7 FAQs about the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs)

by Staff Reporter

The National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) are a set of tests that measure your academic readiness for university. The Nbts were set up by a foundation known as the National Benchmark Test Project, which was commissioned by the HESA in 2005. 

If you’re looking to write the NBTs this year, you may be wondering what the National Benchmark Tests are all about. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

In our article, we answer 7 FAQs about the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) to help you be test-ready by the time your booking date rolls around.

Ready to find out what the NBTs are all about? Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

national benchmark tests

How Should I Prepare for the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs)?

The short answer is that past papers for the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) are not made available, so you can’t cram and teachers can’t “teach the test”. The latter point is important: there are various organisations claiming to provide NBT preparation lessons. However, it’s important to note that these are not endorsed by the National Benchmark Test Project.

With that said, the National Benchmark Test Project does provide exemplar questions that you can practise from that are readily available to download on their website. 

Download exemplar questions for the Mathematics (MAT) test.

Download exemplar questions for the Academic and Quantitative Literacy (AQL) test.

What Should I Do If I Forgot My Password?

If you forgot your password for your account on the National Benchmark Test Project website, don’t worry! There are simple steps you can follow to help you get your password back:

  • Go to “Book a Test” on the National Benchmark Test Project website.
  • Click on Login.
  • Enter your ID number as your username.
  • Click on “Log in” without entering a password.
  • A message will appear that says “Sorry, unrecognised username or password. Have you forgotten your password?”
  • Click on that and enter your email address.
  • An email with the option to change your password will be sent to you.

Can I Change My NBT Test Date?

You’re allowed to make changes to your registration online until the closing date posted on the National Benchmark Test (NBT) test schedule. Once registration closes for that test date, you cannot make any further changes.

To change your test date, log in here and click on Edit.

Can I Register Two Children Using the Same Email Address?

Unfortunately, the National Benchmark Test Project system only allows one email address per user. The best way to register two children or more for the National Benchmark Tests (NBTS) is to create separate emails for each one of your children.

How Many Times May I Write the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs)?

You’d like to ensure that you get the best NBT results you can, so some of you want to know how many times you can write the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs).

You can write 2 National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) in one cycle (or 1 year). Remember, though, that each university has its own rules regarding which results they accept: some take the first result, while others take the best result. Check first with the university to which you’re applying.

Should I Write the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) As Late as Possible in the Year?

Teachers are provided with a pace-setter guide by the Department of Basic Education, which helps ensure that certain topics are covered by certain dates. Knowing that many applicants to universities need to write the NBTs as early as the end of May, the MAT tests exclude topics that are unlikely to have been taught by that time.

When you’re deciding when to write, don’t forget to take into account the application deadlines for the universities to which you are applying. You need to ensure that you write at least three weeks before the close of their deadline so that there is sufficient time for your results to be sent to them.

What is the National Benchmark Test (NBT) Pass Mark?

Believe it or not, there is no pass or fail mark for the NBTs. The university to which you are applying uses your marks to complement your National Senior Certificate (NSC) results and makes a decision about access or placement based on a combination of the two. 

Do you have more questions about the National Benchmark Test (NBT) and what it entails? Then be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to the NBT to get a full understanding of what the NBTs are all about.

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