The French Baccalauréat diploma marks the successful conclusion of secondary studies and opens access to higher education in France and around the world. The French Baccalauréat is designed and issued by the French Ministry of National Education. In Grade 11 and 12, students sit for a series of extensive national exams, covering all areas of study, which make up the French Baccalauréat.
Courses taken by students in Grade 11 and 12 are taught at a university level. Therefore, both Canadian and American universities often grant university credits to French Baccalauréat holders on the basis of their performance on the exams.
The Baccalaureate final exams allow a student to choose three specialty subjects in Grade 11 and two in Grade 12. Students combine the specialty subjects of their choice while following a common core of knowledge, skills and culture made of English, French Literature, a third language (Spanish, German, Italian or Mandarin), Philosophy, History and Geography, Integrated Sciences (known as enseignement scientifique and numérique), and Civics and Physical Education. At the end of Grade 11, students take a French literature exam (written and oral), and at the end of Grade 12, they take a final exam in the two specialities of their choice, as well as a philosophy exam and the Grand Oral exam. The Grand Oral is an exam taken before a three person jury. It is an oral defense of a two-year research project that links with the two chosen specialities.
The new General Baccalaureate is based on final exams (60% of the mark) and cumulative assessment (10% report cards, 30% exams taken in Grades 11 (première) and 12 (terminale)).
These are written exams from a national database. Each subject will be tested one or more times during the following periods:
- History-geography, Language A and Language B: 2nd term and 3rd term of Grade 11 - premiere, 3rd term of Grade 12 - terminale
- Specialty course: exam in Grade 11 – première
- Physical education: exam during Grade 12 - terminale
Cumulative assessment in the American International Section (OIB)
Specific exams in history-geography and Language A (English language, literature and civilization) during the year (cumulative assessment) replace the regular history-geography and English (as a second language) exams.
These tests have higher coefficients, which modifies the relative importance of cumulative assessment compared to final exams.