What are the NBT’s and who has to write these tests?
The National Benchmark Tests were implemented by South African Universities who wanted an additional assessment tool to assist them with selecting students, particularly for certain faculties and disciplines. Most faculties at most universities want Grade 12 students to write the NBT’s, although certain disciplines at some universities do not require them. The University of the North West write their own version of the National Benchmark Tests. Students and parents should enquire at specific universities if they are unsure of whether they require the NBT’s to be written for a specific graduate programme
The NBT’s are similar in format and approach to the American SAT tests. The tests are multiple-choice based and consists of two components, AQL which is Academic (Language Literacy) and Quantitative Literacy as well as Mathematics.
What topics are tested in these tests?
There are two tests. The Academic Literacy and Quantitative Literacy domains (AQL) are combined into one multiple-choice test. Each section is timed, for a total of three hours and five minutes’ writing time. The AQL test is written by applicants to all programmes. 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.
How does one register for the NBT’s and when can this happen?
Usually, students register for the NBT tests from the 1st of April on the NBT website which is www.nbt.ac.za - however, we are not entirely certain how 2021 will play out with COVID-19. Please keep an eye out on the NBT website for further information.
When is it recommended that the student write the NBT’s?
Parents and students must first establish the deadlines for applications of the various universities that they are applying to. They must also establish by when the specific faculty of a university require the NBT marks. Based on this information, the student can book a course that is as close to the actual test date as possible. It is advised that students write the NBT’s as late as possible - this is advantageous as the student would have completed more of the Grade 12 Mathematics syllabus. Students who generally write later in the year achieve better results.
How do Seventh Star NBT Courses work?
Our NBT courses are skills based and not content driven. Based on years of experience of presenting SAT courses, our courses are designed to help a student think out of the box.
Our courses are fully bilingual, and students can get their course material in either English or Afrikaans. The course material includes about 500 multiple choice questions to practise and students receive a detailed memo booklet as well.
Students write sample practise tests during the course, and it has been found that the mark achieved in these tests are within 10% of the actual mark achieved by students in the National Benchmark Test. Our sample tests, however, have been found to be slightly more challenging. It is important that parents and students realise that there is no correlation between the marks achieved in school and the marks achieved in the NBT’s.
What marks must be achieved in the NBT’s if one wants to study Medicine?
Although this detail is not published anywhere officially, it has been found that students who achieve an average of above 83% in the NBT’s are accepted into Medicine provided that their Grade 11 results are also on par. It has also been found that students who achieve averages of between 76% and 82% in the NBT’s could be waitlisted and depending on their Grade 11 and 12 results, a large proportion of borderline candidates are eventually accepted into Medicine as well.
Can and when should a child attend more than one NBT course?
Although the content of all the courses are the same, it has been found that some students benefit from attending more than one course as they get used to the way of thinking and the manner in which questions are asked. It is particularly beneficial to students who have achieved borderline marks in our practise tests and they just want to improve their performance by a small margin. The students can also practise different questions to the ones they did in the first course.
Can a student write the NBT’s more than once?
Although students can write the NBT’s more than once, most universities only consider the marks from the first sitting.
Can I change my NBT Course date?
Yes. You can change the date of an NBT Contact Course up to 2 weeks before the Course date with no additional charge. Date changes within two weeks of the Course will incur a 50% surcharge.
I need to cancel my NBT Course - can I get a refund?
Unfortunately not. Due to the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic and our government's unpredictable response, we will not be processing refunds on NBT Courses for the 2021 academic year. If a course is cancelled due to another lockdown, the event will be streamed live and uploaded to the website for students to access at a later stage.