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This paper is on factors students’ academic performance in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in Kirinyaga Central Sub-county of Kirinyaga County, Kenya. Literature review dwelt on global examination of academic performance, Africa review and regional including Kenya case. The study was guided by five objectives including but not limited to: factors that influence KCSE performance that include students-teachers ratio, peer pressure, school resources, student’s motivation and family background. The study used descriptive survey research design. The sample comprised of 136 respondents of whom 68 were Heads of department, 34 deans of studies and 34 school captains from all the 34 schools in Kirinyaga Central Sub-county. Results on teacher-students ratio was seen to be highly influencing students’ performance. All the respondents (100%) agreed that high teacher-student ratio influence KCSE performance by either leading to low physical contact between teachers and students hence poor understanding of concepts and poor individual attention to every students. Peer influence influences students’ academic performance. 67.6% of the respondents agreed that some learners might not be interested in academic excellence hence dragging others behind. Peers also influence each other on drug and substance abuse, premarital indecency, dressing indecently, coupling and laziness. It was observed that 94.1% of the respondents agreed that school resources influence students’ performance. These include enough teachers, textbooks, buildings, revision materials etc. on students motivation it was found that attitude of students influence academic performance by 73.3%. It was also noted that 86.7% of the respondents agreed that family background had influence on academic performance.
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