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Being a high school student in France

March 26, 2016

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In France, the period from January to March during Senior year is probably one of the two most stressful periods for high schoolers. Indeed, at that time not only do we often have to sit some mock exams, but we also have to apply for the Universities for the following year.

Here in France we don’t have a simple system for these appliances; firstly we have to apply to several public universities through a web site (Admission Post-Bac -APB) and register every school in which we would like to go to and the studies we would take there. Then after March 20th, we have to wait until June to be informed of the admissions. But we can also apply to private schools that are not considered as universities and that are not on APB. For some of those schools we have to sit an entry exam with hundreds of other persons who want to be accepted to the school too.

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Some of these private schools gather around the same exam which makes it easier for us to integrate a school. Indeed, the most known exams in France are ‘Concours Sesame’ , ‘Concours Acces’ , and ‘Concours Link’ for management schools and also ‘Concours Sciences Po’ for general studies such as History, Politics, Economy. These exams are meant to assess whether you could be a good element for the school or not; they only take the best students. Moreover, before sitting the exam, you have to be allowed to take it, so that is why you have to give them your ‘dossier scolaire’ which means you report cards from the previous years. Sophomore year and Junior year are the two years that are paramount for the schools, because most of the time, you know if you are accepted or not in the schools before sitting the finals of Senior year.

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March 20th has passed and all of us have made our choices of schools on APB. Now we only have to confirm theses choices and wait until June 8th to have our first results of admissions. To make it easier for you to understand the French educational system, our finals, the orals,  begin at the end of May, and the written part begins on June 15th with Philosophy.

I hope you understand the struggle we all have to deal with, even not French students, and I wish all the Seniors of this world good luck with their finals.

Alexia

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