Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E.)


  • Answer three questions only
  • Questions one and two are compulsory.
  • In question three choose only one of the optional texts, for which you have been prepared.
  • Where a candidate presents work on more than one optional text, only the first to appear will be marked
  • Each of your essays must not exceed 450 words

This paper consists of 2 printed pages. Candidates should check to ascertain that all pages are printed as indicated and that no questions are missing.

  1. Imaginative composition (Compulsory)


(a) Write a story to illustrate the saying:

‘It is blessed to give than to receive’


(b) Write a story ending with:

………. I overcame despite growing up in abject poverty




”Good things go to who deserve” Referring closely to the text The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht discuss the validity of this statement.


  1. The Optional set texts

Answer any one of the following questions


         (a) The short story

.”Memories we lost and other stories’

Using the story Memories we lost by Lidudumalingani Mqombothi(south Africa)Discuss the challenges that a family encounters as a result of having a sick child in the family


         (b) Francis Imbuga, Betrayal in the city

The outside of one cell may as well be the inside of another. Discuss the relevance of the above statement basing your argument from Francis Imbuga’s

“Betrayal in the city”

         (c) The Pearl


“Wealth can at times become a curse instead of being a blessing to the people’Discuss the truth in this statement using the novelThe Pearl by John Steinbeck




  1. (a) Must be a story, if not deduct up to 4 marks AD

Should present a scenario where a character that is generous or offer assistance is finally rewarded in some way

(b) Must be a story, if not deduct up to 4 marks

Should present a scenario where a character from a poor background finally becomes successful





A  A+19-20
B  B+14-15
C   C+09-10
D    D+04-05


The main signs indicate three degrees of seriousness of error.


















This sign in the margin is used only when a construction error effects more than one line.






REPETITION          -(of words ) a circle around the word\(of ideas)

Rusually in the margin



Obscure/vague (in margin)


WRONG WORD ORDER Underline once and write W.O in margin

ILLOGICAL or contradictory                                   ILL (in margin)

BROKEN ENGLISH when the candidate fails to communicate BR in margin



COW to indicate that a candidate has used a pencil to make a correction

BRACKETS [  ] indicate a part of a d script that communicates

*         Use an asterisk to indicate an item or a sentence that the rubrics indicate should be used

II        TO INDICATE AN ITEM OF MERIT use a tick(Ö) either above a word or in the margin for the whole sentence.


  • Almost any error of agreement
  • elementary errors of sentence construction
  • Ridiculous use of idiom that affects communication
  • Misuse of common prepositions
  • Misuse of capital letters – Use CAPS underline the first page and use
  • CAPS on subsequent pages where the mistake persists


  • Decide on the degree of communication achieved ,A-D
  • After underlining decide on the mark category
  • Allocate a numerical mark to the essay

PROBLEM SCRIPTS………………………………………….

All problem scripts must be marked by the examiner and then set to the Tea leader with comments

  • Consistent distorted of question version of question, writing on a totally different subject with a clumps attempt at connecting the essay to the subject given, inclusion of memorized passages, etc.
  • The question is given an unacceptable or questionable interpretation
  • Essays contain long, semi- relevant digressions or lack coherence


The examiner marks the essay,gives a linguistic mark and comment on the nature of the irrelevancy

The essay is then passed over to the team leader who judges whether the irrelevancy should be judged as a deliberate attempt to deceive or should be attributed to the candidate’s poor understanding of the subject. Deduct up to 4 marks for irrelevancy in the essay. If dishonesty is suspected, the Chief examiner should be informed. Any deduction of 3marks or more should be referred to the Chief Examiner


Since the rubrics may change from year, the POINTS OF INTERPRETATION that are of this MARKING SCHEME must be consulted and adhered to faithfully. Here are some general rules that usually apply.

