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FAQ

21. What if I can't write on a Saturday?

As shown on the NBT test schedule, there are writing sessions scheduled on Sundays.

22. What if I miss my scheduled test?

Registration for the NBT is specific to the date and the site you selected. If you miss your scheduled date, or change your mind about the test session, you must register and pay again.

Should there be an emergency, you must send an e-mail to nbt@uct.ac.za as soon as possible. NBT Project staff will contact you the following week to explore your options for a make-up test.

With documentation of a legitimate emergency, you may not be required to pay a second time.

Legitimate situations that have occurred in the past include taxi accident on the way to the test site, hospitalization, broken collar bone, and family funeral.

23. What if my religious affiliation does not allow me to write on a Saturday?

There are test sessions scheduled on Sundays for pencil and paper tests. You also have the option to write a "remote" session - nbtremote@uct.ac.za

 

24. What if I get sick before or during the test? Do I have to pay again?

Results for the NBTs are only valid if you complete the test. Should you get sick during the test; the Chief Invigilator will collect your materials and contact information.

A staff member from the NBT Project will contact you the following week to schedule another writing session as soon as possible. There is no cost for this make-up test and the first answer sheet will be destroyed, not scored.

If you become sick or injured before the test, send an e-mail to nbt@uct.ac.za or call 021-650-3523. Upon receipt of relevant documentation such as a hospital or police report, you will be allowed a make-up test with no additional fees charged. 

25. How long are the tests?

Each Tests is approximately 3 hours long.

26. What if I am applying to two institutions with different applications deadlines?

If you are applying to more than one institution or faculty then you need to register and write the NBTs to meet the earliest deadline, even if you are also applying to a university that will write the test during registration.

You need only write the tests once, even when applying to more than one institution. All institutions to which you apply will be able to access your NBT results.

27. Are there any special requirements if I am applying to Health Sciences?

All applicants to programmes in the Health Science Faculties must write both the AQL test and the MAT test.

Each institution sets its own deadlines to submit results and some deadlines are in June and July.

You must check with the faculties to which you are applying to ensure that your NBT results are received by the deadline.

Health Science Faculties work with the NBT Project to ensure that sufficient writing sessions and seats are available that meet deadlines at all institutions.

28. What does it cost to write the NBT?

Costs for the 2023 admission cycle are:

AQL only:       R 130
AQL and MAT: R 260

Please note that you may make changes to your online booking until the closing date posted on the test schedule.

Registered applicants that do not report for the scheduled tests will be required to rebook the venue and date for the test and will be required to pay again in order to write the NBTs. Please note that you may not write only the MAT test.

29. How do I pay?

All NBT fees must be paid through EasyPay. Take your NBT registration letter with you to an EasyPay Paypoint near you to pay. You may also pay on the EasyPay website and then print out your receipt.

EasyPay Paypoints are found across South Africa at food stores including Pick N Pay, Shoprite, Checkers, and Spar, as well as many other merchant sites.

What if there are no Easypay paypoints near me?

Some of our students write in areas where Easypay paypoints and online facilities are not available (International students and countries bordering South Africa). The following details are for those particular students only:

Make a direct deposit or EFT payment to NBT Project as follow:

AQL only R130 or AQL and MATHS R260

Bank:                      Standard Bank

Account Name:         UCT

Account Number:      071503854

Branch Code:            025009

Reference:                NBT231500

IBAN / SWIFT Code:  SBZAZAJJ

Send confirmation of payment to the NBT Project by FAX: 021-650-5331 or email:adp-cetap@uct.ac.za

Include your 14-digit NBT Reference Number, your name and ID number when sending confirmation of payment.

NB. Your scores will not be released if the NBT Project does not receive proof of payment.

30. Must I pay again for a rescheduled test?

If a test session is cancelled by the NBT Project and rescheduled for any reason (e.g. a change to the COVID National Risk Levels), and you are currently registered and have paid, you do not have to pay to write a rescheduled test.

31. Should I choose to write Online or the Pencil and Paper Test?

You should choose the test form that suits you the best. The tests are equilibrated so there is no difference in writing the online or pencil and paper form of the NBT. The online test is convenient as you would normally write the test at home, but you will need a computer that meets the minimum specification and have stable internet access and sufficient bandwidth or data.  

