The piece of paper that Grade 12 students will be hoping to achieve at the end of their examinations. File Image
The piece of paper that Grade 12 students will be hoping to achieve at the end of their examinations. File Image

Cape Town - The Department of Education on Tuesday said it has left no stone unturned in its bid to ensure a "credible and integrous" National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination this year. 

Here are 12 things you need to know about this year's Matric finals:

* A total of 796 542 candidates will write the 2018 NSC examination across 6 888 examination centres in South Africa.

* The number of full-time candidates is 629 141 and the number of part-time candidates is 167 401.  

* On Monday, 15 October, the first practical examinations in Computer Applications Technology (CAT) will be administered to 37 340 candidates. 

* The examination will get off to a full start on Monday, 22 October 2018 with the writing of the examination in the Non-Official Languages.

* The examination extends over five and half weeks and will conclude on 28 November 2018.

* For the first time this year, the Department of Basic Education will be administering an examination in South African Sign Language at Home Language level to 58 deaf candidates across 10 schools. The question papers will be signed and learners will respond by signing and this will be recorded using the appropriate technology. 

* Another first is the writing of the examination in Technical Mathematics and Technical Science. The department says that the offering of these two subjects is in sync with their intention "to provide a broader scope of subject offerings for learners, so as to allow for a stronger vocational slant in the curriculum".

* A total of 147 NSC question papers have been set, internally moderated by the DBE and approved by Umalusi. 

* The question papers have been adapted for blind and deaf candidates. Brailling of question papers for the blind and enlargements of font sizes for the partially sighted have also been completed. 

* On 12 October 2018, candidates across the country will voluntarily sign a pledge to commit to upholding the integrity of the examinations by not participating in any malpractice. Schools will exercise a zero tolerance in ensuring that any learner that attempts to resort to any unfair practice, will be identified and severely punished. 

 * A total of 44 505 markers have been appointed to mark across the 141 marking centres. To ensure that every subject is marked according to a common standardised marking guideline a total of 155 national meetings will be hosted at the DBE, where chief markers and internal moderators from all provinces will assemble to thrash out the marking guideline and ensure that a common understanding is reached in this regard. 

* Marking will commence on 1 December 2018 across most PEDs, except for the larger provinces where marking will start earlier to ensure that all marking is completed by 15 December 2018.

Here's the timetable: