The examination is held once a year (Letter and Composition for English and Setswana in August; all other papers in October). The examination is designed for candidates who have completed seven years of primary education or its equivalent. The Scheme of Examination makes provision for candidates who are studying through informal means, as well as those engaged in full-time education.
Candidates must be at least 11 year old when they take the examination, but otherwise there is no age restriction. The examination is offered in the following subjects: Mathematics, Setswana, English, Social Studies, Science, Agriculture and Religious and Moral Education.