The French Baccalaureate

The French Baccalaureate

An internationally recognized diploma that marks the successful completion of high school studies.

The French Baccalaureate Baccalauréat in French, colloquially known as the Bac”– recognizes the successful conclusion of secondary studies. Designed and issued by the French Ministry of Education, the diploma assesses students on a wide range of academic topics. The Baccalaureate marks the completion of studies at accredited French curriculum schools in the US and opens opportunities for higher education in France and around the world.

Due to the rigorous nature of Baccalaureate requirements, Canadian and American universities often grant college credit to French Baccalaureate holders based on their academic performance. The most advanced bilingual students at French curriculum schools may be able to select the International French Baccalaureate (BFI), a new, English-intensive track of the Baccalaureate. 

The Baccalaureate is comprised of both ongoing assessments and a series of extensive national exams, which students sit during their last two years of high school (lycée).

The Baccalaureate: Ongoing Assessments and Final Exams

Ongoing Assessments  (Contrôle Continu) 

Throughout their schooling, students are continuously graded on coursework in a variety of academic subjects. This ongoing assessment (contrôle continu) during Grades 11 and 12 in the subjects of science, history and geography, foreign languages, physical education, plus one subject of their choice (spécialité) makes up 40% of students’ final Baccalaureate performance.

Final Exams (Épreuves) 

In addition, students sit both oral and written exams during their last two years of lycée, which constitute 60% of their final Baccalaureate grade. At the end of 11th Grade, students sit French language and literature exams, during which they are evaluated on both their written and oral expression. At the end of 12th Grade, students sit three written exams: two in subjects of their choice (spécialités), as well as a mandatory philosophy exam. They are also evaluated on one oral presentation, focused on a project linked to one of their spécialités.