Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
 French bac vs international bac - is there a difference? 
Author Message
User avatar

Joined: 17 Oct 2007, 19:48
Posts: 286
Location: 87
Could someone please clarify for me if there is a difference between the French Bac and the international one? For example is it as well regarded? If my children take the french bac will this be acceptable if they want to go to university in the UK? Is it better to do a levels or the international bac instead?

Would really appreciate any info. Eldest is still only 11 but would like to have some idea now.


01 Apr 2010, 17:41
Profile

Joined: 05 Jan 2010, 19:24
Posts: 270
Post 
From personal experience both Bacs are highly regarded by British Universities. IB is the Gold standard though.

If you want more detail drop me a PM


01 Apr 2010, 17:55
Profile

Joined: 02 Feb 2008, 11:35
Posts: 1021
Location: Deux Sevres (79)
Post 
Auser - what makes the IB the gold standard over the FB?

Lorraine


02 Apr 2010, 07:19
Profile
User avatar

Joined: 17 Oct 2007, 19:48
Posts: 286
Location: 87
Post 
Thanks Auser - have sent you a PM.

I suppose what I'm trying to get my head around is whether in terms of my children's future they would be better off, when the time comes, to study for pre-university qualifications in the UK or whether French qualifications are just as valid. I want to know as much info as I can so that we can make informed choices about our long term plan.


02 Apr 2010, 09:09
Profile

Joined: 21 Jun 2007, 16:52
Posts: 1344
Location: central France
Post 
I don't know about the UK, but for France the international baccalaureat is a foreign diploma and is treated as such, that is to say that university admission is at the discretion of the president of the university.

I don't think this option is widely available in France. What IS available in France is the Option internationale du baccalaureat, which is French and can be done in normal French schools.


02 Apr 2010, 13:34
Profile

Joined: 03 May 2009, 18:58
Posts: 89
Post 
our son has recently contacted various UK universities and all were pleased to consider the French Bac alongside the IB or A Levels.


02 Apr 2010, 13:45
Profile

Joined: 16 Jan 2006, 11:53
Posts: 332
Location: Midi-pyrenees
Post 
My son will be taking his International Bac exams in a couple of weeks. He has been offered places at all five of the UK universities that he applied to so there's no problem getting accepted by a UK university with the IB, however I believe there's a problem getting into French universities with the IB. A girl from my sons school passed the IB with full marks (ie 45 points out of 45) which I believe is only achieved by a handful of students worldwide each year and she had huge problems being accepted into French universities (even though she was an ideal candidate, very academic, sporty and a general all rounder).


02 Apr 2010, 15:43
Profile

Joined: 02 Mar 2010, 14:06
Posts: 480
Post 
This is a more general response rather than just to the OP.

The French Bac and the International Bac are hugely different. The IB is not actually recognised in France according to the Lycee Victor Hugo in Toulouse which offers the OIB (section britannique). The IB is very highly regarded by UK universities but the French Bac is no different to A/AS Levels.

If you child is interested in going to the UK to university, check with the individual university on their admissions policy. Most specify a score of 14 for admission (16 for Oxbridge), with some asking for different scores for different elements of the Bac so you first need to make sure that your child is doing the right Bac to get onto the course they want to do.

One thing to be aware of though is that university places are being drastically cut. Up to now, the Unis were happy to take EU students as it bulked up their numbers and they got extra funding. Now there is no extra funding so they have no need to bulk up the numbers so places for EU students may be harder to come by.

Last year, over 130,000 students failed to get on to a university course and it will get even more difficult over the next few years so there is no guarantee that even the best student with get a place in a UK university.

The OIB is only offered by a relatively small number of lycees and can be very competitive to get on to. There are only about 30 lycees in France that have a section britannique/americain. You can find more information here http://www.ciep.fr/oib/index.php.

Most UK universities do not differentiate between the Bac and OIB and ask for the same scores. As the OIB is considered harder as it includes more subjects, then maybe, looking at it that way, it's actually better not to do it.


03 Apr 2010, 14:34
Profile

Joined: 12 Jan 2010, 18:08
Posts: 38
Post 
Our daughter is taking the French Bac S and has just received offers back from English universities. 3 offers ranging from 12 to 14 and 2 refusals from Bristol & Warwick generally regarded among the most difficult to get into.

Research showed the French bac av 14 to be about equivalent to 3 As at A level .( Out of interest a friend who teaches A level maths regards the maths in the bac S here to be slightly more challenging.)

To sum up, the offers received follow one might expect if it was an A level application. Offers vary according to the course and the standing of the university and not where you come from or which bac / A level. They also seem to make no allowance for having taken the exam in a 2nd language.

The real difference applying to UK from french system is that there is very little back up from the Lycée regarding personal statements etc and the student is very much on their own. Plus am I right in understanding coursework counts as part of grade in A levels ? This is not the case in the french bac.

