Have you ever wondered what your APS score is and how to actually calculate it? In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about APS scores. It’s fair to say that the entire APS system tends to look more complicated than it actually is.
What is APS
In case you didn’t know, APS stands for Admission Point Score. This is basically what universities and other tertiary institutes look at before accepting students.
Plenty of times teachers and parents emphasize the importance of matric. The reason is that matric marks make a massive impact on the university one gets into. To simply explain it, an APS score is calculated from an individual’s matric marks. Therefore, the better the marks, the better the APS score.
Students will have to meet a certain APS requirement, depending on the course they’d like to study. It should be noted that each university has a different way of determining this score. Furthermore, each institute is different and has different pre-requisites.
If a student does not have their matric finals marks, they can apply with their grade 11 marks.
Why APS score is so important
A student’s APS score is very important as it helps for a number of reasons.
It helps determine whether they will be considered for university admission.
Furthermore, it’s an initial screening method that almost all universities look at.
The better a student’s APS score, the greater their chances of getting into university.
It gives them some direction as to what their options are after school.
How to calculate APS Score
Calculating your APS score is rather easy. All you need to do is take your top six high-school subjects. Next, take a look at the points system below to help work out your score.
80% – 100% = 7 points
70% – 79% = 6 points
60% – 69% = 5 points
50% – 59% = 4 points
40% – 49% = 3 points
30% – 39% = 2 points
0% – 29% = 1 point
The percentage you received for each of the subjects will determine your points.
For example, Matthew had the following marks for his six subjects:
This is what his points will look like:
Math= 4 points
English = 7 points
Afrikaans= 6 points
Geography= 7 points
Accounting= 4 points
Physics= 4 points
In total Matthew has a score of 32 APS, which isn’t too bad. The highest APS score that someone can get is 42. That would mean that they would have to have distinctions for all of their subjects.
Here are some of the minimum APS scores required for qualifications:
Bachelor’s Degree 21+ points
Diploma – 18 points
Higher Certificate – 15 points
Determining your APS will help give you a clearer understanding of what you can study. Furthermore, once you have your APS score you can determine what programs you qualify for. You can also view what your university or tertiary options will be.
Subjects that contribute to APS scores
Unfortunately, most universities do not count Life Orientation marks when calculating APS. However, they do look at every other subject’s marks.
The first three APS marks that are calculated come from the three compulsory subjects. That is math’s/ math’s literacy, home language, and a first additional language. The next three subjects come from the subjects students have chosen. This gives a total of six subjects that are then added to work out the APS score.
Most academic students opt to take on two additional subjects. These additional subjects contribute a great deal to their APS scores.
Does subject choice make a difference?
Subject choice makes a huge difference when deciding what you’d like to study. Students who know what they want to study can use this to their advantage. However, if you do not know what you’d like to do, it’s important to keep your options open.
Choosing “essential subjects” is always a good idea and most definitely will benefit students. The main reason for this is that they will have a lot more career options. When students take less familiar subjects, they are limited to certain career paths.
Students also often ask about math and math literacy. Pure math is undoubtedly the better option. This is the perfect subject to take if you would like to follow a path in engineering etc. However, if for instance, you’re interested in a fashion career, then pure math isn’t a necessity.
Furthermore, math’s literacy is also adequate for the following courses:
Does a good APS score make a difference?
A good APS score can make some sort of a difference. However, as we’ve previously mentioned, it doesn’t guarantee acceptance. The bottom line is that APS scores need to be good enough for the course you’d like to study.
It’s a good idea to have a backup plan and to apply at different institutes. The reason being, if one university rejects your application another might accept it. Therefore, this allows you to keep your options open while keeping the possibility of studying available.
Important things to remember
While having a good APS score is important, it doesn’t guarantee admission into a university. Universities will look at other important criteria that need to be met by students. This includes subjects taken in school and, attaining a bachelor’s pass. It should be noted that Life Orientation is excluded from the APS calculation.
Universities will also have to evaluate the amount of space available for the course. Furthermore, some students might even have to write an entrance exam, depending on the course. A student’s chance of getting accepted improves once they have passed the National benchmarking test.
All of the above factors play a detrimental role in whether or not a student will get accepted. At the end of the day, your APS score can help you determine which career path to take.
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