  • Decide on the category D+ D or D-
  • Mark the error on the first page of the essay
  • Read the other pages, if the essay still does not communicate , draw a diagonal line across each page.
  • Team leaders should look at a good number of those script and ensure that the mark given is fair.
  2. It should be remembered that the main quality of an essay is how effectively it communicates. If an essay looks too short, the examiner should take the time to count the exact number of words



Agood number of words and expressions are understood and currently used by all Kenyans. They can be used in essays without any need for quotation marks or explanations. We can include among those Pnga, rungu ,shamba , murrain, matatu

Wananchi, ugali, madadrasa, harambee ,matoke

MaendeleoyaWanawake , salaam aya, askari

Debe, duka ,Nyayo, bomasukumawiki, goal party, manyatta.magendo



Although “English” spelling is more common than American” spelling in Kenya, examiner should accept both spelling and no penalty should be given for such various. Penalize for lack of consistency in usage of either




Everyone in life gets what is due to them depending on the effort they make and their commitment towards achieving ascertain end. People who refuse to take responsibility end up losing what they would have benefitted from.

(Accept any other relevant introduction) = 2 marks.

Introduction should confirm that the candidate understands the question.

It can be – A paraphrase

-An outline


The candidate must show a point of interpretation of the question.

i)Identify the incident / circumstance.

  1. ii) The conflict around it / contention.

iii) How one character / one party are better suited to get the things / receive the favor than the other.


  1. The conflict between the fruit farmers and the goat herders.

The fruit farmers want the valley, the goat herders previously occupied, to put it to greater production.

The goat herders are demanding their valley back after the war.

However the fruit farmers win the day and get the valley for the simple reason;

-That they had grand plans for that valley.

-They planned to build a dam across the mountain lake that would enable them water 100 acres of infertile land.

-With that the farm could not only grow more fruits but would also support vineyards thus they needed the valley to put theplans to action.

-This plan would also benefit the good herders in the food production.

In this case the fruit farmers deserve the valley for they would put it to good use.

  1. Grusha and not Natella deserve to keep Michael.

Natella is Michael’s biological mother but Grusha is the one who shows concern and takes great risks for the child in ensuringhis security (from the Iron shirts) and his general welfare.

Natella, the biological mother forgot her own and only heir in her escape from Nuka. Which mother does that?

As if that wasn.t gross enough, she comes back to claim Michael for the sole purpose of accessing the vast wealth Georgi hadput under Michael.

Grusha will not give up the baby without a fight.

When the case is brought before Judge AzdakNatella pulls the child out of the circle because she wants to win at whatevercost.

Grusha will not dare harm the child and refuses to pull him out of the chalk circle.

The judge rules in favour of Grusha because she is best suited to keep the child. She is motherly in every way and willnurture the child unlike his mother. So the child is left in the hands of the one who will bring out the best in the child.

  1. Between Simon and Jussup, Simon is best suited to be with Grusha.

Simon before going off to war makes a promise to Grusha that he will come back and even gives her a cross as evident oftheir engagement. Though he stays long at war, he eventually does come back to Grusha.

A promise is fulfilled Jussup, buy unlikely circumstances marries Grusha. He is harsh on her and constantly keeps at her.

When Michael is taken by the Iron shirts back to Nuka, Simon follows her and stays with her throughout.

He is even willing to testify that the child, Michael, is his just to save and help Grusha keep Michael.

So, when judge Adzak “mistakenly” divorces Grusha instead of the old couple, we say that it is all for the best for Simon wasgood by Grusha unlike Jussup who harassed her all the time. It is also not lost to us thatGrusha herself loves Simon and notJussup when she get married to for convenience. So, she should go to Simon.

  1. Azdak deserves to be judge and not prince Kazbeki.s nephew. The nephew, being fronted by Kazbeki who has just executedhis own brother, G.B the governor if made judge would like his predecessors, just serve the rich Azdak on the other handproves to be the savior of the poor neglected Glusinians.

Thus he deserved to be the judge for he would change the status que and offer respite to the poor.

