What Happens When You Upgrade Your Matric Results and Fail?

Are you considering improving your matric results? Is the fear of failure holding you back? Upgrading matric results can be a game-changer for many South Africans, providing new opportunities for further education and career advancement. But what if things don’t go as planned? What are the implications if you try to upgrade and end up failing? This article seeks to answer these questions, offering guidance on the steps to take if you find yourself in this challenging situation.

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What Happens When You Upgrade Your Matric Results and Fail: Everything You Need to Know

When you upgrade your matric results and fail, it’s essential to know that this setback is not the end of your educational or career journey. Failing an upgrade doesn’t automatically replace your original matric scores; you generally have the option to retain your initial marks. The failure can have an emotional impact, but it’s crucial to use this experience as a learning opportunity. Academic advisors and career counselors can offer guidance on your next steps, which may include retaking the exam or exploring alternative educational pathways such as bridging courses or vocational training.

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The Importance of Matric Results

Matriculation results serve as a pivotal milestone in the South African education system. They play a crucial role in determining eligibility for higher education institutions, vocational training, and even some employment opportunities. Hence, upgrading your results could be an essential step toward achieving your goals.

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The Risk of Failing an Upgrade

If you’re thinking about upgrading your matric, you’ve likely already assessed your areas of weakness and are preparing to improve. But what happens if you don’t succeed? It’s essential to be aware that failing your upgrade isn’t the end of the road.

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Emotional Impact

Failure can be emotionally devastating, affecting your self-esteem and motivation. Acknowledge your feelings, but don’t let them derail your future plans.

Academic Consequences

If you fail in your attempt to upgrade, the failed subject mark will not automatically replace your initial matric results. You generally have the option to retain your original marks unless you’re registering anew for the entire National Senior Certificate.

Future Opportunities

Failure shouldn’t be seen as a dead-end but as a learning experience. Many academic programmes and institutions offer bridging courses and extended programmes to help students meet admission requirements.

What to Do Next

  1. Seek Guidance: Consult with academic advisors or career counselors to discuss your options.
  2. Re-assessment and Reflection: Analyse what went wrong in your upgrading attempt to avoid making the same mistakes.
  3. Consider Alternative Routes: Look into vocational training or other tertiary education options that may have more lenient entry requirements.
  4. Retake the Exam: You usually have the option to rewrite the subject in which you’ve failed.


While failing to upgrade your matric results can be disheartening, it is by no means a career or educational death sentence. Numerous alternative pathways can still lead to a fulfilling career and educational growth. By being proactive, seeking advice, and considering all your options, you can still find a way to achieve your goals.