Machines speed up the marking of KCPE exam

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha inspecting the ongoing examinations at Alliance Boys school in Kikuyu. [GeorgeNjunge, Standard]

Examination results for the 1.2 million candidates who sat the just concluded Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination will be out next week.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said marking of the multiple-choice scripts will end today, thanks to the optical mark recognition (OMR) machine, which electronically scores the papers.

The marking of multiple-choice questions has been made easier by the machines that capture marked data from candidates’ answer sheets using specialised scanning.

The machines work with a dedicated scanning device that shines a beam of light on the paper. The contrasting reflection at predetermined positions on a page is then used to detect marked areas as they reflect less light than the blank areas of the paper.

Magoha said another five days will be utilised to mark Kiswahili Insha and English composition. The OMR machines are also used to speed up the tallying of Kiswahili Insha and English Composition marks, which were previously done manually by examiners. The two papers are still marked manually.

However, tallying of marks is no longer done through physical counts. After marking the Insha and Composition scripts, the examiners will pass over the papers to the new machine, which will do the electronic tallying of marks in record time.

Magoha said with this technology and progress examination results would be out next week.

“Anytime between Wednesday and Saturday (next week). Depending on His Excellency the president’s availability, we should be able to tell our children how they have performed,” said Prof Magoha.

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