Frequently Asked Questions About VSA

Following are some FAQs are given, you can call us or email us freely.

Frequently Asked Questions About VSA

Following are some FAQs are given, you can call us or email us freely.


Most frequent questions and answers

No we don’t! VSA is a distance learning college and our goal is to make home study as affordable, easy and rewarding as possible. Although we do not offer physical classes that you attend, we do provide a comprehensive home study support network which enables you to pass your courses.

It happens that students change their mind about the course they are studying, and after further enquiry, realise a different course would be better suited to them. You can contact us if this happens and we will guide you through the process of switching your course.

The acronym stands for the National Benchmark Test. This is a university entrance test for all science and some commerce related careers. There are 2 components namely NBT Mathematics and NBT AQL. NBT Mathematics is a 3 hour multiple choice paper. NBT AQL is divided into Quantitative Literacy and NBT Academic Literacy (English). Each test is 1.5 hours long and is of a multiple choice format. Quantitative Literacy can be considered as applied school mathematics and is not mathematical literacy.

This depends on your prospective career choices, the type of educational institution (college, technikon and university) and the actual institution requirements itself. Students normally have multiple career choices. If any one of the careers is linked to science or certain commerce courses then you need to write NBT. If you are uncertain about your career you are advised to write the NBT.

This increases your chance of getting accepted into your educational institution of choice for your career of choice. Universities tend to give preference to students who wrote the NBT especially where there are limited places, additionally, provisional places maybe granted to learners who perform well in the NBT.

Your registration with VSA (NBT Maths or NBT AQL) grants you access to VSA’s e-learning platform which provides you with an e-book and a series of video lessons. The name of the website is You then need to proceed to register onto the NBT website in order to register and write the relevant NBT test.

Different students will take different amounts of time. The average student would tend to take the following amount of time: 17 x 3 hour sessions for NBT Mathematics. This should be staggered and not be done at once. After a few sessions you may attempt the online quiz which is marked online. Prior to writing, please attempt the practice paper which is also marked online. 6 x 2 hour sessions for NBT Quantitative Literacy (QL). There are 6 quizzes which should be attempted after application 1 and 2.

No one fails the NBT as there is no specific pass mark. Ultimately the universities reserve the right to accept or decline applications.

R499 with a current special of R399 – NBT Mathematics. R199 – NBT QL and if purchased with NBT Mathematics, this will cost R499. R199 – NBT AL (Academic Literacy). This is to be released in May 2021. If purchased with NBT Maths and QL, this will cost R599. You can add Grade 12 Mastering maths course (Normal cost = R899), with NBT Maths and QL for a combined total of R1200.

This depends on the universities that you are applying to. If you are unsure, we would suggest to write all three. You will not limit your options.

Some of these universities include UWC; Stellenbosch; UCT; Nelson Mandela; Rhodes; Wits; UFS; UJ and University of Pretoria, etc. It should be noted each university has its own criteria per course of study.

May of each year, however this can change from year to year. One should typicallywrite when you are thoroughly prepared. If you stagger your preparation meaningfully, then an appropriate time would be the middle or end of July. It also depends when you start your preparation.

It can be written online or at one of the designated physical venues. This list of when to write, both online and the physical venues, will be made available on our website and on our social media platforms.

Approximately 2 to 3 weeks (This is an estimate or may differ from time to time).

They will access it directly through NBT Offices.

In our opinion, it is more challenging than the school syllabus. There are 3 additional topics which are not done at school which are examinable in the NBT mathematics sections. They are transformation geometry; logarithms and problem solving.

AQL = R125 AQL & MATH = R250

You can write on a laptop or a desktop computer. You cannot write on a mobile or a tablet. It is a proctored examination which means this is invigilated using technology (Such as live videos and algorithms).

We have a list which was prepared by the universities. This will be published on our website and on our social media. Where a university has not been mentioned, it does not mean they are not using the NBT. It simply means that have not made their list public, or it is not easily available.

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