A’Level exams: Number of private candidates doubles

The number of private candidates who will sit this year’s secondary leaving examinations (A’Level) has increased about twofold.

The exams start next week.


Private candidates are those who register for exams without necessarily having attended regular classes from any formal secondary school but have either trained themselves or privately tutored.


According to officials from Rwanda Education Board (REB), this year, the number of private candidates increased from about 700 last year to 1369 this year.


“The increase was attributed to the introduction of online registration this year unlike previously when applicants had to register physically which was rigorous and involved making long trips to districts,” said Dr Alphonse Sebaganwa, the Head of Examinations, Selection and Assessment Department at Rwanda Education Board (REB).

All candidates, including those from formal schools registered online from their respective schools with the help of school administration, while private candidates could register from anywhere they had access to internet, according to officials.

Private candidates are largely students who had previously been in school but failed exams while others passed but want to improve their grades to be able to proceed to college.

Other eligible people include those who dropped out but had completed Ordinary Level. These can only register if they have spent at least five years after obtaining the O’Level certificate.

“Private candidates sit exams in the same rooms as other candidates.

Each indicates the district where they want to sit the exams from and are placed accordingly,” he added.

Advanced Level as well as Ordinary Level candidates will sit their national exams from November 20-November 30.

The number of A’Level candidates rose to 46,024, from 40,772 last year, while the number of O’Level candidates increased to 98,898, up from 96,657 last year.


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