This is how the KCSE exam is marked by the Knec examiners

Every year the Kenya National Examinations Council, KNEC, administers national examinations for thousands of Candidates in Primary and Secondary Schools.

The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) is an exam administered by Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) to mark the end of secondary education level.

This exam is usually administered during the month of November and results released before the end of the year.

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Marking of the Exams

The KCSE exams are marked by trained examiners. The exams are marked at designated marking centres in Nairobi and its environs. This is a rigorous exercise and is closely monitored by the Council and the Government at large.

The marking process for all papers is the same. This is the detailed process:


The Council invites trained examiners (teacher) who apply for the marking exercise; online. Once selected, the examiners then download the invitation letters that spell out the terms of engagement.

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On the invitation letters are the reporting dates and marking centres; Examiners report to the centres on the stated dates. First to report are the subject specialists followed by Chief Examiners, Assistant Chief Examiners, Team Leaders and then the examiners.

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The scheme which is already made and has been ratified by the marking top brass team is then co-ordinated to accommodate all possible answers. Examiners take time to come up with all possible answers.


Dummies are copies of student’s scripts whose identity is concealed. They are made to enable examiners to internalize the marking scheme. Each examiner marks his/her dummy and the results recorded.

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After discussing the answers for each question, deviations are recorded. The dummies marked are usually more than ten.


The belt system is applied during the marking of KCSE scripts. Examiners are divided to various rooms. Various factors are considered including region and experience. Each room forms about 4 teams of 6 examiners each.

A room is led by an assistant examiner and each team has a team leader.


A live script is the candidate’s real work. Examiners carry boxes from script rooms and return them in the evening. The exercise is such involving.
A single script is marked by 6 examiners.

The team reader checks 10% of scripts marked by remarking with a green pen. The Assistant chief also does the same. These minimizes deviations.

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The examiners use red pen to check each paper weather all questions are marked and transferred correctly. It is involving too.

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Some will wonder about these terms. It just means checking totals for each question and the final total. This is to ensure that the correct scores are recorded.


The marks are carefully entered in mark sheets provided by KNEC.


Computer generated mark sheets are again returned to the examiners. The marks are confirmed by reading each script against the marks recorded.


The examiners in each room write a report about the marking process. The report is presented to KNEC.

Once all is done and KNEC is satisfied that the marking process is complete, the examiners are cleared and released from the marking centres.

The council then takes over the remaining process of moderation, grading, analysis and releasing of results to candidates.

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