Most South African Students Score Between 0 -29% in Mathematics

The Department of Education has released the Annual National Assessment (ANA), which provides a bleak picture of educational performance. The performance in mathematics is however extremely worrying. The graphs below show that the largest number of South African students have been assessed to score below 30% in Grades 3, 6 and 9. When a student scores between 0-29%, this is described as “not achieved”. The scoring used by the Department of Basic Education is as follows:

Level 10-29Not achieved
Level 230-39Elementary achievement
Level 340-49Moderate achievement
Level 450-59Adequate achievement
Level 560-69Substantial achievement
Level 670-79Meritorious achievement
Level 780-100Outstanding achievement

Key Takeaway on Maths Results

The graphic below summarises the data, showing that 9 out 10 South African students in Grade 9 do not even score above 30% in mathematics.

Grade 3 Mathematics Performance

If you move your mouse over the graphs, the data will become visible. The chart shows that 44% of students in the North West scored between 0-29% for mathematics in the Annual National Assessment.

(LP = Limpopo, MP= Mpumalanga, NW = North West, NC=Northern Cape, KZN=KwaZulu-Natal, NC= Northern Cape, FS=Free State, EC=Eastern Cape, WC=Western Cape).

Grade 6 Mathematics Performance

The performance is Grade 6 gets progressively worse, with two-thirds (66%) of students scoring between 0-29%.

Grade 9 Maths Performance

The results for Grade 9 are staggering, with over 90% of students scoring between 0-29%.


Maths performance

The data paints a worrying state on mathematics education in South Africa. The performance across Grades 3,6 and 9 indicate that performance levels drop as students move to higher grades. The data is captured in a table in a separate post.
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1 thought on “Most South African Students Score Between 0 -29% in Mathematics”

  1. The data speak for themselves. The South African government needs to handle the situation the right way by providing professional development to teachers, support to students and classroom supplies.
    Maybe a conversation with educators is needed now.

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