Kenya: Where KCSE questions for maths papers were lifted from

All this year’s KCSE mathematics questions were lifted from past papers, whose answers are contained in a number of revision textbooks in the market.

It means that any of the 577,079 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education candidates exposed to the workbooks were smiling as the 2016 tests came to an end yesterday.

The same case would apply for candidates who revised all KCSE maths question papers from 1989 to 2015.

Investigations by The Standard revealed that all of this year’s mathematics questions – both Paper One and Paper Two – are contained in one revision book we have seen.

The workbook – KCSE Made Familiar – contains the questions and answers. All the questions were copied and pasted word for word, complete with the allocated marks.

For instance, question one of Mathematics Paper One that tested ‘integers’ is on page one of the book. The question is listed as number seven on the same textbook page.

This question appeared in the KCSE 2010 Mathematics Paper One as number one. Question two of the same paper that tested solving ‘algebraic expressions’ is on page 57 and is listed as question number 23 in the textbook.

This question was also tested in KCSE 2006 as question three in Paper One. Question three of the paper that tested measurements – area, volume, perimeter, time and density – is on page 52 listed as question 69 in the cited book.

This question was tested in KCSE 2011 Paper One as question number seven. and question four in Mathematics Paper One that also tested ‘measurements’ is listed as question number 10 on page 21 of the textbook.


Also from the same book are questions 5 to 16. In the 2016 Mathematics Paper One, question one to 16 form section one, with a total of 50 marks. All the questions are contained in the textbook.

Other questions from the book under section two are numbers 17 to 24. Under this section, there are eight questions. All of them are contained in the same workbook.

This means that all questions under Mathematics Paper One are in the same revision book. The 322-page book says the questions have been ‘arranged form-wise and in topics’ and covers Form One to Form Four.

“This workbook has been specifically organised to help students at all levels in high school revise and internalise a topic taught in class by solving the problems in this book from that topic. This will help students identify what they are taught in class with KCSE exams,” reads the back page cover.

The book indicates on its front page that it covers Mathematics Paper One and Two and contains question papers from 1989 to 2015. and turning to Mathematics Paper Two – under section one that contains 50 marks – all the 16 questions are in the same book. Questions 17–24 under section two of Paper Two – which also contains 50 marks – are in the same book.

“The workbook is also very useful for teachers who wish to expose their students to exam type-kind of questions in the various topics,” the book concludes on the back page.