Application Dates

NBTs Open For Registration Today

The National Bench Mark Test you have been waiting to register for is now open. Here is some additional information on what NBTs are, how they work as well as how much they cost.


NBTs Open For Registration Today

Good news for all prospective students who have been waiting to write their National Benchmark Test for placement at their respective university of their choice. Registration for NBTs at the University of Cape Town are now open.

Students have been advised to view the FAQ sections by visiting for information and answers to commonly asked questions.


The National Benchmark Test (NBT) is intended to gauge a prospective first-year student’s level of academic preparedness to study at University. Here’s how it works.

The NBT consists of two tests, the first one is the Academic Literacy and Quantitative Literacy domains (AQL), which tests a student’s levels of academic literacy and quantitative literacy competence.

It is combined into one multiple-choice test with each section timed for a total of three hours of writing time. The AQL test is written by applicants of all programs.


The second test is Mathematics (MAT), which tests the student’s level of competence in mathematics. This test is written by those who have applied to study courses that require a pass in Mathematics. It is also a multiple-choice test that is timed to be written in three hours.

While the National Benchmark Test is an initiative of the Department of Higher Education, it is run by CHED’s Centre for Educational Testing for Access and Placement (CETAP).

UCT is among other leading South African universities that use this test to supplement the information from an applicant’s performance on the National Senior Certificate.

The NBT does not supply any previous tests for preparation as it is deemed to be confidential and is not made available to anyone.


In terms of how much it will cost to write your NBT, the amounts listed below are the current prices for NBTs:

  • AQL only: R125
  • AQL and MAT: R250

If you do wish to make changes to your online booking then you may do so until the closing date posted on the test schedule. So now that you’ve booked your NBT test date how do you pay?

Well all NBT fees must be paid through EasyPay. EasyPay Pay points are found across South Africa at food stores such as Pick N Pay, Shoprite, Checkers, and Spar, as well as many other merchant sites.

All you have to do is take your NBT registration letter with you to an EasyPay Paypoint near you to pay. You may also pay on the EasyPay website and then print out your receipt.

Note: You may not write only the MAT test, you have to write the MAT test in addition to the AQL test.

The NBT was established in 2006 to assist universities in interpreting applicants’ school-leaving results, determining the level of support first-year students may require, and addressing any adjustments to entry-level courses that may be required.

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