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French students to take Baccalauréat exams

For the third consecutive time the French Bac final exams will be held over two different calendar weeks. The first written exams will be on June 15. Students will pass the last exam on June 21 or 22 depending on Bac options. But what is the French Baccalauréat?

The Bac is the main diploma to pursue university studies

Every year, over 700 000 students including 12 000 students abroad take part at the the French Baccalauréat General. This academic qualification marks the end of high school. It was first introduced by Napoleon I in 1808. Why is it so important? Simply because it is the main (but not the only) diploma required to pursue university studies. It is similar to the American and Canadian high school diploma but it differs from British A levels and Scottish Highers. The French Baccalauréat is a standardized qualification that qualifies holders, typically aged 18, to work in certain areas, acquire some other professional qualification or training or go on tertiary education. Students can choose between 3 main types of Baccalauréat:

  • the baccalauréat général (general baccalaureate) ;
  • the baccalauréat professionnel (professional baccalaureate) ;
  • the baccalauréat technologique (technological baccalaureate).

Developing intellectual curiosity and critical thinking

The French Baccalauréat is a challenging and comprehensive curriculum that provides students with a solid education to develop their intellectual curiosity and critical thinking. Regardless of the chosen specialization, students take at least 3 years of English courses and another foreign language, 2 years of courses in Biology, Physics and Chemistry, 1 year of courses in Economics, Sociology and Philosophy, etc. Extracurricular activities include soccer, volleyball, skiing but also debate clubs, public speaking, music and theatre. Each year, graduates of the French Baccalauréat are admitted to the best institutions of higher learning the US, in Canada and in Europe.