Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Do I have Le Bac?


Le Baccalaureat (more often called "Le Bac") is a very important exam in the life of a French person; without it, you cannot go to university. The 2009 results were this morning and I happened to pass by a Lycée (high- school) at ten, right when they opened the doors. I could not help but stop and take a photo (which, of course, is forbidden - the principal made that clear to me!). It reminded me of my own Bac which put a smile on my face... Let me congratulate the 622 322 students that took the Bac this year, of which 487 900 succeeded (78,4%)!

30 comments:

  1. Congratulations to all 487,900 students who successfully passed the tests. May they have a wonderful future in whatever goals they pursue down life's road.

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  2. Well done, France! I'm so glad I'm not standing in that line! I can't take the pressure of it.

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  3. You're right, that does bring back memories!

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  4. i too remember the pressure of getting my sat score back. eeekk....thank goodness my testing days are over.

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  5. I love exams! Congratulations to these people, well done!!

    My youngest son is in the same position, he gets his A level results in August and without them, he can't go to uni. Eek. It's a tense time. I think eventually Britain will change to Le Bac.

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  6. Testing days are over? Every time that I'm presenting to the city council, or the planning commission, or a citizen group...

    Many of you forget the challenge of asking and going on a date! You want a test? Yikes!

    But, seriously (though I was only half joking), exams that allow progress in a life are very stressful.

    Is rue du Bac named after these exams?

    It's after 18:00, time to go home.

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  7. Ah, the stress, the anxiety! Glad those days are behind me, too!

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  8. Oh la la—the dreaded bac! What a great photo, Eric.
    Thanks for breaking the rules for us. Don't know about the rest of you (except for Lynn, the freak of nature), but I always HATED taking any kind of test like this! Congrats to all who passed & condolences to those who didn't—and congrats also to Gramma Ann, GF again.

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  9. Now I know why college is 'free' in France- one has to prove worthiness by passing 'Le Bac' or one does not attend. Am I right? If we did this in the US far fewer students would go to college but more students would take school more seriously (they would study and do their own work!)

    (Soap box is now safely stored away. Don't mind my ranting.)

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  10. Jeff, in fact, the rue du Bac got its name from the boat called a "bac" that used to carry goods and people from one bank of the Seine to the other before the "Pont Royal" was built.
    The Baccalaureat is not that old, only 200 years old !!

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  11. I like this in black and white. To me, it helps show that students have the same concerns regardless of what year they take le bac.

    At least the principal just told you it was forbidden. I was on assignment and had the principal call the police on me, but I knew the police officers, and I wasn't breaking any laws, so they just left.

    Took some time to smooth things over with the principal though :)

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  12. Great shot, I love the B&W and you can almost feel their nervousness; "Am I on the list ? Did I pass ?" Congratulations to them all ;-D

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  13. LOL Alexa I'm a 'freak of nature' that made me giggle! I realise it! I even ask to help my sons with homework, though it's way over my head now. The other week he relented and, sighing indulgently, set me a paper, one of his A levels. It was Chemistry, which I've never studied but I wrote my name neatly at the top, attacked it with gusto, fevered excitement and a sharpened pencil. LOL. I got 32%. I was disappointed but suppose it was to be expected. he he... !

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  14. Congratulations to the students!
    I know the French school system is unique and most students really have to work really hard! (Some Norwegian families I know have told me after living in France, that their kids really had to put effort and many long evenings into homework! But they were pleased and knew their kids got much out off going to a French school!:-) )

    I am celebrating today,-because my photos from Stavanger is on "Citydailyphoto" Jippi!

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  15. Lynn -- Actually, 32% is not bad for a difficult subject that you never even studied! (P.S., I think your enthusiasm sets a great example for your kids.)

    White Oleander -- Is it a difficult exam? I've never taken it, but I have cousins who have, and I think the answer is—Yes!

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  16. I think most countries have an examination like this. We have the same sort of thing in every state of Australia, but it is owned by the Department of Education in that particular state.
    The Federal Government does have some input sometimes, but it’s owned by the state as I said. My eldest grand-child sits hers in October.
    In Western Australia, the exam is known as the TEE – Tertiary Education Entrance; in New South Wales, it’s known as the HSC – Higher School Certificate, but, whatever it’s called, it doesn’t matter – there’s no entry into university without it, and the higher the score the greater the opportunities open to the students, e.g. Medicine needs a very high score, plus an interview to see if the applicant has the right kind of personality to deal with patients, etc.

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  17. Gunn, congratulations, you made it to the portal!!

    Maureen, thank you for this feedback from down under. It's interesting because here there is no ranking; that is if you have Le Bac, you can join any university, regardless of your grades.

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  18. Thank you Alexa! I've always encouraged them and loved every minute of guiding their schooling where I could. However, although it probably sinks in deep down :) they usually just smile at me, roll their eyes and call me 'Monica' (FRIENDS).

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  19. Eric, this is such an excellent shot of a key aspect of French life. You captured the worry, excitement, and education system all in one frame.

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  20. Really, Eric? No particular grades are necessary? I didn't know that. In the UK we have to not only pass the A levels required, but they also must be the top grades required by each university - and each university has different requirements!

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  21. @Michael. Merci that is nice. I was actually disappointed with the photo ; it's blurry, I had to zoom in, the Principal was so mad at me that I had to rush to take it...

    @Lynn. No lies. In fact this relates to our "Egalité" obsession. As long as you passed Le Bac, you are allowed to go to university.

    But it's very hypocritical though.

    Aside from our university system we also have a private (graduate) school system. To enter it you must get the best grades, you must pay a yearly fee... And in the end, the diploma you get is often worth more than one from university.

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  22. Ah. That sounds more like our system but hey at least it means most can go to uni if they want? Is that a good thing or is the elitist thing producing better quality future contributors better, I wonder? I'm not sure.

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  23. Oh. Forgot to add. We also have to pay. It's around £3000 p.a. I think but don't quote me.

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  24. er... plus accommodation.

    Do you pay, Eric?

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  25. Ohhhh..jitters...a friend's son just took it and I hope he passed. My friend became the typical nervous, concerned, Maman about the whole thing. A lot rests on the results of this test and parental concern is understood.

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  26. J'adore cette photo...ça me ramène quelques années en arrière!!

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  27. My daughter's results were posted at the very same time for her International Baccalaureat. I'm happy to say she passed and will receive her high school diploma as well as her I.B. diploma. Now it's on to American University in Washington D.C.!

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  28. Good on you Eric - I love rule-breakers! And after all, it's a Parisian tradition :)

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