10 questions students should ask themselves after checking their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education results

I remember the things I did after receiving my KCSE results sometime in 2008 very well. Didn’t do very well in math but I never thought about repeating form four.

There could be so many reasons I could give to explain why I didn’t do well in math, but I won’t; simply because a few excuses would sip in the basket of reason.

Do you remember the things you were hoping to do before the KCSE results were released?  Do you still want to do them?

It is a very good thing to remember all the plans and goals you had just before you received the results from Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC).

All those plans may be useful in building a good life right after you get to know your grades.

After you get your results

This is usually a really tough time for so many students. Parents, friends and family expectations can keep hearts beating faster the moment KNEC head and the Minister of Education appears on TV to announce the results.

What should you do then during such times?

Don’t do something before giving it much thought. Don’t let your KCSE grades determine the kind of life you’ll have from today onwards. What matters most is what you’ll be doing from now onwards.

A student’s immediate reaction, after getting their grades, may lead them to say things like:

1. What will my parents or guardians think?

Normally they’ll expect grades higher than the ones you got during (term I, II, III and mock) your fourth year in High School. It is a good thing to put a lot of effort to get decent results. However, when you fail to get the grades they expected, don’t let yourself resort to self-pity, anger, isolation or something that won’t add value to your life.

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Life has to go on. If they are okay with your results, it is time to put in more effort and work harder towards taking charge of your life. Respect your parents or guardians. Think about what you want to do in life and share this with them. That’s perhaps the easiest way to know what they think about you and your grades.

2. My grades aren’t good enough. May be the people who marked my papers weren’t fair. Yes?

Many students wouldn’t want to believe that the person who marked their paper was fair. So the question is, ‘Should you do the same?’

You may be right to believe that the markers weren’t fair. However, don’t get sucked into blaming others. That won’t help you much. Think along the lines of ‘What should I be doing with my life…now?’ even if your grades don’t please you one bit.

If your grades can’t get you the course you always dreamed of, it is time to have a discussion with your parents or guardians. You can then decide to start with a certificate or diploma course and move up the ladder. Some people may also consider upgrading their grades on individual subjects.

Don’t forget to check whether the results you received via your phone or computer tally with the ones received by your school. If still in doubt, check with your school and KNEC.

3. This is good. Now I know I’ll be able to pursue my dream course at university, right?

Congratulations! Just don’t get lost in the excitement. Think of the things that awaits you. You still have a long way to go. So keep working hard and learn more ways to replicate the success you had after four (or more) years in High School.

I have to say this again: congratulations!

4. Will these grades get me the course I wanted to pursue in university?

The best way to be in the know is to visit websites of various institutions of higher learning inside and outside Kenya. They always have a list of courses they offer and the requirements that must be met if one is to pursue a particular course.

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You can also check with your teachers or students who are already in university.

5. Should I go back to school and re-sit the national examinations?

This option should be considered if you really know what you are doing. There are students who went back to re-sit Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations and emerged with better grades.

However, some came out of high school with grades lower than the ones they had before.

Before you go back, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why should I go back?
  2. Can I get what I want only by going back to school?
  3. What alternatives do I have to re-sitting KCSE exams?

Should I go to Uganda to pursue my A-level (form five and six) course?

Again this is a decision you should make after having a discussion with your parents or guardians. If you have to go for A-levels in Uganda, make the decision. Don’t let someone impose their decision on you concerning which course to pursue in university or college – that’s if you don’t want to regret about lost time and opportunities a few years from now.

Be the person who knows when to say no.

6. Will my parents let me pursue my preferred course now that I’ve got my grades?

Short answer: There’s a high likelihood that you won’t enjoy pursuing a course forced on you. You may even drop out before you complete the course.

So you better go for the course that you want. Go for a course that takes into consideration all the talents you have. Go for a course that leads to a career you’ll still enjoy doing 30 or 50 years from now.

Don’t pursue a course just to please your parents. Think about the example you’ll set in the family. Are you locking your siblings in the same trap? Are you really thinking about how your life will be a decade or two from now?

7. What will my teachers think of me when I go back to school to get my KCSE results slip?

Don’t worry about that. Be humble. Think of greater things. Get your slip and go home.

8. Will I be eligible for Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) loans?

Check with HELB, your teachers or the nearest institution of higher learning.

9. Should I join university right away or wait a little?

Two questions:

Why would you wait if you can go in now? It is not a crime.

Why would you rush in if you know you are making a wrong move?

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Again, you should share with your parents or guardians. Then make a move.

10. What will I be doing now that I am spending a lot of time at home?

All I can say is:

What are your plans now that you’ve got your KCSE results?

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