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**CHOOSING APPROPRIATE COURSES IN KENYAN PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES July 2014**

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**At the moment we have 21 public universities and 10 university colleges**

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**Entry to the local universities is pegged on the candidate’s performance in the KCSE exams.**

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**Calculating the average grade for those with 8 subjects:**

Eng Swa Math Geo/His Any 3 from the remaining 4

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If a candidate takes 7 subjects, ALL the 7 subjects will be considered in determining the average grade.

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**For each subject the candidate is awarded a grade ranging from A to E**

For each subject the candidate is awarded a grade ranging from A to E. each grade has a commensurate number of points as shown below:

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A 12 A- 11 B+ 10 B 9 B- 8

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C+ 7 C 6 C- 5 D+ 4 D 3 D- 2 E 1

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**Accordingly, a student who scores 7 straight As scores a maximum of 84 POINTS, (12x7).**

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**A candidate who scores 7 Es gets the minimum numbers of points possible i.e. 7 points (1x7).**

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**The average grade is determined by dividing the aggregate points by the number of subjects taken:**

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A A- 73-67 B+ B B- C+

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The cut off points (COP) for public university admissions are pegged on the performance in KCSE in a given year in 2014: B (60 pts) for boys and B- (58 pts for girls

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The candidate is also expected to meet the requirements for the course of his choice. This consists of a cluster of four subjects.

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**Each course has a cut off point (COP) determined by the competitiveness of the course.**

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**There are two types of COPs:**

The raw cluster point The weighted cluster point.

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The raw cluster point is the actual total number of points that the candidate scores in the cluster of subjects needed for the course of his choice.

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For instance a candidate who scores an A in each of the four cluster subjects required for Actuarial Science will have a raw cluster point of 48.

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Initially this was the criterion that the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS) followed in admitting students to the various courses.

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**With time however, KUCCPS realised that the system was being abused**

With time however, KUCCPS realised that the system was being abused. Some candidates would concentrate only on the necessary cluster of subjects required for consideration for their preferred courses at the university neglecting the rest.

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**To address this anomaly, KUCCPS introduced the weighted cluster point**

To address this anomaly, KUCCPS introduced the weighted cluster point. The raw cluster point is weighted against the candidate’s overall performance

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**KUCCPS also introduced performance indexing**

KUCCPS also introduced performance indexing. This weights a candidate’s performance in each subject against the performance of the top candidate

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**UNIVERSITY APPLICATION**

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**Candidates will be required to choose their courses in the order of preference as shown below:**

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(a) _______________ (b) _______________ (c) _______________ __________________

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It is important to note that the same course could have different COPs in different universities depending on demand.

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Usually the courses offered at UON and JKUAT attract more applicants and therefore have relatively higher COPs than those offered in the other universities.

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In summary a candidate should do the following in order to increase the chances of getting admitted to the university and to the degree course of his choice:

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Do the best he can in ALL the subjects in order to boost his basic aggregate points. He must not ignore any subject even if he does not need it for his preferred course.

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Pay particular attention to the subject cluster that he needs for admission to his preferred course (to boost his raw cluster point).

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Be realistic in his choice of university courses and choose as his first choice the course whose requirements he is most likely to meet.

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**After the results are announced, he should revisit his choices**

After the results are announced, he should revisit his choices. If he is doubtful as to whether he has met the COP for his first choice, he should go the KUCCPS offices at UON and reapply. He should then put as his first choice a course that he is sure he has qualified for.

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