Has the Minimum Grade for University Placement Been Lowered for 2020 Kcse Candidates?

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A Facebook post claims that the minimum grade required students to be enrolled into universities has been lowered to C- (minus) for students who are set to finish high school in 2020.


The Government of Kenya sponsors learning at institutions of higher education after students sit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams. Results attained in the KCSE exams are normally used to determine whether the student qualifies to join a university or a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institution. The students can pursue either a degree, diploma or certificate based on their KCSE performance which is ranked from grade A (the highest) to E (the lowest).

KCSE candidates in 2020 still face uncertainty as they have been out of school since March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. President Uhuru Kenyatta on September 28 announced that despite the gradual re-opening of facilities such as restaurants and even bars, schools would remain closed for an indefinite period until “when we have and can sufficiently guarantee the safety of all our children”.


There is no official communication indicating that grades required for university placement of KCSE 2020 candidates has been changed.

On the contrary, the latest students’ application guide published on February 21, 2020 on the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) website indicates that the minimum admission requirement to apply for degree programmes is a C+ (plus).

A statement by the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Education George Magoha coincides with the KUCCPS application guide stating that the KCSE 2019 candidates who had attained a mean grade of C+ and above were eligible for placement to university as government-sponsored students.

Those who had grades below C+ were “eligible for placement to TVET programmes at Diploma, Craft Certificates and Artisan Certificate levels,” the statement that was issued on June 2, 2020, said.

Just as the date when schools would be reopened remains unknown, there is no official communication on when the KCSE 2020 candidates would begin their exams nor how they would be placed to various institutions of higher learning.


The Facebook post claiming that the KCSE minimum grade requirement for 2020 candidates has been lowered to C minus is FALSE.

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Linda Ngari