Kenya Certificate of Primary Education

The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) is a certificate awarded to students after completing the approved eight-year course in primary education in Kenyans. The examination is supervised by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), an examining body in Kenya under the Ministry of Education. The same body also conducts and regulates the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), a certificate awarded to students after completing secondary education. KCPE and KCSE were both started in 1985 when the 8-4-4 system of education was introduced in Kenya.


The subjects examined are Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, Social Studies and Religious Education (Christian/Islamic/Hindu) and Science. English and Kiswahili consist of two parts, for English there is Grammar and Composition, and for Kiswahili, there is Lugha and Insha. Social Studies includes a bit of Kenyan History, Civic education, current County system of government as well as all the Religious Studies. Deaf or hard of hearing students may choose to be tested in Kenyan Sign Language instead of Kiswahili.[1] Each subject is worth a maximum of 100 marks. Each candidate is therefore able to earn a maximum of 500 marks. If by chance someone gets over 400 marks they are admitted to a government sponsored school. The exam time runs from the last week of October and takes three days. In 2016, the exams were held In October.[2] Results are then announced by the Minister for Education sometime in November. Efforts are ongoing to scrap the KCPE exam.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ "Kenya: PS Disowns Directive on Kiswahili". allAfrica. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2021-01-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "The Kenya National Examinations Council". Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  3. ^ Glewwe, Paul; Ilias, Nauman; Kremer, Michael (July 2010). "Teacher Incentives". American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. 2 (3): 205–227. doi:10.1257/app.2.3.205. ISSN 1945-7782.
  4. ^ "8-4-4 end beckons as experts meet". Daily Nation. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  5. ^ "8-4-4 here to stay as ministry pulls plug on the new system". Daily Nation. Retrieved 2020-05-27.

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