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In Summary:
  • Schools to register KCPE, KCSE candidates between 2nd January and 15th February, 2019
  • Students’ admission numbers to be used to issue index numbers and not merit list
  • No double registration of candidates
  • There shall be, only, one private examination centre per sub county
  • There will be no late registration of candidates.

The Kenya National Examinations Council, KNEC, has given schools forty five (45) days to register candidates for National examinations. “The registration of candidates for the 2019 KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education), KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education) and KCSE QT (Qualifying Test) examinations will start from 2nd January 2019 and end on 15th February, 2019,” reads a circular by KNEC Acting Chief Executive Officer (Dr. Mercy Karogo) dated 26th November, 2018.

According to Dr. Karogo, schools with less than fifteen (15) candidates will not be used as examination centres. Instead, such schools will be hosted by nearby examination centres. “The hosted school will retain its code (KNEC CODE) during registration of candidates. Schools with less than five (5) candidates are advised to register their candidates in another approved examination centre,” Dr. Karogo. This year, a total of  1,060,703 candidates registered for the KCPE examinations, while 664,585 sat for the KCSE examinations.

The council has ordered that all candidates to register in centres where they have been learning. This is to discourage cases where schools register perceived ‘weak’ students in another centre, while they retain the ‘clever’ ones; to improve the school’s mean score. “Registration in two centres (double registration) will be treated as an examination malpractice,” Dr. Karogo warns. To register candidates, head teachers and Sub County Education officers will be required to log into the KNEC schools’ portal by using the address, ‘’. You may also like: Important KNEC documents, News and procedures

In a shift from the norm, schools will now use student’s admission numbers in issuing  index numbers to candidates. Previously, candidates would be subjected to examinations in order to use the merit list to award the index numbers.  “All candidates for both KCPE and KCSE examinations will be issued with an INDEX NUMBER as per the school’s ADMISSION REGISTER, NOT class performance as was the case in previous years,” The council advises.


All private candidates will register and sit for their examinations at designated examination centres in the Sub-County. “KNEC will only allow one private examination centre per Sub County. Private candidates are not allowed to individually deposit money into the KNEC collection accounts and Sub County Education Officers are asked to ensure compliance to this regulation,” the circular states.

For compliance and smooth registration process, the council advises schools’ heads to use the regulations and Examination Manual printed and circulated by KNEC in 2017 (‘A guide for management and Administration of National Examinations’, first edition- 2017). All other documents for the registration of candidates shall be downloaded from the KNEC portal; since the examination body will not send any documents for candidates’ registration to schools.


As has been the case, there shall be no late registration of candidates in 2019. This means, candidates who shall have not registered by the 15th of February, 2019, will have to sit for their examinations in 2020. The government will continue meeting the examination fees for all candidates (in both public and private schools) except those who will be re-sitting the examinations, repeaters.

Schools’ heads are advised to ensure the validity of captured data; including the subjects that the candidates would have registered for. “Verification of registration data will take place between 18th and 28th February, 2019. Teachers are advised not to sign for their candidates as there will be no window for candidates to sit for any subject as under protest in the 2019 examination,” KNEC warns. Consequently, students will sit for all subjects as would have registered for and there shall be no amendment of the registration details after 28th February, 2019.

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