KNEC functions and types of examinations they offer

Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) was established under the Kenya National Examination Council Act 2012. This was to align with the new constitution adopted by the Republic of Kenya in 2010.

The KNEC council is under the Ministry of Education which appoints the council members and oversees its operation.

The main mandate of the KNEC council is to set and maintain examination standards and award certificates and diplomas within Kenya.

Functions of the Council as per KNEC Act 2012

  1. To conduct such academic, technical, and other examinations within Kenya as it may be considered desirable in the public interest.
  2. To award certificates or diplomas to successful candidates in such Examinations.
  3. To invite anybody or bodies outside Kenya, as it may think fit, to conduct academic, technical, and other examinations within Kenya or to conduct these examinations jointly with the Council and to award certificates or diplomas to successful candidates in these Examinations.
  4. To advise anybody or bodies invited upon the adaptation of examinations necessary for the requirements of Kenya and to assist any such bodies to conduct such examinations.
  5. To make rules regulating the conduct of examinations and for all purposes incidental thereto.

Types of examinations offered by KNEC

Kenya National Examination Council offers different types of examinations at different levels of learning. The types of exams they offer can be categorized into the following

School examinations

These are examinations that are administered at primary and secondary school levels they include.

  1. Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) is administered to learners who have completed the primary education cycle of eight years;
  2. Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) is offered to learners who have completed the secondary education cycle of four years.
  3. Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Qualifying Test (QT) is offered to learners without KCPE qualification who wish to sit for the KCSE examination.

Teacher examination

These are examinations that are offered to professionals who wish to join the teaching profession at various levels. The examinations are offered at the Teacher Training Insitute or any other college that is registered as KNEC center for these exams. The exams offered under this category include.

  1. Primary Teacher Education (PTE). The examinations are offered to those who wish to become primary school teachers. The examination is at the certificate level
  2. Diploma in Teacher Education (DTE): The examinations are offered to those who wish to be secondary school teachers for various subject combinations.
  3. Teacher Certificate in Adult Education (TCAE): The course and examination are met for those who will train in adult classes. It is a certificate-level examination.
  4. Diploma in Special Needs Education (SNE): to pursue the course and do these exams you need to have qualified with another teacher education course. This is a specialized course for those who wish to specialize in special needs students. It is a 2-year diploma course.
  5. Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE): The exams are offered to those who specialize in early childhood education. They can be diploma or certificate level.

Business and technical/post-school examinations

These are professional examinations that are offered in different technical training institutes, national polytechnics, and universities. The examinations are qualifications for different jobs and occupations in the workplace.

These examinations covered all the main professionals within the Kenyan workforce and beyond. They are categorized depending on the level of qualification into the following.

  1. Single and Group: This is an examination where candidates can sit for single papers and obtain a certificate. After completion of the course, the certificates are combined into elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels. With the advanced certificate, candidates can proceed to a Higher Diploma or Degree level of education. They are mostly offered for secretarial and other business courses.
  2. Artisan level: The examinations are mostly practical-based which major on student hand on skill acquisition. The learner is awarded a pass if they pass the practical. However, to progress to certificate level they should also have passed the theory units within the course.
  3. Certificate courses: entry level for this exam is pass in artisan level or a D or D- in KCSE.
  4. Diploma courses: The entry requirement is to pass in certificate level or above C- in KCSE. Those who have passed well in certificate level can request the council to exempt them from some units and they are admitted in module 2 of the diploma.
  5. Higher Diploma courses: it is an advanced course specific to the field of study. To pursue a higher diploma you are required to have passed the respective diploma course.

Foreign examination

One of the core functions of KNEC is to collaborate with any external body that wishes to offer examinations within Kenya to offer their exams of give the guidelines.

In this light, KNEC has collaborated with the following bodies to assist in one way or another in offering their examination in Kenya.

  1. Educe International (EI) – offering GCE/IGCSE Examinations
  2. International Examinations (CIE) – GCE/IGCSE Examinations
  3. International Baccalaureate Organization (IB Diploma).
  4. Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM).
  5. Cambridge International College(CIC)
  6. University of London International Programmers (ULIP)
  7. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
  8. Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
  9. Institute for the Management of Information Systems (IMIS).
  10. Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).
  11. Association of Business Managers and Administrators (ABMA).
  12. Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX).
  13. Association of Business Executives (ABE).