HOW DO I GET INTO VARSITY?

I remember being in matric… I remember sitting there and thinking to myself: “What am I going to do with my life?” I remember being completely confused with what varsity to go to, or if I even wanted to go to a varsity or if I should just go on a gap year and experience life. I think that’s where the problem lies.

When I was in matric, there was such a lack of information available to me. I could only find formal information about varsities that made them sound uninteresting and boring. I ended up basing my decision on what my friends were doing and choosing a course that I only just had enough marks to get into… even though it focused on math and science and they were my worst subjects at school!

Ultimately, this is what this website is about. It’s about equipping you with the tools necessary to tackle the daunting world of applying for a varsity (and what a mission that is!) and which varsity best suits you. I have experience, and I have collected information from a bunch of other varsity students who also know what it is like to be a student at the University of their Choice and why they actually chose it!

Varsity is about learning, changing, partying and experiencing everything that you can take advantage. Varsity is also about choosing a place or city that you love, choosing a course that you may be interested in and seeing where you go from there… It’s no longer about what your friends do, or what your parents think you should do! It’s about YOU.

So, where should I start? I think the best place to begin is the points system, or the admissions requirements for getting into certain varsities… Some have different methods, but I will try and give the best indication of what they are and how they work below.

The Points System:
The points system is a system (yes you guessed it) where the different symbols you get for your different school subjects (A’s or B’s or C’s etc) are awarded a different number of points. The higher the mark, the higher the amount of points. Here is an example of the University of Cape Town’s point system:

For the National Senior Certificate applicants, the following table is necessary:

NSC Rating Table

Achievement Rating

Points

7 at 90% or better

8

7 at 80% or better

7

6

6

5

5

4

4

3

3

2

0

1 below 30%

0

And Senior Certificate applicants should use this table to calculate their score:

SC Rating Table

Symbol

HG

SG

A

8

6

B

7

5

C

6

4

D

5

3

E

4

2

F

3

1

You may also need to take the Alternative Admissions Research Project (AARP) test which tests your aptitude; this will sometimes be taken at your school. Not all universities use AARP tests for admission, e.g. the University of Stellenbosch write access tests, whereas UCT students will write the AARP tests instead. The use of AARP and access tests will be explained in the university prospectus.

Ok! So now we have outlined how to calculate the points, you will have to tackle the problem of admissions! Application to a university is obviously essential, and these application forms are found on all university websites (links will be provided).

Remember, that what is important for you is to get applying out of the way… you don’t need to stress and panic about it, but you should try do it before it starts interfering with your school work or even worse your exams!

That about wraps it up in terms of getting you ready to apply. The most important thing of all is to remember that you can change your mind so whatever decision you make now, it is not cast in stone. Just think carefully and remember your course isn’t the only aspect that goes into making the most out of your university career!



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