The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) has bought 20 machines which will be used for marking the 2017 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam.
Knec chairman George Magoha said due to the use of the machines, results of the exam will be released one week earlier than was the case in 2016.
The optical mark recognition (OMR) machines, which he said cost the government Sh100 million, will enable Knec to release the exam results quickly.
Speaking in Nyamira after visiting Nyamira and Egesieri primary schools to supervise the start of the KCPE exam, Prof Magoha, who was accompanied by the County Commissioner Isaiah Said, said the exam was administered smoothly on the first day.
"It's not true that the exam failed to take off in Fafi Constituency in Garissa County as reported in one of the local media," he said.
However, he asked headteachers to inform Knec of any candidate who will not be able to sit the exam for any reason.
He said reports he received from across the country indicated that exam containers were opened in good time for onward dispatch of papers to examination centres.
Prof Magoha said he also toured Migori and Kisii counties where the exam kicked off without any hitch.