How does the NBT test work?


The university and faculty where you apply will determine which tests you must write. The application requirements include closing dates and deadlines for receiving NBT results.

This will help you decide when to write. Please note that each university has different requirements and sometimes departments within the same faculty may require different tests or have different deadlines.

In general, the AQL test is written by applicants for all programmes while both tests are written by applicants to programmes for which mathematics is a requirement, such as Health Sciences, Engineering, Accounting, and most of the sciences. Please check with each Faculty before you register for the NBTs.

The MAT test cannot be written as a stand alone test.

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 of 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. These tests are described in more detail under ‘Test Content’.

Is Quantitative Literacy the same as Mathematical Literacy?

The Quantitative Literacy test is closely related to the intended outcomes of the NSC subject Mathematical Literacy. However, the NBTs assess a writer’s ability to apply that content within the context of higher education.