Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the overall performance was lower than last year’s.
The number of candidates with more than 400 marks decreased by 31 per cent to 5,190 compared to 7,560 last year, while the top candidate scored 437 marks out of the maximum possible 500 marks.
Girls performed better than boys in languages — English, Kiswahili and Kenya Sign Language — in the Standard Eight examination released Thursday.
Boys were however better in mathematics, science and social studies and religion.
Out of the 942,021 candidates 49.7 per cent were girls and 50.3 per cent boys.
“This gender composition has comparatively remained the same over the last three years,” said Dr Matiang’i.
The analysis by gender in the last three years indicates that the percentage increase in the number of girls has consistently been higher than that of boys.
Dr Matiang’i said 23 counties registered more girls than boys in the examination.
These are Mombasa, Nyandarua, Kiambu, Machakos, Kitui, Embu, Meru, Makueni, Nairobi, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru and Kericho.
Others are Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga, Kisii and Kisumu and Nyamira.
This year, 1,950 candidates with special needs sat the examination with the best one scoring 421 marks out of a possible 500.
The candidates were given 45 minutes instead of the standard 30 for each of the papers.
“The Ministry is determined to continue doing all it takes to ensure that special needs children access quality education,” said Dr Matiang’i.
Kiambu had the highest number of blind candidates at 21 with Kilifi, Kericho, Baringo, Bungoma, Kisii having one each. Last year Kiambu had 23 blind candidates.
Kisumu had the highest number of those with low vision at 42 followed by Homa Bay at 31, Nairobi at 28 and Kakamega at 21.
Last year West Pokot had 41 Kisumu still led with 40, Bungoma 39 Homa-Bay 37, Siaya 31 and Kisii 4.
The physically or mentally challenged were 109 in Bungoma, 41 in Kiambu and 39 in Nairobi.
Bungoma had the highest number of special needs at 170 .