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AIE NBT Testing Venue

PLEASE NOTE: NBT Testing has been put on hold until further notice. Testing dates will be released in the new year.


The AIE (Academic Institute of Excellence) family of educational brands is now 'n registered NBT training centre.




The National Benchmark Tests (NBT) measure your academic readiness for University. 

The NBT Project is a national initiative run by Universities South Africa (formerly known as Higher Education South Africa: HESA). Some South African universities use the NBTs in addition to the National Senior Certificate (NSC) for access to higher education, while others use the tests to determine the kind of learning support a student will need during their studies.


Why do I have to write the test?


The NBTs are used by many universities in the country. They help higher education institutions to interpret school leaving results such as those of the National Senior Certificate (NSC). The test results support, but don’t replace or duplicate, NSC results. Some South African higher education institutions use the NBTs for admission and others use them to determine whether you will need extra academic support during your studies. They also assist with the development of curricula. Find out from the institution you are applying to whether you are required to write the tests.


Where can I write the test?


A complete schedule with all the test locations is on the NBT website ( If there are no tests near to where you live, send an e-mail to, or phone us on 021 650 3523 and we will try to schedule a special site for your test.


What can I expect from the test?


There are two tests: Academic Literacy, Quantitative Literacy (which are combined: AQL), and Mathematics (MAT). For more information about what the tests focus on, go to our web site: .The QL test is closely related to the intended outcomes of the NSC subject, Mathematical Literacy. Students with disabilities are accommodated. The AQL test has also been translated into Braille. Each test requires you to apply prior learning - what you know and are able to do - to materials that reflect expectations for first year students in university programmes. The tests are confidential, so there are no past papers and no special study materials to prepare for the tests.







When should I write?


You should write when you feel ready, but make sure that you write in time to meet all deadlines and requirements for the programme(s) to which you are applying. You must write both tests on the same day. You are allowed to write the NBT a second time, but you will need to confirm with your faculty first that a second score will be accepted.

*Each institution determines which tests are required i.e the university and faculty where you apply will determine which tests you must write (AQL or MAT, or both). Please check with each institution/faculty where you intend to apply, before you register for the NBTs with regards to their application requirements including closing dates and deadlines for receiving NBT results. Please note that each university has different requirements and each faculty may require different tests or have different deadlines.

  • UCT - All departments require test
  • Wits - Health Sciences
  • Stellenbosch - All departments require test
  • Rhodes - All departments require test
  • Tuks - Health & Veterinary Sciences
  • UFS - All departments require test
  • NMMU - N/A
  • UKZN - Medicine












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