“Le Bac” like we say in French, is an academic exam created in 1808 by Napoleon 1st!

Even though it is technically possible to take it as an independent candidate, this exam aims to validate the French High School (= Lycee) graduation. In France, one cannot enter College without passing the Baccalaureat.

The Baccalaureat candidate needs to achieve a grade of 10/20 to pass the exam and get the Baccalaureat Diploma or else he must repeat the last High School (Senior) year. Depending on the average grade he gets, a merit can be granted from “Mention Assez bien” (Honors – 12/20) “Mention Bien” (High Honors – 14/20) and “Mention Très Bien” (Highest Honors – 16/20).

The Baccalaureat consists of two phases of exams within the two last years of High School. Within these two phases, subjects may differ depending of the specialty the candidate has chosen (sciences, Literature, Economics, Technology).

The first phase is called “Early Test”. The candidates take two first tests related to French and Sciences. As far as the French test the candidates can choose between a text analysis or writing an essay. The Science test evaluates the candidates’ concepts knowledge either in Math, Physics or Biology.

The second phase is called “General Test”. It consists of a group of tests for all the remaining subjects (History, English, Literature …). Depending of the specialty you choose, each group of tests is different.  The most impressive test among all is the Philosophy test. The questions can vary anywhere from “Is desire limited in itself?”, “Does working less mean having a better life?” to “ “Is obeying the law, enough to be fair?” (Baccalaureat 2016)

We would love to get your comments about these head-scratching subjects while we all wish Good Luck to the French Baccalaureat 2017 candidates who will take their exam from June 15 to June 19.

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