Top tips and guidelines for the Home Language exam


The Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) for Official Languages: Home Language outlines the nature and purpose of the subject Official Languages: Home Language. This guides the philosophy underlying the teaching and assessment of the subject in Grade 12.

The purpose of these Examination Guidelines is to:

Provide clarity on the depth and scope of the content to be assessed in the Grade 12 National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examination in Official Languages: Home Language.Assist teachers to adequately prepare learners for the examinations.

This document deals with the final Grade 12 external examinations. It does not deal in any depth with the School-Based Assessment (SBA).

These guidelines should be read in conjunction with the following policy documents:

  • The National Curriculum Statement (NCS) Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS): Official Languages: Home Language
  • The National Protocol of AssessmentAn addendum to the policy document, the National Senior Certificate: A qualification at Level 4 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), regarding the National Protocol for Assessment (Grades R–12)
  • The national policy pertaining to the programme and promotion requirements of the National Curriculum Statement, Grades R–12Circular E16 of 2020, Circular E19 of 2018 and Circular S13 of 2013 (Literature)

Disjunctive and Conjunctive Orthography in Languages

Disjunctive OrthographyConjunctive OrthographySigned Texts
English Afrikaans Sepedi Sesotho Setswana Tshivenda XitsongaIsiXhosa IsiNdebele IsiZulu SiswatiSouth African Sign Language


The purpose of these guidelines is to standardise the setting and marking of examinations in all 12 official languages in respect of:

  • Number of sections
  • Lengths and types of texts
  • Types and levels of questions
  • Allocation of marks
  • Marking guidelines/Assessment rubrics