Writers who choose the online NBT should be aware that the possibility always exists that they may be affected by Eskom loadshedding, loss of connectivity or issues with their computer. Writers are therefore advised that they should choose a date earlier in the cycle to allow additional test dates should they experience issues on a test day. The NBT

The NBT cannot take responsibility for test sessions that are not completed and/or invalidated due the writers computer or peripheral equipment (camera's, microphones, routers, screens, RAM etc) failure or software issues or settings, or loss of connectivity, loadshedding or any other occurrence not linked to the test platform. Where this occurs the writer will need to re-register to write the NBT.

 

Or you may prefer to write in a test venue using the pencil and paper form of the NBT, in which case you should book your test in a venue closest to you on a date that suits you.

32. Will I be disadvantaged if I do a pencil and paper test as opposed to the online test?

Both test forms are equivalent and no writer will be disadvantaged should they choose pencil and paper OR Online tests

Writers who choose the online NBT should be aware that the possibility always exists that they may be affected by Eskom loadshedding, loss of connectivity or issues with their computer. Writers are therefore advised that they should choose a date earlier in the cycle to allow additional test dates should they experience issues on a test day. The NBT

The NBT cannot take responsibility for test sessions that are not completed and/or invalidated due the writers computer or peripheral equipment (camera's, microphones, routers, screens, RAM etc) failure or software issues or settings, or loss of connectivity, loadshedding or any other occurrence not linked to the test platform. Where this occurs the writer will need to re-register to write the NBT.

33. I am a student with disabilities. How do I apply for an NBT session?

The best way is to contact the Office for Student Disabilities at the institution where you intend to apply. That office will know what support is available at that campus, the support that can be offered to enable you to write the NBTs, and how to arrange a session

There is a form to request a special session that must be completed in order to make final arrangements for the setting that best mitigates your disability. Click here to download the form. You will not be able to complete the online registration process until you have sent us the completed form.

If you have been receiving services in your secondary school, you may also ask your school to request required support by sending an e-mail to nbt@uct.ac.za.

Any modifications to the standardized testing process must be arranged and approved at least three weeks prior to the date when you wish to write.

Approval will require medical documentation indicating the nature of the disability and the appropriate type of support. Requests without medical documentation will not be processed.

Please note that not all test venues have handicap access with ramps or elevators. If you have a physical disability that only requires access assistance, you should also contact us three weeks in advance to ensure that the venue where you are scheduled to write is accessible. 

Will extra time be allowed for "special needs/accommodation for writers? 

Yes, with required medical documentation. 

Also note that, depending on the disability, testing might not be available on weekends for students with disabilities. Please contact the NBT Help Desk for further information (nbt@uct.ac.za / 021 650 3523).

 

34. What is the NBT Test day like for Pencil and Paper?

For the Pencil and Paper Venues, check-in at all venues begins at 07:30. Door closes at 8:30, after which no one is allowed inside the test rooms. The AQL test is written in the morning and the MAT test is written in the afternoon. No learner is allowed to come mid-day to write just the MAT test. If you are writing the MAT test, you must write it the same day as you write the AQL test. 

What do I need to bring with me?

You must bring:

• Your South African ID booklet or foreign passport

• Pencils and eraser

• Water and lunch, in case you are writing both AQL and MAT

Do not bring a calculator, ruler, dictionary or other learning aid. If you require special assistance such as a magnifier or other adaptive device, you must send a written request to nbt@uct.ac.za at least three weeks prior to the writing session. Special arrangements will be made for anyone with a disability. Note that learners without an official ID will be turned away and not allowed to write.

 

35. Can I write the pen and paper test?

There are 20 Pencil and paper test dates scheduled. 

36. What time do I have to be at the test centre?

For Pencil and Paper tests, writers need to be at the venue by 07h30 for registration. The doors will close at 08h30.

37. What do I need to bring with me?

For the Pencil and Paper Tests you must bring:

  • Your South African ID booklet or foreign passport or a birth certificate with an affidavit from the police including a recent ID photograph.
  • Pencils and eraser
  • Water and lunch, if you are writing both AQL and MAT
  • Do not bring a calculator, ruler, dictionary or other learning aid. If you require special assistance such as a magnifier or other adaptive device, you must send a written request to nbt@uct.ac.za at least three weeks prior to the writing session. Special arrangements will be made for anyone with a disability.

Note that learners without an official ID will be turned away and not allowed to write (except when the following documentation is provided: a birth certificate with an affidavit from the police including a recent photograph.)

Under national Covid regulation the wearing of masks is compulsory at all times.

