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Knec: New KCSE Grading System 2023/2024 per Subject


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Knec: New KCSE Grading System 2023/2024 per Subject

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KCSE 2023/2024 KNEC Grading System– Cluster Subjects

  1. Mathematics
  2. One language- English/Vernacular/ Kiswahili/Foreign

Education CS Machogu in a raft of changes recently announced a new KCSE grading system. According to Machogu, it is now within the public domain that Maths and 1 language and 5 other best performed subjects will be considered by KNEC to compute the cluster of 2023 KCSE candidates’ grades in the new grading system. He reiterated that the new system will balloon the number of students joining university hence cut on wastage.


In the new grading system, only two mandatory subjects, Mathematics and one language (English, Kiswahili, or Kenyan Sign Language), will be used to compute the mean grade.


“Previously there were five mandatory subjects across three cluster groups – Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, two sciences and one humanity,” said Machogu on Monday during a stakeholders’ engagement on the new grading system at the New Mtihani House.



Additionally, examiners will be required to pick five of the best-performed subjects from a candidate, doing away with the previous grading system.



Also read: The latest KCSE grading system per subject


“In addition to the two mandatory subjects – the Kenya National Examinations Council will consider any other five best performed subjects. It is expected that the new reform measure will increase the number of students qualifying for universities, Diploma and TVET training at Certificate and Artisan levels,” said the Education CS.


The previous system was perceived to disadvantage some learners whose best-performing subject was not considered if not within the clusters, as has been the case since the inception of the 8-4-4 education system.


Under the previous grading system, students’ final grades were determined by five compulsory subjects plus one humanity course. However, the newly introduced system will evaluate students based on two compulsory subjects and any five other best-performed subjects, effectively altering the way students’ academic achievements are assessed.


The two compulsory subjects in the new grading system are Mathematics, a single language, and five of the best performed subjects. The language that yields the higher performance will be considered in the grading process. Similarly, it won’t matter what subjects are best performed, those will be the ones used in the final grading.


In the previous grading system, students were assessed based on Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, the two best-performed sciences, and two other best-performed electives, including a humanity course. This change represents a significant shift away from the previous structure, streamlining the grading process to create a more equitable and inclusive system.



The primary objective of this educational reform is to increase the number of students who qualify for university and diploma education. By allowing students to select their best-performed subjects from a broader pool, the new system aims to recognize and reward individual strengths and talents, promoting diversity in higher education.


Demonstration of the old and new grading systems

Look at the performance below for a KCSE 2023 and beyond learner:


Subjects done 8:

Mathematics: C+ (7 points)

English: C plain (6 points)

Kiswahili D plain (3 points)

CRE: B+ plus (10 points)

History: B plain (9 points)

Agriculture: A- minus (11 points)

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Biology: C+ plus (7 points)

Chemistry: C- minus (5 points).

Comparison of the grading systems

Grading as per the old system

Chosen Subjects for Grading Grade Points

Mathematics (Compulsory) C+ 7

English (Compulsory) C 6

Kiswahili (Compulsory) D 3

Biology (Copmulsory Science 1) C+ 7

Chemistry (Compulsory Science 2) C- 5

CRE (Mandatory Humanity) B+ 10

Agriculture (Any Category) A- 11

Totals C+ (Plus) 49



Grading as per the new system

Chosen Subjects for Grading Grade Points

Mathematics (Compulsory) C+ 7

English (Best Language) C 6

Agriculture A- 11

CRE B+ 10

History B 9

Biology C+ 7

Chemistry C- 5

Totals B- (Minus) 55



According to the new grading system, the student will get a B- (minus) of 55 points as opposed to the C+ (plus) of 49 points in the old KCSE Grading System.



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