The Baccalaureate is the final exam taken at the end of Secondary School in the French school system; it is equivalent to the Italian "Esame di Stato" and to the British GCE Advanced Level Exam. It consists of exams divided between a first group (which includes exams spread over two years: anticipated exams after the year of 1ère and final exams after Terminale) and a second group which consists of supplemental oral exams ("oraux de rattrapage") for students who did not pass the Baccalaureate after the first group.
The official Baccalauréat 2016 calendar is available:
The first group tests are the fundamental Baccalauréat tests and are divided into tests to be taken at the end of 1ère and those taken at the end of Tle.
Tests in 1ère include:
written and oral French exams;
exams of supervised personal work (travaux personnels encadrés, TPE);
Science exams for L and ES candidates.
At the end of the Terminale year, the student will sit the remaining tests. These are different depending on the candidate's section (L, S or ES) and on the optional subjects chosen in the beginning of Terminale year (maximum 2 subjects).
The details of the tests of each section are available on the Eduscol website:
Following these tests, the candidate’s average is calculated and so too the candidate’s eligibility to sit the Baccalaureate Exam.
If the average is less than 8/20 the candidate may choose to repeat the final year of Terminale.
If the average is higher than or equal to 8/20 and less than 10/20, the candidate is authorized to sit the oral tests of the second group.
If the average is higher than or equal to 10/20, the candidate is officially admitted to the Baccalaureat.
Second Group Tests or ("oraux de rattrapage").
A candidate who passes the second group tests will have to choose 2 subjects from those which were the subject of written tests in the first group (this choice has to be done on the very day of the publication of first group results). Only the best mark obtained by the candidate in the first or second group will be validated by the Jury. The candidate is admitted if he/she receives an average of 10/20 or more in all the tests , after the oral tests.
A certificate for the” Completion of Secondary Studies” (CFES) is awarded to those candidates who have not been accepted after the second group tests.
Since 2016, candidates who did not pass the exam and want to try it again can ask for a conservation of scores under certain conditions : http://eduscol.education.fr/cid94055/conservation-des-notes-au-baccalaureat-general-et-technologique.html
Following the first round of tests, successful candidates may be awarded special Mentions; “assez bien” (AB) Honours, “bien” (B)High Honours and “très bien” (TB)Highest Honours according to their obtained average.
Mention AB : average greater than or equal to 12 and less than 14;
Mention B : average greater than or equal to 14 and less than 16;
Mention TB : average greater than or equal to 16.
September “Remplacement” Session
The September exams may only be taken by those candidates who have not been able to take the June exams for serious reasons beyond their control (eg. illness). The following rules apply:
Those candidates who have already undergone a part of the preliminary exams will re- sit exams ; in the case here marks obtained in the regular session have been annulled;
Those candidates who have undergone a part of the exams will re-sit all exams apart from the preliminary ones;
Those candidates who have been authorized to undergo tests of skills will only undergo these tests;
The above rules apply to those candidates who have been authorized by way of derogation to sit all the exams in the same year.
The September session does not include the following exams :
P.E. Sport exams
Exams or partial exams which have been organized in public or private institutions under contract and not within the organized end of year session. (eg. Experimental competences in physics-chemistry S series).
Marks obtained at the regular PE exam and optional exams are postponed and taken into consideration during the September session.