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How to register for KCSE as a private candidate


How do i register for KCSE as a private candidate? What are the requirements of registering as a private candidate for KCSE in Kenya? Where do i register for KCSE as a private candidate? Am i qualified to register as a private candidate for KCSE? Where do i get the KCSE private candidates registration form from? Which are KCSE private candidate centers in Kenya?

All these questions are frequently asked by those people who would like to take a second chance and complete their secondary studies or improve their grades with the goal of securing a chance in the local universities.

Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) has made it possible for private students who want to sit for KCSE, to do so. If you are interested and you meet the requirements, you will be required to register as a private candidate in recognized educational institution in Kenya. This can be an adult education center.

Who are eligible to be private candidates?

  1. Those sitting for exam for the second time
  2. Those who are older and may find it uncomfortable to mingle with young students
  3. Those who are sitting for their exam while serving as inmates
  4. Those who missed their previous exam due to unavoidable reasons
  5. Those who want to bridge a KCSE subject to raise their scores


Before registration, you must meet the KNEC entry requirements which include the following;

  1. Must have a KCPE certificate
  2. Must have a birth certificate. If you are an adult, you can present the ID card, ID waiting card or Passport.
  3. Two passport-sized photos
  4. Must have stayed for more than three years since you last sat for KCSE. For repeaters, you must not have stayed for more than two years since sat for your last KNEC examination.
  5. You must produce a school leaving certificate from the previous school you attended
  6. You must have sat and passed a qualifying test administered by KNEC. The KNEC qualifying test is a test done to those candidates who do not have KCPE certificate and would like to sit for KCSE.
  7. Produce a letter of confirmation from the head teacher of the school/center you will be taking the KNEC examination from.

As a private KCSE candidate, you are expected to register for a minimum of seven and maximum of nine Kenya National Examination Council examination papers.

KCSE Registration Process

To register as a private KCSE candidate, you are required to visit the official KNEC website and download a registration form, fill it fully and submit to KNEC recognized centers. You can get more information on registration centers near you at your District/Sub-County Education Office.

You can find the form at https://www.knec.ac.ke/home/index.php?option=com_phocadownload&view=category&download=680:2018-kcpe-examination-entry-form-for-private-candidates&id=90:schools

(If the above form is not available, get it from https://www.knec-portal.ac.ke/ )

Where do i submit my dully filled registration form

Kenya National Examination Council have provided registered and recognized centers where you can make your registration. You can visit District Education Offices next to you in March of every year and make your registration as a private KCSE candidate. The registration timeline is solely set by KNEC.

You will not be accepted as a KCSE private candidate if you will not meet the above entry requirements, even if you have paid the registration fees

Examination Fees

Private Candindates must pay for the examination fees. The number of papers you will register will determine the amount of examination fee to be paid by you. The normal basic Exam registration fee is kshs 2700. Each paper also attract an extra fee of kshs 400.

The fees payment is not done directly into the KNEC account but rather to the Sub-County Education office who in turn deposit it into KNEC's account.

Registration Timelines

Registration of KCSE as a private candidate should be done by February 15 of each year, for you to seat for the KCSE exam in the same year.

Where do i get more information?

This information might be confusing. I would recomend that you download and print the above registration form and head to your sub-county education office. They will give you all the the information that you require and even pre-qualify you as a candidate.

KCSE Bridging Exams

KCSE candidates in Kenya can improve their grades in particular KCSE subjects even after completion of the O level certificate. This helps them to raise their score to the minimum average entry requirements for admission to university in Kenya. The KCSE candidate wishing to boost KCSE subject scores in Kenya will be allowed to sit for a minimum of one paper.

Kenya National Examination Council has collaborated with key universities in Kenya like University of Nairobi, Moi University, Kenyatta University, Maseno University, Egerton University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, amongst others to provide tuition classes and examination centers for private candindates wishing to bridge the subjects. 

The bridging registration charge in Kenya is Ksh 2,000 for one paper while an extra KCSE subject will attract a fee of Ksh 200 per paper and Ksh 100 bridging registration charge for a KCSE practical paper.

To register for KCSE bridging examination, you can get more information from the above listed centers or at the centre where you are undertaking your tutorials.

Points to note

  • Deadline for registration of KCSE examination and KNEC Qualifying Test is February 15.
  • 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

This blog post was published on 18 Nov 2019 in Secondary category. Access all the posts at Blog

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