Is it possible for a student to pass from Term 1 to Term 3 and then fail the final examination in Grade 12? Yes, it is possible for a student to pass from Term 1 to Term 3 and then fail the final examination in Grade 12. Here’s a simple breakdown of why this can happen:

  1. Different Weightings: The final Grade 12 exams often have a higher weighting towards the final mark compared to term assessments. So, if a student does well during the terms but poorly on these high-stakes exams, it can significantly impact their final grade.
  2. Exam Pressure: Final exams can be more stressful and challenging than regular term assessments. Some students struggle with the pressure or the comprehensive nature of these exams.
  3. Content Volume: Final exams typically cover more material, sometimes the entire year’s syllabus. If a student hasn’t consistently reviewed past material, they might find the finals more challenging.
  4. Different Format: The format of the final exams can differ from term assessments. Students who are not well-prepared for this format may struggle, even if they understood the material during the terms.
  5. Complacency: Sometimes, students might become complacent if they’ve been doing well throughout the year, leading to less preparation for the finals.

To avoid this situation, it’s crucial to:

  • Keep up with studies throughout the year.
  • Prepare thoroughly for the format and breadth of the final exams.
  • Manage stress and seek support if feeling overwhelmed.

Remember, consistent effort and good study habits throughout the year are key to success in the final Grade 12 exams.


Grade 12 final exams are a significant milestone, and it’s natural to have questions about them, especially regarding pass requirements. Here are 10 frequently asked questions that should help clarify things:

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1. What is the minimum pass requirement for Grade 12?

  • You must achieve 40% in three subjects, one of which is an official language at Home Language level, and 30% in three other subjects.

2. Can I fail a subject and still pass Grade 12?

  • Yes, you can fail one subject (get below 30%) and still pass, provided you meet the other pass requirements.

3. What is the compulsory pass requirement for languages?

  • You must pass at least one language at Home Language level (40%) and another at First Additional Language level (30%).

4. How is the final Grade 12 mark calculated?

  • It’s typically a combination of your school-based assessment (SBA) mark and your final exam mark, with each contributing a certain percentage to the final grade.

5. Do all subjects contribute equally to the final mark?

  • Yes, each subject contributes equally to your overall mark, but remember the language and pass requirements mentioned earlier.

6. Is there a minimum attendance requirement to sit for the final exams?

  • Most schools have an attendance policy. While there’s no national attendance requirement for the exam, poor attendance can impact your SBA, which is part of your final grade.

7. Can I improve my Grade 12 marks after writing the final exams?

  • Yes, you can either rewrite certain subjects or return as a part-time candidate to improve your marks.

8. What happens if I don’t pass Grade 12?

  • You can either repeat Grade 12, enroll in adult education programs, or consider vocational training alternatives.

9. Are there different pass levels in Grade 12?

  • Yes, there are different pass levels like Bachelor’s pass, Diploma pass, and Higher Certificate pass, each with its own set of requirements and allowing for different post-secondary education opportunities.
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10. How important are the final exam results for future opportunities?

  • They are quite important as they can determine eligibility for further study, scholarships, and some forms of employment. However, there are always alternative paths and opportunities available, regardless of your final results.

Remember, the key to doing well in Grade 12 is consistent study, understanding your subjects, and managing exam stress. Best of luck with your exams!