National Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE) started countrywide on Monday with the number of candidates sitting this academic year up by 25 per cent compared to last year.
In total, 237,181 are sitting this year, a significant increase from 194,679 who sat last year, according to Michael Tussiime, the deputy director in charge of examinations and accreditation at Rwanda Education Board (REB).
They started with Mathematics paper.
Speaking at Saint Ignace Primary School at the commencement of the national exams, Tusiime said that the number of female candidates increased by up to 33 per cent, from 101,364 last year, to 130,787.
Saint Ignace Primary School is located in Kibagabaga, Gasabo District.
Girls outnumber boys as male candidates are 24,393, according to REB figures.
There are over 858 examination centres compared to 827 last year.
The primary exams started at 9am on Monday and each exam will last two hour.
Candidates will sit for five subjects; mathematics, science and elementary technology, social studies, English and Kinyarwanda.
"The exams you are going to sit for are not different from what you have been doing in class, if you have been doing well in class you will also do the same here, the difference is that this is called a national exam," Tusiime told the candidates.
Some of the candidates who spoke to The New Times said they were ready for the exams, adding that they had enough time to revise and expressed optimism they will pass.
"I am ready, we have been revising for a long time, and did various mock exams to test our abilities. I am ready and I trust that God is going to help me through," said Betia Henriette Ingabire.
Meanwhile, Ordinary and Advanced Level exams will start next week.
Candidates in O'Level expected to sit are 98,268, up from 91,492, an increase of 8 per cent while A'Level candidates are 44,037 this year, compared to 41,719 last year.
For the first time, this year, candidates from Teachers' Training Colleges (TTCs) will sit REB exams unlike previously when they were under University of Rwanda's College of Education.
Over 3,000 candidates will sit TTC exams this year