The Education ministry will conduct a single selection and placement exercise for Form One students this year.
Previous exercises opened up the process to parents and candidates to select their preferred schools in the second round of selection.
However, competition for spaces in national schools is now higher than before.
Only 8,091 candidates in the 2020 KCPE scored more than 400 marks. These will be given priority in the selection to national schools which have a capacity of about 30,000. With only 103 national schools in the country, Education CS George Magoha said the competition is real.