IEB or Independent Examinations Board is an independent assessment body offering a range of certified assessments, benchmarked assessments and training. The vision of the IEB is to advance quality teaching and learning in South Africa through an assessment process of integrity, innovation and international comparability. The IEB’s mission is to make a significant, on-going contribution to human resource development through the design, delivery and promotion of a wide range of high quality, affordable assessment products and services to all sectors.

Students with excellent IEB exam results have been accepted to Ivy League and Oxbridge institutions without taking further requirements such as A-levels. (SATs (or ACTs) are required for all major U.S. universities – the IEB NSC does not exempt students from this requirement.) It is also important to note that IEB students who matriculate receive the same certificate as an NSC student would and universities may not bias between a state NSC and IEB matriculant.

The IEB has a reputation for developing assessment instruments that require a critical response from learners and hence demand a critical engagement on the part of learners with learning material. Today the IEB, whilst still maintaining its independence, is a leader in innovative assessments that are relevant to South Africa. The IEB has also established itself as a significant role-player and a key partner to government in building our education system in a democratic South Africa.


Primary School Initiative

The Primary School Initiative aims to broaden the awareness of the importance of good teaching and assessment practices at the primary school level. It wishes to establish a strong collaborative network of primary school educators who are fully conversant with local and global trends, developments and standards and assist primary schoolteachers in embedding these in their daily classroom interactions with learners.

High Schools

The IEB  seeks to advance quality teaching and learning in South Africa through an assessment process of integrity, innovation and international comparability. We provide Umalusi accredited examinations in all subjects recognised in the NSC for our schools. Explore the opportunities your association with the IEB provides!

Adult Education and Training

The Bill of Rights in the South African Constitution states that everyone has a right to basic education, yet there are millions of adult learners who do not have a school-leaving certificate. The Independent Examinations Board was the first assessment body to set examinations for adults so as to allow them to obtain a school-leaving certificate. The Independent Examinations Board is also the only independent assessment body that is fully accredited by Umalusi to assess the AET General Education and Training Certificate Level 4.


2018 IEB National Senior Certificate

By Anne Oberholzer Date: 03/01/2019

The 2018 pass rate is 98.92%, comparable to last year’s pass rate of

  • 98.76%. All candidates who passed achieved a pass that is good enough to enter tertiary study at one of the three levels: 90.65% (compared to 88.50% in 2017) of the cohort achieved entry to degree study.
  • 7.33% (compared to 8.95% in 2017) qualified for entry to diploma study.
  • 0.95% (compared to 1.30% in 2017) achieved entry for study at the Higher Certificate level.


11 514 full-time and 858 part-time candidates from 249 examination centres across Southern Africa wrote the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations in October and November 2018. This is an increase from 2017 when there were 11 464 full-time candidates and 666 part-time candidates. Umalusi has monitored all aspects of the 2018 examination process and has declared the results to be fair and valid. There is a clear realisation among IEB learners, their parents and teachers that having the knowledge and understanding that lies behind the results on the certificate is far more important and meaningful for success after one’s schooling.

The increase in the percentage pass rate for entry to bachelor degree studies can be attributed to the removal of the list of designated subjects. Previously in addition to the normal pass requirements for the NSC, the attainment of 50% or more in a minimum of 4 designated subjects was required for entry to degree study. In 2018, the list of designated subjects was removed. Learners must still get 50% in a minimum of 4 subjects; however, the 50% requirement can apply to any subject excluding Life Orientation. 2018 IEB National Senior Certificate

Contact the Independent Examinations Board:

+27 11 483 9700   |