NBTs 2016 – Round One. Ding Ding Ding.

by Robyn Tichauer

The first round of the 2016 National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) are on the 21st of May 2016. It’s time to register, pay last applications fees and start the preparation.

The first round of NBT tests are on the 21 May 2016 and as a bit of a reassurance that everything will be okay, we put this together to put your mind at ease and to give you an indication of what to expect.

If you aren’t entirely sure what the National Benchmark Tests, then I shall sum it up for you. It’s basically just a placement test for when you apply to a university to assess your academic readiness.

What you Need to do Right Now?

Are you applying to university? You’ll need to write your NBT test. Most institutions require this as part of the application. Here’s what you need to do right now.

1. Register.

If you haven’t registered yet, unfortunately you can’t write the first round of NBTs. But registration deadlines for the next round is on 29 May 2016.

If you want to register for your NBTs, do it as soon as possible. Register Here

2. Pay.

If you haven’t paid your NBT registration fees yet, the last day to pay is 22 May 2016 for the first round of tests.

For more information on registration dates and deadlines, check here.

3. Prepare.

If you want to prepare, you can take a look at the AQL exemplar test that was set out by the NBT organization. Look here for some other information you may need. 

If you’re writing the MAT test after the AQL, you’ll be given a break after your AQL test. If you are not writing the MAT test, you will be free to go home once you’ve completed the test. 

The MAT test can be quite tricky. I spent quite a bit of time trying to remember long division. Try and avoid time wastage by brushing up on skills you learnt in Grade 5, before calculators were allowed. You aren’t allowed to take calculators into the exam venue so make sure you know how to do multiplication and long division. Formula sheets are provided when necessary. Here are some exemplar questions. 

The Day has Arrived

The day I wrote my test was cold and rainy and I really didn’t want to get out of my bed while it was still dark. It seemed so cruel to write two 3 hour exams on a Saturday. To our young minds it may seem pretty unfair but in the long-run it’s definitely worth crawling out from your cocoon and taking steps towards your future.nbt what to expect

You can start checking in from 07:30 the morning of your test. Some people like to arrive early since there are a few hundred students per exam site and it could prove to be a lengthy process.

Doors close at 08.30. So being there an hour early may seem excessive, but rather be way too early than too late and miss your test. You’ll need to register for another exam and pay again. Which is unnecessary. Your bed will be waiting for you when you get back.

Pointers to Keep in Mind

  • You can NOT fail this exam. They use the marks with your school results and it’s an indication of whether or not you need to do the extended programme or not.
  • These tests are only written in English and Afrikaans.
  • You only need to write this test once.
  • You do NOT need to write it per university.
  • You can write the test a second time if you were not satisfied with your results.
  • It is compulsory for everyone to write the AQL test. The MAT test is only compulsory when the university specifically stipulates it. (For engineering, science, health sciences, etc.)
  • The results of these tests are valid for 3 years. If you don’t get accepted to university this year, you don’t need to rewrite next year.

Good luck!

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