NBT Courses

Seventh Star has become a South African leader in preparing students for their admission tests, both local and international, offering preparation courses for both NBTs and SATs.

NBT Courses

With the quality and integrity of the national matriculation results being deemed questionable, many universities place a high premium on the national benchmark test results. Specialised faculties at various universities use the NBTs as an additional and crucial selection criteria for undergraduate study. The actual tests are kept a state secret and no past papers for the components of Qualitative and Academic Literacy and Mathematics are available. We have, however, by aiding many students who have written application tests for international tertiary institutions, managed to compile NBT Courses and training of 12 or 18 hours in consultation with some key partners and role players.

NBT Logo

Summary Box

Learning Style
Medicine Course
R1 950
Hours/Medicine Course
Standard Course
R1 450
Hours/Standard Course
Combined Average
What's the difference?

Medicine or standard?

Seventh Star’s NBT Course is a comprehensive preparation course for the National Benchmark Tests. It includes preparation for the AQL (Academic and quantitative literacy) component as well as the Maths component. Students receive a training manual in addition to a detailed solutions manual. The course is fully bilingual and the manuals are available in English or Afrikaans.

The Medicine Course is three days (18 hours) and the Standard Course is two days (12 hours). The difference is that the Medicine Course has 6 additional hours focused on Mathematics as the students who apply for Medicine have to write the NBT’s earlier and would not have completed the Maths syllabus at school. Any student is welcome to attend the course they choose, according to their specific needs.

About the


The National Benchmark Tests were commissioned by Higher Education South Africa (HESA) and reflect almost ten years of research and collaboration among leading content specialists and researchers from Institutions of Higher Education across South Africa. The NBT Project is managed by the Alternative Admissions Research Project in the Centre for Higher Education Development at the University of Cape Town. The NBTs are an assessment of prospective first year applicants into Higher Education.

NBTs Universities South Africa

The assessment was designed to measure a writer’s levels of proficiency in Academic Literacy, Quantitative Literacy and Mathematics as related to the demands of tertiary study. The NBTs also provide information to assist in the placement of students in appropriate curricular routes (e.g. regular, augmented, extended, bridging or foundation programmes) and with the development of curriculum for Higher Education programmes. In addition, they assist Higher Education to interpret school-leaving results, such as those of the National Senior Certificate (NSC).

The tests

There are two tests. The Academic Literacy and Quantitative Literacy domains (AQL) are combined into one multiple-choice test, which is written by applicants to all programmes. Each section is timed, for a total of three hours and five minutes writing time. The second test is Mathematics (MAT), which is written by applicants to programmes for which mathematics is a requirement. The MAT test is also multiple-choice and timed, with three hours allowed.

Our NBT Courses

To date, we have had more than 150 students accepted into Medicine and Veterinary Science at various universities based on the strength of their NBT results. Our NBT Courses include sample questions and mock tests which prepare students for both the AQL and MAT tests. Below you can find the NBT Courses we are offering in 2019:

Seventh Star - 2019 NBT Courses

An 18 year old student from Pretoria achieved in the 80's and 90's for his NBT's and also achieved above 90% in the GDE final examinations.

He was accepted into the faculty of his choice and he commented that

“the courses were the perfect grooming opportunity for the actual NBT's”

and that

“it helped him achieve good results as students have no idea what to expect, especially in the light that they are not allowed the use of calculators in the actual tests”.

A former headboy of a Pretoria high school stated that

“it was like getting your feet wet before diving into an ice cold swimming pool”.