New KCSE Grading Structure and subject requirement

New KNEC KCSE Grading Structure Explained 


KNEC has introduced a new KCSE grading structure that will be used to calculate the 2023 KCSE exam results.  The new grading structure reduces the number of compulsory subjects to only two.

New KCSE Grading Structure

The new KCSE grading structure restricts candidates to only two mandatory subjects out of 8. The two required subjects are Mathematics and one language of choice (Kiswahili, English, or Sign Language).

Students will use their previous year’s assessment performance to determine the required language subject to select between Kiswahili and English.

The old KCSE grading structure had five compulsory subjects which included Mathematics, Kiswahili, English, Sciences, and Humanity plus two other optional subjects.

With the new grading structure, examiners will be required to use any of the best-performed subjects when computing the mean grade of a student.

For example, if a candidate’s KCSE results were as follows below and the candidate had selected Kiswahili as his mandatory language, then the subjects that will be considered for calculating his mean grade will be Kiswahili, Mathematics, History, Agriculture, Biology, Physics,  and Chemistry

  • English: C
  • Kiswahili: A
  • Mathematics: A
  • Biology: A-
  • Physics: A-
  • Chemistry: B+
  • History: A
  • Agriculture: A

The changes in the KCSE grading structure aim to increase the number of students joining colleges and universities.  This is in line with the government’s education reforms.

It is important to note that although sciences and humanities are optional, you should also take into consideration your career goal when learning. Some courses like Medicine will still require you to perform well in Biology.

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