KCSE Past Papers 2019 English Paper 3 (101/3)

Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education

2019 English Paper 3

Answer three questions only.

1. Imaginative Composition (Compulsory) (20 marks)


(a) Write a story beginning with the following sentence :

I was mistaken to have thought that the night would be like other peaceful nights.


(b) Write a composition on the advantages and disadvantages of the internet.

2. Compulsory Set Text (20 marks)

H.R. Ole Kulet, Blossoms of the Savannah Irresponsible decisions can lead to serious consequences. Referring closely to H.R. Ole Kulet in Blossoms of the Savannah, write an essay in support of this statement.

3. The Optional Set Texts (20 marks)

Answer any one of the following three questions.


(a) A Short Story

Moran (Ed.), Memories We Lost and Other Stories

Write a composition on the evils of war, using illustrations from “The President” by Mariatu Kamara.


b) Drama

David Mulwa, Inheritance

Ill-gotten wealth can never bring true happiness. Write a composition in support of this statement, drawing examples from Lucuna Kasoo’s life.


(c) The Novel

John Steinbeck, The Pearl

Desire without limits can be a source of agony both to ourselves and our family members, Using illustrations from The Pearl, write an essay in support of this statement.

Marking scheme English Paper 3 (101/3)

General Instructions

Co-ordination Procedure

1. The Question Paper will be discussed together with the Points of Interpretation.

2. After studying the Marking Scheme the examiners will mark selected photocopied scripts of the Paper with their Team Leaders.

3. The examiners will mark on their own a set of photocopied scripts and hand those marked scripts to their TLs.

4. The photocopied scripts marked by the examiner will be analyzed and points of interpretation and relevance discussed.

5. More photocopies will then be marked and discussed.

Marking Procedure

l. As soon as an examiner receives a set of scripts to be marked, he (or she) must enter his name, number and the number of his team of the envelope.

He must make sure the number of scripts in the envelope corresponds to the number of scripts indicated by the supervisor.’Any discrepancy must be reported immediately to the team leader. Any script sent to the TL or CE must be clearly identified as coming from such an examiner.

Each examiner must keep a clear record of any script that passes through his hands.

2. Team Leaders should keep very clear records of all scripts allocated to the team as a whole and each examiner individually.

3. The examiners underline each mistake according to the instructions given on page 7- 8 of this booklet.

This must be done carefully as both over underlining or underlining can give a wrong impression of the value of a script.

4. Examiners underline in red since they may have to rub off faulty underlining. Team Leaders co-ordinate in red and CE in green.

5. The mark given for the essay must appear at the end of the essay itself and carried to the special grid on the first page of booklet.

6. For problem scripts, deductions should be clearly shown together with a short explanation of the reason for this on top of the Answer booklet.

Coordinations by team leaders

1. Team Leaders will co-ordinate approximately 10% of the scripts from each packet. The scripts selected for co-ordination must cover a variety of marks. They should also be taken so that the whole packet is covered.

2. If there are several deviations of 2 marks or more, an additional number of scripts is coordinated and the packet returned for remarking.

3. If an examiner or a team leader is uncertain about any script, he/she is invited to consult other examiners, TLs or CEs.

4. Team Leaders must return for re—marking scripts where the underlining is not satisfactory.


Paper 101/3 is intended to test the candidates’ ability to communicate in writing. Communication is established at different levels of intelligibility, correctness, accuracy, fluency, pleasantness and originality.

Within the constraints set by each question, it is the linguistic competence shown by the candidate that should carry most of the marks.

Examiners should not hesitate to use the full range of marks for each essay.

It is important to determine first how each essay communicates and in which category A, B, C or D it fits.

(The marks indicated below are for questions one.)

D CLASS – The candidate either does not communicate at all or his language ability is so

  • (01 – 05) – Minimal that the examiner practically has to guess what the candidate wants to say. The candidate fails to fit the English words he knows into meaningful sentences. The subject is glanced at or distorted. Practically no valid punctuation. All kinds of errors. (“Broken English”). 
  • D — 01 — 02 – Chaotic, little meaning whatsoever. Question paper or some words from it simply copied. 
  • D O3 – Flow of thought almost impossible to follow. The errors are continuous. 
  • D+ 04-05 – Although the English is often broken and the essay is full of errors of all types, we can at least guess what the candidate wants to say.C CLASS – The candidate communicates understandably but only more or less clearly.
  • (O6 — 10) – He is not confident with his language. The subject is often undeveloped. There may be some digressions.Unnecessary repetitions are frequent. The arrangement is Weak and the flow jerky. There is no economy of language; mother tongue influence is felt.


  • C — 06-07 – The candidate obviously finds it difficult to communicate his/her ideas. He/she is seriously hampered by his/her very limited knowledge of structure and vocabulary. This results in many gross errors of agreement, spelling, misuse of prepositions, tenses, verb agreement and sentence construction. 
  • C 08 – The candidate communicates but not with consistent clarity. His/her linguistic abilities being very limited, he/she cannot avoid frequent errors in sentence structure. There is little variety or originality. Very bookish English, links are weak, incorrect, repeated at times.
  • C+09-10 – The candidate communicates clearly but in a fiat and uncertain manner. Simple concepts sentence forms are often strained. There may be an overuse of clichés, unsuitable idioms.Proverbs are misquoted or misinterpreted. The flow is still jerky. There are some errors of agreement, tenses and spelling.B Class– This class is characterized by greater fluency and ease of expression.
  • (11 – 15) – The candidate demonstrates that he/she can use English as a normal way of expressing himself/herself. Sentences are varied and usually well-constructed. Some candidates become ambitious and even over ambitious.There may be items of merit of the one word or one expression type. Many essays in this category may be just clean and unassuming but they still show that the candidate is at ease with the language. There may be a tendency to under mark such essays. Give credit for tone.


  • B — 11-12 – The candidate communicates fairly and with some fluency. There may be little variety in sentence structure. Gross errors are still found occasionally, but this must not be over punished by the examiner. 
  • B 13 – The sentences are varied but rather simple and straight forward. The candidate does not strain himself in an effort to impress. There is a fair range of vocabulary and idiom. Natural and effortless. Some items of merit, economy of language. 
  • B+ 14-15 – The candidate communicates his ideas pleasantly and without strain. There are errors and slips. Tenses, spelling and punctuation are quite good. A number of items of merit of the “whole sentence” or the “whole expression” type.A Class – The candidate communicates not only fluently but attractively, with originality and efficiency. He/She has the ability to make us share his deep feelings.


  • (16-20) – emotions and enthusiasms. He/She expresses himself freely and without any visible constraint. The script gives evidence of maturity, good planning and often humour. Many items of merit which indicate that the candidate has complete command of the language. There is no strain, just pleasantness, clever arrangement, felicity of expression. 
  • A- 16-17 – The candidate shows competence and fluency in using the language. He may lack imagination or originality which usually provide the “spark” in such essays. Vocabulary, idiom, sentence structure, links, variety are impressive. Gross errors are very rare. 
  • A 18 – Positive ability. A few errors that are felt to be slips. The story or argument has a definite impact. No grammar problem. Variety of structures. A definite spark. Many margin ticks. 
  • A+ 19-20 – The candidate communicates not only information and meaning, but also and especially the candidate’s whole self: his/her feelings, tasted, points of view, youth, culture. This ability to communicate deeply may express itself in a wide range of effective vocabulary, original approach, vivid and sustained account in the case of a narrative, Well developed and ordered argument in the case of a debate or discussion. Errors and slips should deprive the candidate of the full marks he deserves. A very definite spark
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