NATIONAL BENCHMARK TESTS – a national service to Higher Education
WHY DO I HAVE TO WRITE THE NATIONAL BENCHMARK TESTS (NBT)?
The National Benchmark Tests Project is an assessment for prospective first year entry students into Higher Education—it was designed
to measure students’ levels of proficiency in Academic Literacy, Quantitative Literacy, and Mathematics. It also provides additional
information to assist in placement of students in appropriate curricular routes (e.g. regular, augmented, bridging programmes) and with the
development of curriculum for both regular and foundation programmes. In addition, it assists higher education to interpret National Senior
WHAT ARE THE TESTS?
There are two (2) tests. Each test has a duration of three hours. The first test is the Academic and Quantitative Literacy Test (AQL), which
is written by applicants for all programmes. The second test is the Mathematics test, also known as the Cognitive Academic Mathematical
Proficiency (CAMP) test, which is written by applicants who intend taking a course for which Mathematics is a requirement.
The AQL test is written during the morning session, and applicants writing this test should be at the test venue by 07h30 (or earlier) on the
test date. The Mathematics test is written in addition to the AQL test, and is held on the same day as the AQL test (with a short break
between the two tests).
WHO MUST WRITE THE TESTS?
The university or universities to which you have applied will inform you whether you must write the NBTs and which test/s you must write.
In its communication with you the university will also inform you of the date/s on which you must write. Please note that the different
universities may have different requirements and sometimes departments within the same faculty may require you to write different tests.
Remember, there are only two tests and both can be written on the same day.
WHAT MUST I BRING WITH ME WHEN I WRITE?
On the morning of the tests, you must bring with you to the venue:
1. Your ID Book together with a photocopy of your ID. The venue administrator will keep the copy of your ID.
2. Your receipt as proof that you have paid the testing fee. The venue administrator will stamp the receipt and hand it back to you.
3. An HB pencil and a black ballpoint pen (not a fibre tipped pen)
4. An eraser
5. A pencil sharpener
6. Something to eat/drink.
7. Bus/Taxi fare home, if required.
You need only write the tests once, even if you are applying to more than one university. All universities to which you apply will be able to
access your test results.
If you are applying to more than one university, and if at least one university/faculty that you are applying to requires you to write the test
prior to admission, then you need to register and pay for one of the 2010 test dates even if you are also applying to a university that will
write the test during registration / orientation.
All applicants must pay an administration fee of R10 per test date, plus R50 per test. This means that an applicant who writes AQL only
will pay R60, and an applicant who writes both AQL and Maths will pay R110. Refer to the registration procedure information for payment
WHAT ARE THE TESTS ABOUT?
The Academic Literacy and Quantitative Literacy (AQL) is written as one 3 hour test.
Academic Literacy Quantitative Literacy
The National Benchmark Test in Academic Literacy aims to assess learners’ ability to: The National Benchmark Test in Quantitative Literacy
aims to assess writer’s ability to:
Read carefully and make meaning from texts that are typical of the kinds that they
will encounter in their studies; Select and use a range of quantitative terms and
Understand vocabulary, including vocabulary related to academic study, in their phrases;
contexts; Apply quantitative procedures in various
Identify and track points and claims being made in texts; situations;
Understand and evaluate the evidence that is used to support claims made by Formulate and apply formulae;
writers of texts; Read and interpret tables, graphs, charts and text
Extrapolate and draw inferences and conclusions from what is stated or given in and integrate information from different sources;
text; Do calculations involving multiple steps accurately;
Identify main from supporting ideas in the overall and specific organisation of a text; Identify trends and patterns in various situations;
Identify and understand the different types and purposes of communication in texts; Reason logically and
Be aware of and identify text differences that relate to writers’ different purposes, Competently interpret quantitative information.
audiences, and kinds of communication;
Understand and interpret information that is presented visually (e.g. in graphs,
Understand basic numerical concepts and information used in text, and be able to
do basic numerical manipulations
Mathematics (Cognitive Academic Mathematical Proficiency - CAMP)
(It is assumed that the full NSC Mathematics syllabus has been completed)
1. PROBLEM SOLVING AND MODELLING
1.1 Algebraic processes
Pattern recognition and generation
Operations involving relationships such as ratios and percentages
Modelling situations by making use of mathematical process skills
Operations involving surds, logarithms and exponents, including financial calculations
Calculations involving integers, rational and irrational numbers
1.2 Functions represented by graphs and equations
Identification of domain and range
Properties of graphs, relationship between graphs and their equations or inequalities
Graphs of functions and interpretations of transformations (rotations, translations, reflections) of functions; solution of related problems
Applications of principles of differential calculus to rates of change and related problems involving simple, linear and non-linear functions
2. BASIC TRIGONOMETRY, INCLUDING GRAPHS OF TRIGONOMETRIC FUNCTIONS, PROBLEMS REQUIRING SOLUTIONS OF
TRIGONOMETRIC EQUATIONS AND APPPLICATION OF TRIGONOMETRIC CONCEPTS
Characteristics and interpretations of trigonometric functions and their graphs (such as domain, range, period, amplitude), including
transformations of trigonometric functions
Problems involving solution of trigonometric equations and use of identities
Application of area, sine and cosine rules problems
Application of trigonometric concepts in solving problems, including two- and three-dimensional problems
3. SPATIAL PERCEPTION INCLUDING ANGLES, SYMMETRIES, MEASUREMENTS, REPRESENTATIONS AND INTERPRETATION OF TWO-
DIMENSIONAL AND THREE-DIMENSIONAL SHAPES
Transformations (including scale factor)
Properties of shapes (2D and 3D)
Perimeter, area, volume (modelling)
Analytic geometry (linking geometric and algebraic properties)
4. DATA HANDLING
Measurement (and related interpretations)
Representation (and related interpretations)
5. COMPETENT USE OF LOGICAL SKILLS IN MAKING DEDUCTIONS AND DETERMINING THE TRUTH OF GIVEN ASSERTIONS
HOW DO I REGISTER TO WRITE?
You may register on line OR by cellphone. We recommend that you register on line.
To register on line you have to access the website www.nbt.ac.za Read the instructions; then click on “Register to Write”.
Your acknowledgement and EasyPay barcode will be available for you to download immediately after you click on submit.
You can take this downloaded letter to any EasyPay paypoint near you to pay the testing fee. The EasyPay paypoints are
listed on the EasyPay website and on the letter. The EasyPay website is: www.easypay.co.za
On your cellphone, access the website www.nbt.ac.za/mobile and follow the prompts. This facility is used in exactly the
same way as you would with “mxit”, “facebook”, etc. To access your acknowledgement/EasyPay letter you may: (1) enter
your email address and the acknowledgement letter will be sent automatically; or (2) log onto the NBT website and print the
acknowledgement letter; OR (3) enter your cellphone number and you will receive only your EasyPay number (not the full
letter). Most EasyPay paypoints will accept the number only, but there are some that accept only the full letter.
ALL INFORMATION REGARDING TEST VENUES, TEST DATES, REGISTERING TO WRITE,
RECEIVING YOUR RESULTS, HOW TO PREPARE, ETC. CAN BE ACCESSED ON THE WEBSITE
OR ON YOUR CELLPHONE. The NBT call centre number is: 021 6503523