No writer will be permitted without a mask

38. How do I find my test venue?

It can be difficult to locate the test room on a university campus or a town that is new to you.

Please allow sufficient time so that you arrive at 7:30 to check-in. Should you have any concerns about the exact location of the test room, please send your concern to nbt@uct.ac.za at least two days before the writing session and we will send you the venue address.

If you are still unable to find the venue you may contact the NBT Helpdesk which is available between 7h00 – 10h00, 021 6503523

39. What is the NBT Test day like for NBT online?

For writers taking the NBT online, writers must login to the test site no later than 08h30 to complete the preliminary checklist. Writers will be required to complete a compulsory test simulation prior to the test, and will be required to capture a Photograph, complete the Photo ID verification, download the Lockdown Browser and complete the sample questions.

Note that learners without an official ID will not be able to complete the compulsory Simulation and will not allowed to write the NBT online. If you do not have a South African ID booklet or foreign passport and need to use your birth certificate for ID verification, you will need an affidavit from the police including a recent ID photograph that confirms your identity.

Present the affidavit with photo attached to the camera during the verification instead of the ID. On the third attempt you will be given the option of a manual verification. Choose this option BUT you will need to make sure the photo of you and the Affidavit are clear and readable or it will still be rejected.

Writers are reminded that the test is undertaken in a secure proctored online environment. You will be monitored throughout the test to ensure that you follow all testing procedures. Your entire test session will be recorded. You may only have a piece of paper and a pen/pencil in the test room. Books, cell phones, smart watches, calculators, and any other items are strictly prohibited. Please ensure that you comply with all test requirements to avoid the invalidation of your test.

Online NBT Test sessions start at 09h00 in the morning (AQL) and afternoon sessions (MAT) start at 14h00. Any deviation from these start times will be communicated to you for specific test dates.

Instructions will be provided on screen.

The NBT cannot take responsibility for test sessions that are not completed and/or invalidated due the writers computer or peripheral equipment (camera's, microphones, routers, screens, RAM etc) failure or software issues or settings, or loss of connectivity, loadshedding or any other occurrence not linked to the test platform. Where this occurs the writer will need to re-register to write the NBT.

40. NBT Online Test Rules

The NBT Online test is undertaken in a secure proctored online environment. You will be monitored throughout the test to ensure that you follow all testing procedures. Your entire test session will be recorded. Writers are required to comply with all test rules and requirements to avoid the invalidation of your test. The rules may be accessed from this link.

For NBT Online:

Note that learners without an official ID will not be able to complete the compulsory Simulation and will not allowed to write the NBT online. If you do not have a South African ID booklet or foreign passport and need to use your birth certificate for ID verification, you will need an affidavit from the police including a recent ID photograph that confirms your identity. This must be stamped with the relevant police stamp or it will not be accepted.

Present the affidavit with photo attached to the camera during the verification instead of the ID. On the third attempt you will be given the option of a manual verification. Choose this option BUT you will need to make sure the photo of you and the Affidavit are clear and readable or it will still be rejected.

  • The test “Simulation” prior to the test day is compulsory. The simulation allows completion of the Photo ID verification process and ensures the Lockdown Browser downloads successfully, and that the sample questions are answered and submitted, to prevent any unexpected problems on the test day. The fully completed simulation is valid for the full test cycle.

  • Please take note of the supported devices for taking the NBT test online (FAQ 43) and the recommended browsers; Chrome and Firefox. 

  • You must have administrator rights on the computer as you are required to download the Lockdown Browser software onto the computer and may be prompted for the admin password. Please ensure that you have access to the same computer for both the simulation and test. The NBT Online test must be taken in a quiet room with a blank wall behind you, with good lighting.
  • The Laptop or Computer camera must be operational and facing your face at all times during the test, otherwise, your session may be invalidated. There is a photo panel visible to you during your test so that you can check your camera is functional and your face visible.
  • Your face must be visible so no hoodies or clothing that completely obscures the face are allowed.
  • You may not wear headphones during the test session.
  • No other person may enter the room during your test session. Movement in the room will be picked up by the camera and will invalidate your test session.
  • You may only have a piece of paper and a pen/pencil in the test room. Books, cell phones, smart watches, calculators, and any other items are strictly prohibited. These items will be picked up by the system and will invalidate your test session.
  • Bathroom breaks are permitted but must be less than 5 minutes in duration. 
  • You may have a bottle of water (or other liquid refreshment) with you during the test.

 

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