Just a word to thank one of the most friendly student I've ever had for the following article.
Cyril is a bright student ; he passed the baccalaureat with highest honours (mention TB).
Please read Cyril's subtle and personal analysis of this - once renowned - French exam and its evolution. It's very interesting and I'm glad it's been written by a student !
Hello everyone !
After Mme Bianchi asked me to, I decided to talk about the exam I passed this year, the famous Baccalauréat.
First let me introduce myself. My name is Cyril, this year I was in Terminale S, at Ozenne high school, thus I had to take the baccalauréat. I am going to tell you my experience at this final exam and give you my opinion on the work we had to make all the year along to achieve our year.
I know this blog is (at the beginning) destined to school students, this is why I will also make a quick presentation of high school in general. There are lots of differences between the Brevet and the Bac, but finally, those exams still stay the same in the main ideas. Indeed, do not be fooled, the Brevet is as hard to pass for a student in 3ème than the Bac is for a student in Terminale ! Sure there is more work to give, but we were prepared, and the tests themselves were not very different than what I had to do three years ago.
Because of the reform, we had this year some new tests, such as oral presentations in English and Spanish, around fours notions called “places and forms of power”, “idea of progress”, “spaces and exchanges” and “myths and heroes”... needless to say that those themes were very large, for a 10 minutes oral presentation...
Moreover, there were six written tests which were Mathematics, Physics/Chemistry, SVT, Philosophy, English and Spanish, in addition of what we had already done in 1ère (French and History/Geography).
I got some good results at the exam, but I think there are some issues I would like to discuss about here. Indeed, I must be critical one some aberrant things.
First, I will talk about the level needed to pass the exam. I guess the ones who made the tests did not really realised what they were doing. I mean, there is a problem of balance : a mathematics test very easy, a physics test with only four calculations and only composition for the rest of it, but a philosophy test much more difficult, mixing more than two different themes in each subjects.
Concerning the English and Spanish tests, it was kind of complete “bullshit” ! Not just for students, it discredited also most of the teachers' during all the year : I agree, the texts were a bit difficult, let's say they were not easy. But what is the use of a difficult text if the questions on it consist in picking up some words or expressions in the text without justifying ?
I am not saying that it is easy to pass the exam. I just say that this was not such a matter of work, but a matter of adaptation during the test... for instance, in the physics exam, someone who worked hard to calculate the wavelength of some luminous flow, well would have better learned how to write an explanation for some situation according to some documents... Is not that the work you have to do in literature tests such as Geography ? They do not ask us to know how to find the results of some equation to answer a problem, they want us to read a text and pick up the answers... I mean, why would we learn our formulas and work on some exercises, if we only need to read and know the head lines of our lessons ?
To conclude, I think that the Baccalauréat has something really different from all the work you have to do during high school, it is not significant of your level or of your skills. Fate has also a huge role in it. I hope it will change for the future promotions, because we already could not do anything with only a Bac, now I think it will not even be used for Post-Bac admissions (for example for the INSA).