When can I get my NBT results?

How long does it take to get results?

Results will be sent to institutions three weeks after each writing session as shown on the NBT Test Schedule. Results are uploaded to writers’ NBT account approximately four weeks after the writing session, by 12 noon on the date listed on the NBT Test Schedule. This helps ensure that learners wishing to write a second time have a minimum of six weeks between writing sessions.

How long are my results valid?

Your NBT results are valid for three years. However, you should enquire with the tertiary institutions/universities to which you have applied regarding their unique admission requirements.

How do I get my results?

You must access your results by logging onto the NBT website using your ID number as your username and the password you created when you registered, or by sending a request to nbt@uct.ac.za four weeks after the test session. Your results are made available by 12 noon on the date listed on the NBT Test Schedule. If there is an outstanding balance on your account – ie – if you missed an earlier test and did not pay for it – your results will not be accessible to you. If you have difficulties accessing your results, you must send an e-mail to request your results. NBT Project staff are not allowed to release your results over the phone.

How do institutions get my results?

When you apply to an institution, they will place you on their applicant list. As institutions and bursary awarders process applications, they send the NBT Project a request for scores that match the applicants on the list. Institutions and bursary awarders will only get your results when requested by them.

Before you submit your registration request to the NBT Project, you are asked to check a box giving permission for your results to be sent to requesting institutions and for use in research projects. Be sure to read and check this before hitting ‘Submit’.

Can I write twice to try for a better score?

The NBT Project allows an individual to write the tests two times. Note that you must pay the total fee both times. If you write the MAT test a second time, you must also write the AQL test a second time that morning. You must first check with the institutions where you are applying; not all will accept a second score.

How are the results reported?

The results of the NBTs are reported as three percentage scores: AL, QL and MAT that reflect actual performance, not ranking. Results are categorized by ‘Benchmark Level’ for use by institutions as shown in the table below.

What is the pass mark?

There is no pass mark for the NBTs. Rather, each institution and programme uses the Benchmark Levels, along with other available information, when processing applications and determining placement.

Some programmes and some institutions will accept a wider range of scores, while others have set a higher target and more narrow range.

If you have any questions about how your result is used by an institution to which you have applied, you must contact the relevant Admissions Office.

The NBT Project does not determine nor create policy on the use of results.

What do the results mean?


Assessment of required institutional response

Description of benchmark category




Performance in domain areas suggests that academic performance will not be adversely affected. If admitted, students may be placed into regular programmes of study. Writers performing at the Proficient Level should be able to: Select and use a complex range of vocabulary; understand and interpret non-literal language; understand and critically evaluate the structure and organisation of texts and ideas within these texts; evaluate and use a complex range of different text genres; develop academic arguments; evaluate and interpret the evidence for claims. Writers performing at the Proficient Level should be able to: Select and use a range of quantitative terms and phrases; apply quantitative procedures in various situations; formulate and apply complex formulae; read and interpret complex tables, graphs, charts and text and integrate information from different sources; do advanced calculations involving multiple steps accurately; identify trends/ patterns in various situations; reason logically & competently interpret quantitative information. Writers performing at the Proficient Level should be able to: Demonstrate insight, and integrate knowledge and skills to solve non-routine problems and make competent use of logical skills (conjecture, deduction). Tasks typically require competence in multi-step procedures, represented in the framework outlined below: Modelling, financial contexts, multiple representations of functions (including trigonometric), trigonometric and geometric problems (2D and 3D), measurement, representation and interpretation of statistical data.
The challenges in domain areas are such that it is predicted that academic progress will be affected. If admitted, students’ educational needs should be met as deemed appropriate by the institution (e.g. extended or augmented programmes, special skills provision). Writers performing at the Intermediate level should be able to: Derive word-meanings from context; recognise non-literal language; recognise the fundamental structural and organisational characteristics of texts; recognise and be able to use a specific range of text genres; understand difference between academic and everyday arguments; make conclusions on the basis of evidence given for claims. Writers performing at the Intermediate level should be able to: Select and use many quantitative terms and phrases; apply known quantitative procedures in familiar situations; formulate and apply simple formulae; read and interpret moderately simple tables, graphs, charts and text; do routine calculations accurately most of the time; identify trends/patterns in familiar situations; reason moderately in simple situations. Writers performing at the Intermediate level should be able to: Integrate knowledge and skills to solve routine problems with tasks that involve multi-step procedures and require some information processing and decision-making skills, within the framework below: Estimation, calculation, pattern recognition and comparison (in numerical algebraic and financial contexts); solution of equations; use and interpretation of relevant functions represented algebraically or graphically; geometric properties (2D and 3D); geometric and trigonometric problems (2D); calculation and application of statistical measures; representation and interpretation of statistical data.
Serious learning challenges identified: it is predicted that students will not succeed without extensive and long-term support. Institutions admitting students performing at this level would need to provide this support through bridging programmes (e.g. FET provision or non-credit preparatory courses). Writers performing at the Basic level should be able to: Cope with a limited range of vocabulary; summarise key ideas related to the organisational structure of texts; recognise that texts have different purposes; understand the fundamental syntactical features of English language; interpret textually explicit information Writers performing at the Basic level should be able to: Select and use some basic quantitative terms and phrases; apply some known quantitative procedures partially correctly in familiar situations; formulate or apply simple formulae; interpret simple tables, graphs, charts and text; sometimes do simple calculations correctly; identify trends/patterns in familiar situations. Writers performing at the Basic level should be able to: Carry out mathematical computations that require direct application of simple concepts and procedures in familiar situations. Tasks involve single-step problems requiring recall and reproduction of basic knowledge or procedures, within the real numbers system; simple algebraic contexts; single representations of relevant functions and recognition of their graphs; identification of objects (2D and 3D); simple geometric and trigonometric calculations; identification and use of some statistical measures; simple representation of statistical data.