Why do most bright students have problems in English? Well, before you answer that question I have another question, why do most not-so-bright students have problems in Sciences and Mathematics?

Balancing subjects has many advantages. Think of a four wheeled automobile. If the pressure level is not equal in all the four tyres it can easily cause an accident. If the student has not balanced their subjects well, they can easily cause career choice confusion.

I am reminded of a formula, a formula that has helped millions of KCSE students. G = 5X + 2 (X-1). This is a formula that every high school student should know.

G stands for the overall grade. 5 is the number of compulsory subjects plus two sciences. X is the grade per subject. 2 is the number of the graded subjects apart from three compulsory and two sciences. For example, Grade= C+. C+ = 5 (7) + 2 (7-1). The answer is 47. This means for a student to get the least number of points for C+ in KCSE they need to have 5 C+ and 2 C plains. To get a B-, a student needs 5 B- and 2 C+. To get an B plain, a student needs 5 B and 2 B-. To get an B+, a student needs 5 B+ and 2 B. To get an A-, a student needs 5 A- and 2 B+. To get an A plain, a student needs 5 A and 2 A-. This is the minimum requirement.

As I earlier said, the five subjects includes three compulsory (English, Kiswahili and Maths) and two sciences (the two best performed between Chemistry, Biology and Physics). If a student does well in these five subjects they can qualify for any course in any university.

Consider the following two students. Student A: English ~ C+, Kiswahili ~ C+, Mathematics ~ C+, Biology ~C+, Chemistry ~ C+, Geography ~ C, Business Studies ~ C. The student gets C+ of 47 points.

Student B: English ~ D+, Kiswahili ~ C+, Mathematics ~ D+, Biology ~D+, Chemistry ~ C-, Geography ~ A-, Business Studies ~ A. The student gets a C+ of 47 points, just like student A. But what is the difference?

Student A will be spoilt for choice. Student B will understand why beggars can’t be choosers.

The love you have for History bring it to Mathematics. The attitude you have for Business studies let it be manifested in Chemistry. The love affair you have with CRE let it be seen with Biology.

Having an A- in History and a D in Mathematics makes the result slip to look dirty.

Balance. Balance. BALANCE.


Mr Vidambu is an Academic Mentor with over 1800 high schools in Kenya running his academic programs.
His Starting Early Academic Mentorship Programs revolve around Syllabus Coverage, Syllabus Understanding Strategies, Content Mastery, Content Retention, Content Delivery, Proper Revision Techniques, Time Management Strategies, Working Timetable, Study Book, Classroom/Staffroom Intercordination, Academic Cultures, Study Habits, among other great topics.
He is a Trainer of Principals during KESSHA conferences and teachers.
He is the President of Global Student Mentorship Foundation, Author, and a Lecturer.
To Have Vidambu launch their Starting Early Candidates Academic Mentorship Programs in your school and be a Class Mentor kindly call/text/whatsapp 0743480435 (Sam Vidambu).
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