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How does the class of 2022 stack up? We compare the matric results to previous years

How does the class of 2022 stack up? We compare the matric results to previous years
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga releases NSC results for the Class of 2022 in Gauteng on 19 January 2023. (Photo: Siyabulela Duda / GCIS)

The Class of 2022 has clinched an 80.1% pass rate, improving by 3.7% from 2021. We unpack the 2022 National Senior Certificate results here in graphic form.

‘It is important to remind the nation that for the past 10 years, the NSC pass rate has consistently been going up,” said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga at the announcement of the 2022 matric exam results on Thursday in Fairlands, Johannesburg.

“The Class of 2022 must be commended for maintaining this trend despite the astronomical challenges they faced – challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic, Eskom’s load shedding and the sporadic service delivery protests.” 

The matric pass rate has improved by 3.7 percentage points, increasing from 76.4% in 2021 to 80.1% in 2022. 

“This represents a record of 580,555 candidates who passed the 2022 NSC examinations – an improvement of 7.9% passes by number, achieved by the Class of 2021,” said Motshekga. 


Notwithstanding the educational challenges and rolling blackout disruptions, Free State held on to its number one place with a pass rate of 88.5% – an increase of 2.8% from last year. 

Gauteng was second, with a pass rate of 84.4%. 

KwaZulu-Natal took third place, and was also the best-improved province, achieving 83% – an increase of 6.2% from 2021.

KZN was followed by the Western Cape with an 81.4% pass rate, North West with 79.8% and the Eastern Cape with 77.3%. 

Limpopo received the lowest pass rate at 72.1%.



Motshekga said 278,814 matric learners received bachelor passes – an improvement of 8.9% from the Class of 2021. 

This represents 38.4% of the total number of candidates who wrote the 2022 NSC examinations.


“Overall, there were 326,894 girls (an improvement of 10% from 2021), and 253,661 boys (an improvement of 5.4% from 2021), who passed the 2022 NSC examinations,” said Motshekga. 

When translated into percentages, 80.2% of girls and 79.8% of boys who sat the 2022 exams, passed. 

With 161,235 girls achieving bachelor passes, this marked an improvement of 10.3% from 2021, while 117,579 boys obtained bachelor passes, an improvement of 7% from the previous cohort.  


The 2022 NSC passes for non-fee paying schools stands at 387,401 – an increase of 9.2% from 2021. 

The bachelor passes achieved by learners in non-fee paying schools stands at 169,903 – an increase of 13.4% from 2021.

The percentage of bachelor passes produced by non-fee paying schools has also increased, from 62% in 2021 to 64% in 2022. 



The Class of 2022 managed to achieve 218,730 distinctions – an increase of 3.3% from 2021, said Motshekga. 

The provinces with the most distinctions were KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumlanga. 

“Combined, the contribution of [these] six provinces towards passes with distinction is 200,335 distinctions – which is equivalent to 91.6%,” said the minister.





Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Johan says:

    “Overall, there were 326,894 girls (an improvement of 10% from 2021), and 253,661 boys (an improvement of 5.4% from 2021), who passed the 2022 NSC examinations”

    Why are there an 8% higher pass rate for girls than boys? If this trend continues, what will the future effect be on society?

  • Leslie Stelfox says:

    How many matriculants got a 30% pass?

  • It would be interesting to see the breakdown of subjects passed. For example how many students got bachelor passes in Maths and Science as opposed easier subjects like Tourism and Life Skills.

  • Nanette JOLLY says:

    What is the pass mark?

  • Hermann Funk says:

    This useless minister is singing her own praises every January. She totally ignores the numbers that have fallen by the wayside long before matric, the schools were teaching still takes place under trees and those where the children have to go to “toilets” not supposed to be used by humans.

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