CBC: 1.3m Grade 6 Learners Prepare For First Ever KPSEA Exams, This Is What To Expect

The subjects to be tested are Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, Integrated Science (I.S) which entails Home Science, Agriculture, Science and Tech, and PHE.


On Friday, November 25, the first batch of Grade 6 learners will undertake rehearsals for the new Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) exams, which replace the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) under the new Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) timetable.

The exercise will see some 1.3 million students prepare for the main exams set to be held from November 28 to 30.

The students will then graduate and proceed to Grade 7 in January, where they will join Junior Secondary schools under the CBC program.

KCPE exams will also be held on the same dates, allowing class 8 students to complete their assessments using the 8-4-4 system.

The new CBC program applies to Grade 6 (Class 6) students. This means there will be two batches of KCPE candidates before a full transition to the new curriculum.

KPSEA will be structured as follows.

The subjects to be tested are Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, Integrated Science (I.S) which entails Home Science, Agriculture, Science and Tech, and PHE.

There will also be Creative and Social Sciences (C.A.S.S) which includes Art and Craft, Music, Social Studies, and Religious Education.

In the new curriculum, Composition and Insha will not be tested.

Time duration allocated for the subjects are Mathematics (1hr 20mins) English and Kiswahili (1hr), I.S and C.A.S.S(1hr 40mins).

Only students with special needs will be given extra time.

After completion of the assessments, the papers shall then be delivered to the specific sub-county education offices and collected by center managers in the company of security personnel.


The marking process will be unique from the traditional marking systems as the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) revealed that KPSEA will be marked using new technology and teachers will not be involved in the exercise.

This is after KNEC acquired Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) Machines which will electronically score the Grade 6 Assessment.

The machine marks the work of candidates by capturing their answer sheets using specialized scanning. The machines are said to mark scripts in batches of 100 and 200 sheets, making the process take a short time.


The final KPSEA score will be totaled from the School Based Assessments (S.B.A) and the Summative National Assessments (S.N.A).

About 60% of the learners’ scores will come from the S.B.A which constitutes assessments that they have been doing annually in the Upper Primary classes, Grades 4, 5 and 6.

These are assessments that are usually executed by classroom teachers, guided by KNEC. They are done in the form of Projects, Practicals, Portfolios and Oral Assessments.

The remaining 40% of the learners’ scores will be derived from the S.N.A otherwise known as the main KPSEA examination, which will be in the form of multiple-choice questions.

A final CBC certificate will be issued upon completion of Grade 12, as compared to the traditional issuance upon completing KCPE exams.

Results slips will be issued by KNEC after the completion of marking, which will be announced at a date yet to be confirmed.

The new 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum takes over the 32-year-old 8-4-4 curriculum. 

Since switching from the 7-4-2-3 system in 1985, this will be the country’s second time adopting a new curriculum.

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