Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE)
The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) is a certificate given to students at the completion of Secondary Education.
The examination is taken over October & November and the results are released in February the following year.
The KCSE examinations are taken under very strict supervision from invigilators to avoid cheating and run for a period of about one month. Cheating in these examinations attracts severe penalties from the Kenya National Examinations Council and students caught cheating get their grades cancelled. The exams usually start on October 22 and end in late November. From December, the exam is graded and released on February 26 the following year. Examination results are announced to the public by the Minister for Education and the top 100 students and schools are released to the media the same day of the announcement. School rankings are divided into the top 100 private schools, public schools and provincial schools.
The grading of the examination is as thus: A (80% and above) A- (79- 75) B+ (70-74) B (65-69) B- (60-65) C+ (55-59) C (50-54) C- (45-49) D+ (40-44) D (35-39) D- (30-34) E (0-29)
In Kenya, this examination is the entrance to public and private universities and the pass mark is grade C+. Students who attain a lower mark than C+ join other tertiary institutions for non-degree courses. Over time, stringent measures have been taken by the government to ensure and sustain the credibility of the KCSE examination. However, there have been instances of breaches of these measures leading to examination vices such as leakage to some selected students who if undetected end up scoring high grades. In detected cases, such students have been punished by having their results cancelled and examination officials who participated in the vice charged in a court of law.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of students take the examination after four years of the Secondary School Course and this examination is a major determinant of the individual's future career. A good grade guarantees one a place in one of the public or private universities in the country.