National Benchmark Test

The National Benchmark Tests are tests, run by Universities South Africa, that measure an individual’s readiness for university level education. Some universities use the NBTs together with the National Senior Certificate to grant access to their institutions. Other universities use the NBTs to determine what kind of academic support a student may need once accepted.  

There are 2 tests:
  1. Academic Literacy and Quantitative Literacy (AQL) - 3 hours long, written in the morning

Example Questions: Click here

  1. Mathematics (MAT) - 3 hours long, written in the afternoon 

Example Questions: Click here

Note: Both tests are available in English and Afrikaans. The AQL is also available in Braille.

You can write the AQL test only or the AQL and the MAT test however you cannot write the MAT test only. Whether you should write the AQL test only or the AQL and the MAT test will be determined by the university and faculty you apply to. 

2023 Prices:
  • AQL only: R145

  • AQL and MAT: R290

  • Re-mark: R250


  • Check with the university you applied to if you need to write the NBTs. If yes, check which tests you need to write (AQL only or AQL and MAT). 

  • Register on

  •  and click “Book a Test”.

  • You need your ID and a unique email address to register.

Payment Methods: 

You pay via EasyPay using one of the following 2 options...

  1. Pay online via the EasyPay website: Print receipt as proof of payment

  2. EasyPay Paypoints: Take your registration letter with you to pay and keep receipt as proof of payment.

  • Pick n’ Pay 

  • Shoprite 

  • Checkers 

  • Lewis Stores 

  • Lifestyle living 

  • Best Electric 

  • Foodworld Stores (Western Cape) 

  • Saveworld Stores (Western Cape)

  • Elite Cash n’ Carry (Western Cape) 

  • Boxer Superstores *Selected 

  • Spar Outlets *Selected

What you need on test day:

  • ID Book/Smartcard 
  • Pencil and eraser 
  • Water and lunch if you are writing both AQL and MAT 

Note: NO calculator, ruler, smart phone, smart watch, notebook or learning aid is allowed.

Individuals with disabilities:

Provisions are made for learners with disabilities. The NBT Project has previously accommodated individuals who are:

  • Blind 

  • Visually impaired 

  • Hearing impaired

  • Mobility/physically impaired

  • Have any specific learning disability (i.e. dyslexia, extra time, need a scribe)

  • Have any chronic illness which require special accommodations

To find out more about the provisions made and how to apply for them please click here.

*Please note that medical documentation of your disability is needed to apply for disability related provisions. 

Test Dates:  Click here for test dates.

Test venues are also found on the NBT website.