What is the difference between IEB vs CAPS?

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ieb vs caps

I never fully understood the difference between IEB vs CAPS, but now that Noo is in an IEB school, I felt the need to research it more in-depth.

IEB Definition:

The Independent Examinations Board, or IEB, is a South African independent assessment agency which offers examinations for various client schools, mostly private schools. It is most prominent in setting examinations for the school-leaving National Senior Certificate, or NSC (which replaced the Senior Certificate and Further Education and Training Certificate) for its client schools. See High school: South Africa; Matriculation in South Africa. [Source]

CAPS Definition:

CAPS, the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, is a revision of the previous NCS (National Curriculum Statement). CAPS gives teachers detailed guidelines of what to teach and assessed on a grade –by- grade and subject-by- subject basis. It also gives clear guidance of assessment requirements. [Source]

My understanding, before my research, was that IEB was a totally different curriculum to the CAPS curriculum. That is not the case at all.

The IEB preparation course only really starts in Grade 10, when Students are 16 years old. They still follow the CAPS curriculum, HOWEVER, there are some differences.

The IEB exams are considered by many teachers, parents, students and universities, both within South Africa and abroad, as a more challenging and comprehensive assessment than the State NSC.

Students with excellent IEB results have been accepted to Ivy League and Oxbridge institutions without taking further requirements such as A-levels. SATs (or ACTs) are required for all major U.S. universities – the IEB NSC does not exempt students from this requirement.)

It is also important to note that IEB students who matriculate receive the same certificate as a NSC student would and universities may not bias between a state NSC and IEB matriculant.

Many Grade 10 students (my son included) struggled with the new IEB exams. Fortunately, there are many past papers available to download from the IEB to help the students prepare for the exams.

The IEB are very strict in terms of giving marks. All answers need to be comprehensive and many questions are expected to be answered in essay format with headings and subheadings.

I have downloaded past Grade 10 papers for Noo to go through from the IEB Document Library. The IEB exam process is very different to the CAPS process. I’m looking forward to seeing how much these past papers will help Noo in the next set of exams in November this year.

I’d love to hear your experiences with the IEB and how your child coped with the change in the examination process.




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