the back. 
  • Once you are seated inside the test room, carefully check the printed name.  
  • You will be given instructions by the Chief Invigilator how to make corrections.
  • You must show your official ID to an invigilator before the test begins. 
  • Place your ID beside the answer sheet, along with your pencils and eraser.  Everything else must be placed on the floor.

Now you can close your eyes, relax and prepare your mind while you wait for the session to begin. Note that bathroom breaks are not allowed. Plan ahead, and remember that the writing session is 3 hours.   

Test Day Check List

You will need 

You may not use the following
  • Paid test fees
  • 7:30 AM check-in
  • South African ID booklet or passport
  • Sharpened pencils (2) and eraser
  • Lunch and water
  • calculator
  • ruler
  • dictionary
  • scrap paper
  • notebooks
  • smart phones, ipads, Tabs