Education Ministry Unveils New KCSE Grading System


The Cabinet Secretary for Education,  Ezekiel Machogu, has unveiled a new grading system that will be implemented in the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).

The new grading system will have grade candidates based on two mandatory subjects: Mathematics and one language (English, Kiswahili, or Kenyan Sign Language).

“In the new grading system that will be applied to the 2023 KCSE examination, the only two mandatory subjects will be Mathematics and one language either English, Kiswahili, or Kenyan Sign Language,” the CS said.

Additionally, the national examinations body, KNEC, will also consider any other five best-performed subjects to compute the KCSE mean grade.

CS Machogu stated the implementation of the new system aims at increasing the number of candidates qualifying for higher education in universities, Diploma and TVET training at Certificate and Artisan levels.

The changes to the grading system follow a recommendation from the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform.

The previous system considered seven languages to compute the final grade. This included five mandatory subjects (Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, and two sciences) and two other subjects. The Working Party reported that this system disadvantaged some learners whose best-performing subject was not considered if not within the cluster.

According to the ministry, the new grading system will focus more on the student’s interests and competencies as compared to the previous one which largely focused on academics.

A total of three national examinations will be administered this year including the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) for Grade 6 learners, KCPE, and KCSE.

KCSE exams are scheduled to start on October 23, 2023, and end on November 24, 2023.