Introduction -2

3:3:3:3 -12

Conclusion -2       Language 4




Human beings desire to be wealthy they always think that happiness and wealth are directly related. This is not true according the Pearl by JOHN STEINBECK as the pearl thought to bring happiness brings nothing but trouble


The pearl buyers blackmail. As the Kinos march towards the town, the villagers join them but only one man walks close to Kino, hisbrother, Juan Tomas. This is done due to seriousness of the occasion. Kino and Tomas are worried about the possibility of the pearl dealer cheating them of the true value of the pearl. But it appears there is no other way they can go around it. The pearls dealers have colluded to get konos pearl at a lower price. The first buyer quotes a thousand pesos. The second buyer asks to be excludedin the discussion because the pearl is monstrosity. The third one says the pearl will soon loss its color and the fourth offers a paltry five hundred pesos. Indisgust, Kino snatches his pearl from the fourth buyer’s hand

After kino succeeds to get the pearl from his wife who wants to throw it into the sea, he is attacked by the dark ones and ransacked.His attackers are searching for the pearl which he has just saved from his wife.He assaults his wife and kills a man.His violence reaches beastly proportion…..”He was an animal now, for attacking and he lived only to preserve himself and his family”….pg 87

The trackers persuit.Kino wakes up with a start and investigates their surrounding only to discover trackers pursuingthem. One is on his horseback. He chooses to take his family up the mountain; thedesperate attempt to cover as much distance as possible before the trackers make the obvious hiding place .The music of evil in his ears becomes more ominous.The pearl that has been declared worthless by the dealers is indeed priceless and one of its own kind in the world hence the greedy and malicious intent to grab it.

Doctors interests on the pearl.Kino promises to pay the medical bill after selling his pearl.The doctor feigning ignorance asks if he truly has a pearl in his safety.Kino will not part with his pearl .Already sensing that kino has hidden the pearl somewhere inside the earthen floor; the door looks at kinos eyes intensely during conversion.

Coyotito’s death.The trackers camp by the pool and sleep in turns .One keeping sentry as others rest.Kino decides to attack his enemies instead of allowing them to find him and his family at dawn He plans to attack them under the cover of darkness before the bright moon shows up unfortunately Coyotito utters a little cry which alerts the trackers and one of them fires into the cave with a rifle hitting the baby and killing it. Kino kills the three trackers in brief but dramatic moments of sheer madness.


Kinos family finds the pearl being a curse instead of being a curse instead of being a blessing as they thought about it earlier but the opposite happens. It brings sorrow and suffering. It is true wealth can be a curse instead of being a blessing.




A family with a sick member goes through a lot of challenges. Others members of the family are involved in a lot of activities in order to care and treat the sick person. It involves a lot of sacrifice and patience practiced by the members of the family. This is clearly seen in the short story, memories we lost by lidudumalinganimqombothi in memories we lost and other short stories from east Africa.

Causes panic.The narrators sister suffers from an incurable disease known as schizophrenia; a serious disease mental illness in which someone thoughts and feelings are not based on what is really happening around them .she runs away from home one night, screaming waking up everyone and sending them into panic .Despite their frenzied and frightened search for her,the search parties return empty handed.Itis only the girl’s mother who manages to bring the sister back later on in the morning.

The narrator describes horrifying incidents when the condition gets the better or her sister. One such      incident was when she cracks her head against the wall of their house leaking it bleeding.

Causes others suffering  The narrator also describes another incident when her ill sister throws a pot of searing hot porridge in her direction severely burning her chest she has to quickly  remove her dress to prevent further damage.

Causes desperation andhopelessness .Narrators mother takes the child to medicine men called sangomas and churches to have the conditions exercised to no avail .Rituals are held to get rid of the condition which involve slaughtering a goat and prayers by both sangomas and pastors .Then the mother and her uncle referred to as smelly foot plan to take the narrators sister to another medicine malled called nzuki to bake her over a fire to rid of the condition.

The family members  suffer trauma .The narrators sister sneaks her sister out of their homestead to an unknown place .She  avoid public   scrutiny as they flee by travelling on less frequently used paths and at night.She refuses to attend school until her sister gets better .She keeps her sister companywhen other people are afraid of her


The family members go through a lot of sufferings as a result of a sick member in the family.They end up doing the unthinkable in order to help the ill member.

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