Going to University/College is one of the most important decisions one will ever make in their lifetime. Because going to University is such an important investment, one should therefore focus all their energies in order to select the most appropriate career that matches their dreams and aspirations. Kenyan Universities are largely the same in terms of quality and therefore get quite similar placement in the world University rankings. However, Kenyan Universities are known to be strong in particular disciplines and as such one should look whether the University that they intend to attend is prominent in that field.
When the results of KCSE are released, the public Universities meet under the Joint Admissions Board (JAB) to fix the cut off point for universities.
Though in theory every student who gets a C+ and above deserves to attend a Public University, this is not the case. Usually, the Universities select students with grade B and above. However, the Joint admissions Board exercises some form of affirmative action and hence lowers the entrance grade for female students by one or two points. The same applies to students from marginalized areas such as North Eastern. Though affirmative action is by its very nature discriminatory, it helps to balance the scales somewhat. For instance, if there were no affirmative action, courses such as medicine could easily be filled with students from national schools such the Alliance high school and Starehe Boys Centre.
Once the Joint Admissions Board has set off the cut off point, they then look at the cluster points in order to select students to the various courses. Your cluster point is weighted based on raw cluster points and the overall points that you get. The raw cluster is composed of the subjects most relevant to the course. For instance, if you wish to pursue electrical engineering, the raw cluster points would be computed by adding the points of individual subjects of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Geography/Biology. For example, if you get an overall of 84 points (the maximum possible in KCSE), and get raw cluster points of 48 points, your weighted cluster points remains 48. The Joint Admissions Board (JAB) contains this information in their website.