The Further Studies Programme results were released by the IEB on the 16th of January 2023 – a date that we, together with our learners have been eagerly and nervously awaiting to see how this special class faired in their final matric exams for Further Studies Maths, Further Studies Physics and Further Studies English. Having had a chance to review the results of our class and take it all in, we are blown away by the performance of our Matrics of 2022 and it is my pleasure to share a summary of these results with you all.

Results summary

Below is a table of some key metrics that we at Advantage Learn use to benchmark ourselves in continuously striving to deliver the best Further Studies Programmes in the country. We benchmark ourselves against the overall IEB average and the IEB pass rate.

ProgrammeAdvantage Learn class of 2022Overall IEB 2022Difference
Further Studies: Mathematics Standard (Calculus and Algebra) class average68.63% 64.42%+4.21%
Further Studies: Mathematics Standard (Calculus and Algebra) pass rate81.25%76.04%+5.21%
Further Studies: Mathematics Elective (Statistics) class average60.52% 54.75%+5.77%
Further Studies: Mathematics Standard (Statistics) pass rate66.67%62.41%+4.26%

*we are still waiting for some results from our FS Physics and FS English partner schools and will update this table with FS Physics and FS English results as soon as possible.

I am so proud to report that our learners surpassed the IEB average mark and average pass rate by around 5% on all metrics. This is a significant difference and so validating for our team at Advantage Learn as well. Well done to our learners and thanks to our Educators, partners and team.

Highlights and challenges

At the same time I’d like to reflect on the highlights and challenges faced by this group of learners.

  • It must be noted that this is the class of learners that began their Further Studies Maths journey in 2020 or their Further Studies Physics journey in 2021. 2020 was the outset of the pandemic and lockdowns and yet, these learners bravely undertook the Further Studies challenge largely in an online learning environment due to the context. This was a notable challenge that this class faced and overcame. 
  • The class of 2022 was the first to undertake these certificates as part of the IEB’s International Secondary Certificate with their name being changed from the Advanced Programmes to the Further Studies Programmes. This was a real highlight as it further entrenched the international relevance and recognition of these programmes. The National Senior Certificate in combination with a Further Studies Certificate really is a globally recognised combination of qualifications.
  • The change from Advanced Programmes to Further Studies also brought some notable challenges and some great opportunities:
    • The pass mark was increased across the board from 40% to 50% meaning that learners needed to perform better in their final exam in order to achieve a certificate – raising the stakes and increasing the challenge.
    • Further Studies Maths was reformulated into a standard certificate (that only focuses on Calculus and Algebra – paper 1) and then an extended certificate for learners that choose to continue to pursue an elective in combination with the calculus and algebra paper (paper 1 and paper 2). This was the first year that this choice was available to learners and it was admirable to see how many of our learners continued to pursue the extended certificate even though they had the option to decrease their load by focusing on the standard certificate.
  • A real highlight was that these learners, in Maths, were learning out of our next-generation Further Studies Maths Neo Series workbooks which are fully integrated with our online campus and supplement and support learning with a library of video lessons, online quizzes and exam preparation resources. The response to these workbooks has been resoundingly positive and positively influenced our results in this realm.
  • Many learners started undertaking multiple Further Studies programmes. This was the second year that we made Further Studies Physics available to our learners and the first year that we made Further Studies English available to our learners in partnership with LEARN TO LINK. It was a notable highlight to see an increasing number of learners opting to do multiple Further Studies programmes. 
  • It was the inaugural year of our Further Studies Guidance webinars where we aim to:
    • Provide high-quality career insight and guidance to our FS learners and parents from our FS Alumni
    • Motivate our FS learners by showing them the benefits of doing Further Studies in a real and relatable way
    • Connect our Further Studies learners to scholarship opportunities for which they are well profiled.

These were so well attended with so much engaged discussion that it was obvious that learners and parents were deriving so much value from them.

Our Matric class has done very well in the face of another very taxing year! Well done to each of you for your grit, resilience and perseverance. We strongly believe that, pass or fail, having persevered with the Further Studies Programmes will stand you in excellent stead beyond high school and I am confident that you will experience these benefits in your next chapter and be grateful that you undertook this challenge. Nothing truly worthwhile is ever easy!

There are then some learners who achieved distinctions in FS Maths and we must make special mention of these learners for this outstanding achievement. 

In Further Studies Mathematics congratulations for achieving a distinction goes to (in no particular order):

  • Abdullah Sibda
  • Fathima Seedat
  • Fudail Mohamed Yunus
  • Jing Yeh
  • Jurgens Roestorf
  • Nashveer Naidoo
  • Nkanyezi Tshabalala
  • Peter Gait
  • Syed Amaan Nadvi
  • Troye Swan
  • Umar Kharwa

*we are still waiting for some results from our partner schools and so a few learners will likely be added to this list as soon as their results become available to us.

In closing, I’d like to anonymously quote a few of our learners on the survey question “What about our Further Studies Programmes do you enjoy?”

“Understanding the content is rewarding. I enjoy that it opens up critical thinking skills that I am able to apply in my classroom maths. I can truly see the difference.”

“The textbook is better than any of the 100-150 I’ve seen across all subjects and grades. The teacher is awesome and the learning is stimulating and energising.”

“The content is the best but the manner in which Advantage Learn gets it to us is spectacular. It’s hard to juggle normal school and FS so I miss a few lessons here and there but I am able to catch up easier using the short videos in the library.”

“I love seeing this new side of mathematics. I did not expect to enjoy mathematics as I do now, thanks to FS Maths. It’s challenging yet fun, and just blows my mind!”

“The pace at which I am taught is slow and controlled yet we can still get the work done and have a great understanding of a concept. It makes the subject fun, not a chore.”

We are always so motivated by the opportunity that we have to extend and enrich our learners who join us in our Further Studies Programmes. As you may have heard me say many times by now, the benefits of these programmes really can’t be understated and go far beyond the marks and the additional qualification that our FS learners work to achieve.

If you or someone you know is also interested in taking Further Studies Programmes, click here for more information.

This article was originally published on 24 Jan 2023

About the author
Crispian Lees

Cris is our Executive Product Director at Advantage Learn. A chemical engineer by qualification, he is passionate about Maths and Science education and is a proud South African and Durbanite.

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