The study period at lycée is 28-35 hours per week, depending on the year and course of study. In addition pupils are expected to undertake a large amount of homework.
Assessment at lycée is by both continuous assessment and examination, oral and written, although in the final year it is mainly by examination.
It is important to note that a weighting is attached to each subject that is studied in the final examination, with key and specialist topics being given a greater weighting in the total assessment.
This is significant because a poor performance in a subject with a low weighting may not be disastrous, although the converse is obviously true for those with a high weighting!
The weighting that is attached to subjects will depend on the type of baccalaureate that is being studied.
Detailed information can be obtained at Assessment.
The examinations for the BAC take place on a national basis in June of each year, with all papers marked externally. The examination in French grammar is normally taken at the end of the second year of lycée.
The pass mark is 10/20 but candidates obtaining at least 8/20 have the opportunity to undertake a further oral exam (called épreuves de rattrapage) in two subjects of your choice to achieve the pass mark. You need to be very quick off the mark to register for the oral examinations, which take place within days of the written examination results being announced.
In the event of complete failure there is an automatic right in the later stages to re-sit the year.
Pupils can also be required to resit the year if it is considered by the lycée that they have not made sufficient progress, called le redoublement.
Currently 62% of young people obtain a baccalaureate and the pass rate of those who pursue the qualification is a healthy 80%.
The government aspires to 80% of pupils obtaining the baccalaureate, and everyone at least a Certificate of Professional Aptitude (CAP), for those pursuing vocational studies.
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