Girls led the pack as public schools performed better than 2019, producing 10 out of the top 15 candidates.
This pool had eight girls, including the top three. "I am impressed that public schools have shone in the 2020 KCPE," Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha said at Mithani House on Thursday.
Although the mark of the highest candidate dropped from 440 in 2019 to 433, the mean average performance and quality of grades for all candidates is higher.
Faith Mumo from Kari-Mwailu topped the 2020 class with 433 marks.
Yvette Nanzala from Chogoria Girls and Angel Gakenia from Maseno Girls Boarding tied at the second position with 432 marks.
Samuel Makhanu from Nzoia Sugar Company School and Castro Williams from Crystal Hill Academy were the top boys but fourth nationally with 431 marks. Castro was the top pupil in the private schools category.
Laureen Chepkemboi from St Mathews Septonok, a public school, joined the two boys at position four. Abiud Kipkireui from Lessos Hills Adventist, a public school, got 430 marks for position seven.
Margaret Waruguru of Karatina DEB, Bernice Omondi from Nairobi Primary and Kiogora Joy Nkatha of Chogoria Girls tied at eighth place with 429 marks.
Five pupils - Daniel Chris Mboya (Crystal Hill Academy), Njenga Lowell Mwagambo (Emmanuel Springs Academy), Jeff Mutugi (Fred's Academy), Polycup Kiyondi Ombongi (Ober Boys) and Debrah Zawadi (Emmanuel Springs Academy) - scored 428 marks for 11th place.
Data shows that 1,179,192 candidates sat the exam.
The candidates were examined in seven subjects but tested in nine papers.
Of the candidates examined, 8,091 scored over 400 marks and above, 282,000 scored between 300 and 399 marks while 589,000 got between 200 to 399 marks.
Prof Magoha announced that the results will be collected from Mitihani house by the county education officers. The school heads will then collect them from the county education officers.