France Education – Baccalauréat I


France education differs somewhat from the education systems of other European countries, such as England or Germany. It may take some time to get acquainted with all the nuances of this educational system. Let’s take a deeper look at Baccalauréat part of the France educational system.

Baccalauréat is something students in France take after the primary school and they call lycee. Usually kids get graduated from lycee at the age of 16. Then they need to sit two more years to get their Baccalauréat diplome. Technically speaking Baccalauréat is not a part of mandatory education in France. Students may choose not to sit Baccalauréat. Still, it takes two years to sit it and most universities demand their students-to-be to have their Baccalauréat diplome on hand to enter.

Baccalauréat or BAC is also associated with the exam students have to take at the end this period. The exam has the same name, meaning it is called BAC exam. The history of Baccalauréat France education dates back to the 19th century. It was introduced back then by Napoleon.

Presently, French students have three Baccalauréat options to go with. Those are the baccalauréat général (general Baccalauréat), the baccalauréat professionnel (professional Baccalauréat) and the baccalauréat technologique (technological Baccalauréat). As you may see, Baccalauréat is not just a part of high school education. Its course prepares young students for their future chosen careers and provides with more in-depth knowledge in certain areas. Usually kids get graduated from Baccalauréat at the age of 18 and they are ready to start their career in some area or to move on with the higher education.

The first type of Baccalauréat, i.e. baccalauréat général offers students three possible options. The French call them series. Presently these general Baccalauréat series are called by the following letters: S, ES, and L. They used to have different names a while ago.

Each series focuses on some particular area of knowledge. For instance, S series focuses on sciences. Choosing this Baccalauréat series students become more targeted in their studies at various sciences, such as physics, math, chemistry, biology, etc. These thorough studies get them prepared to enter higher educational institutions and pass for engineers, doctors, etc.

The ES Baccalauréat series focuses on social sciences and economics. Its students focus on math, French, social and ecology sciences, history, geography, etc. This gets them prepared to enter careers in the area of business, management, administration and other economy related professions.

The L Baccalauréat series stands for literature. Its students focus on philosophy, French language and literature, other foreign languages, ancient languages, etc. It gets them prepared to build careers in linguistics, social sciences, humanity, etc.

Each of the Baccalauréat series gives emphasis on the chosen sciences. This means students dedicate more class hours and home studies to these subjects.  The BAC exams take place in summer. Students mainly write essays to pass it. The test provides students with some freedom in answering its questions, especially in humanitarian subjects, such as philosophy. Not every discipline has a set of strictly standardized answers to judge those essays by.

As you may see, French education and its Baccalauréat part differ somewhat from the similar educational processes of other countries.