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A new admission process for prospective students to Nelson Mandela University was introduced in 2019. Our University no longer works with the Admission Point Score (APS) method.

The new method, includes a number of changes. It is called the Applicant Score (AS) and it is important that you take note of the information below when you apply to study at Mandela University.

How to apply?

  • Complete an application form online – applications open in April;
  • Ensure that you meet the minimum Applicant Score (AS) and subject requirements before submitting your completed application form;
  • Ensure ALL your supporting documentation has been submitted;

How to calculate your Applicant Score (AS)

  • Your Applicant Score (AS) is calculated using six NSC 20-credit subjects. Please note that Life Orientation (LO) is excluded as it is only a 10-credit NSC subject.
  • Write down your Grade 12 subjects and your most recent exam results obtained in each subject (NO Gr 12 March results). 
  • You MUST include the results for the following three subjects: 1) Home language; 2) 1st Add. Language; and 3) Maths; or Maths Lit; or Technical Maths. Your Applicant Score must also include any subjects required by the qualification for admission.
  • For applicants with seven Grade 12 NSC subjects, their AS is calculated by adding the percentages for six 20-credit subjects. This gives a score out of 600.
  • For those applicants taking eight or more subjects their AS is calculated as follows: add the percentages obtained for your three main subjects (two languages and Maths, or Maths Literacy, or Technical Maths), plus the percentage(s) for any subject(s) required by the programme, together with the percentage(s) for the next best / highest subject(s), to a maximum of six subjects.
  • In addition, for those applicants from quintile 1, 2 or 3 school* who attain 50% or higher for Life Orientation, 7 points may be added to their score out of 600 to arrive at their final AS.

All South African public ordinary schools are categorised into five groups, called  quintiles. Quintile 1 to 3 are non-fee paying schools, while Quintile 4 & 5 are fee paying schools.

Calculate your Applicant Score (AS)

Use the table below to help you calculate your Applicant Score (AS). 

  School subjects

Your exam results in %















NB! For applicants from a quintile 1, 2 or 3 school who attain 50% or higher for Life Orientation (LO), 7 points are added to their overall AS out of 600 to arrive at their final score. You can use your Gr 11 final, Gr 12 June, Gr 12 September or your Gr 12 final results to calculate your applicant score (AS).

Requirements for our courses using the Applicant Score (AS)

All the courses we offer are listed in our handy course guide (Z-Card) under their study fields from A to Z. You can also find additional information in our Undergraduate Guide for prospective students. 

Equivalency Conversion Table to enable Percentages to be obtained from which an Applicant Score (AS) can be calculated

International/Foreign/NCV level 4 & senior certificate equivalency conversion table

  • South African and International applicants with International, NC(V) level 4 or Foreign School-Leaving certificates, should use the table below to calculate an equivalent Applicant Score (AS) for admission, based on percentages obtained in such certificates.
  • Applicants with international or foreign qualifications must also satisfy the requirements laid down by the Matriculation Board to qualify for a certificate of exemption for a particular international or foreign school-leaving qualification. Applications for such certificates must be made to the Matriculation board directly:
  • Applicants will have to comply with the minimum Applicant Score (AS) set for the UG qualification they wish to apply for, as well as meet any other additional subject requirements directly.
  • To calculate your Applicant Score (AS) use the symbols/achievement rating/percentages obtained in your school-leaving examinations to convert them to an equivalent achievement standard on the National Senior Certificate (NSC).
  • Your AS is calculated using six subjects, which must include the language(s) and subjects required for admission but excluding LO.


*     It is recommended that the the midpoint of the NSC percentage range be used when calculating the AS, as the results of the above qualifications (excluding the NCV Fundamentals) are reported as either a symbol or numeric value.  The range of Subject % exceeds the 100% mark to allow for inclusion of the A Level and IB HL as both qualifications are considered to be at a higher level than the NSC.

**    As the Fundamental subjects are considered to be at the same level as the NSC, use the actual percentage obtained by the applicant for Language and Mathematics / Mathematical Literacy.  For the four Vocational Subjects use the values in the relevant column of the table above.

***  A symbol 4 obtained for a NSSC Higher Level / HIGCSE subject is regarded as a pass mark in the equivalent Ordinary or IGCSE level subject except for a First Language subject which becomes a 2nd language pass if another language is also passed (From:


NSC National Senior Certificate O-Level Ordinary Level
Senior Cert HG Senior Certificate Higher Grade AS Advanced Subsidiary
Senior Cert SG Senior Certificate Standard Grade A-Level Advanced level
HIGCSE Higher International Graduate Certificate of Secondary Education IB HL International Baccalaureate Schools (Higher Levels)
IGCSE International Graduate Certificate of Secondary Education IB SL International Baccalaureate Schools (Standard Levels)
NSSC HL Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate Higher Levels KCSE Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education
NSSC OL Namibian Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary Levels NC(V)4 National Certificate Vocational Level 4


Files you can download:

Undergraduate Guide

Course Catalogue (Z-Card)