As a uk passport holder she is treated as a uk applicant with the same financial criteria.

Finally it was often initially difficult to find someone at a University who understood the french bac was different from the IB ,so one had to be persistent.


03 Apr 2010, 15:32
Profile
User avatar

Joined: 17 Oct 2007, 19:48
Posts: 286
Location: 87
Post 
Thank you all, these replies have been very interesting. The problem, if you can think of it as such, is that we still have 5 years to go before our eldest will be at this stage, so it's more a case of needing to make a decision in the next couple of years as to whether we choose the UK or French system.

Does anyone know how many ucas points are awarded to the french bac as I couldn't find it listed on their website?

On a related theme, if a child finished collège and then returned to the UK would they be able to start A Levels with the qualification gained in France?


03 Apr 2010, 17:35
Profile

Joined: 03 May 2009, 18:58
Posts: 89
Post 
We found no universal points system, different universities and departments asked for different marks and it varied how the marks equated to the points or A grades expected. If you email universities directly they will give you a guide.

With regard to going back after the Brevet for A levels, remember that the brevet is taken at age 14 or 15, a year earlier than GCSE's and is a very different exam, we have no experience of this, but a child might find it hard to go straight into A levels.


03 Apr 2010, 18:15
Profile

Joined: 21 Jun 2007, 16:52
Posts: 1344
Location: central France
Post 
palborn wrote:

On a related theme, if a child finished collège and then returned to the UK would they be able to start A Levels with the qualification gained in France?


Surely they would just be put straight into year 11? Would seem logical.


03 Apr 2010, 18:21
Profile

Joined: 03 May 2009, 18:58
Posts: 89
Post 
GCSE's are normally a 2 year course and so starting in year 11 would be hard as you would miss the first year, especially difficult where the French course is very different in content to the UK one.


03 Apr 2010, 19:33
Profile

Joined: 21 Jun 2007, 16:52
Posts: 1344
Location: central France
Post 
I agree, but can you see the British system putting a pupil a year ahead on the grounds that they have the French brevet??!!!


04 Apr 2010, 10:30
Profile

Joined: 03 May 2009, 18:58
Posts: 89
Post 
I agree, I can't see them putting the pupil a year ahead. I'm just thinking of how a pupil could slot back in. Palborn asked if they would be able to start A levels after the Brevet, I don't know if it is possible, but I think it would be very difficult.


04 Apr 2010, 11:37
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

Share this page


Need French healthcare?

Essential HealthcareTop ups to French "NHS" medical cover for both expatriate residents and short to medium term EHIC holders visiting France, ideal for holiday home owners. Learn More

Expat Family Health Insurance from Cigna

Cigna
With over 30 years international experience, Cigna are experts at providing healthcare for you and your family whilst living in France. Find out more.

Surrender to French!

Frantastique French Lessons Introducing Frantastique - Personalized French lessons online! The lessons are humorous, practical and include a wide variety of accents. Test the service for free for 7 days: Go for it!

British Corner Shop

BCS Easter
The online supermarket for expats, selling over 8,000 British products delivered to your door. Start shopping.

WANTED!

Selection HabitatProfessional, cheerful, motivated, character property lovers. Selection Habitat, specialist in character properties is recruiting agents in your area, contact us now.

Alcoholics Anonymous - Lower Normandy

Alcoholics Anonymous - Lower NormandyNeed help with your alcohol or drinking problem? Are you an alcoholic? Regular English speaking meetings in France. Solution for alcoholics and heavy users who want to stop drinking. We aim to help fellow alcoholics and sufferers recover.

UKtelecom Special Offer

UK Telecom40% off your broadband & FREE CALLS to French and UK mobiles. Management of new line installations, unlimited call packages and much more. Save money here.

Save a Fortune on Currency Exchange

Euro NotesWhether you need advice or an international money transfer quote, FrenchEntree's currency partner - Moneycorp - can help. Visit the France currency exchange zone.

First for telecoms for expats

UK TelecomWe have the biggest range of products at the best value for your money. Professional customer support in English from a highly trained team, save money here.

European Breakdown Cover

European breakdown cover Breakdown Direct offers you great value European breakdown cover and first class service, with 24/7 emergency support from AXA Assistance.

Roofer in Brittany - Stephen Fishlock Eurl

Stephen Fishlock EurlWith over 35 years experience in building, roofing and renovation, I provide a full service from small repairs to new builds. Simply pick up the phone for advice and to arrange a free estimate. I am a fully registered and insured contractor.

French Alps Ski Property

MGM Ski ChaletMGM Constructeur, the leading property developer in the French Alps, currently markets high quality apartments in more than 40 locations: ski resorts, alpine villages and by Lake Annecy. More info

Chez Nous celebrates 30 years

30 years of Chez NousChez Nous is celebrating 30 years offering holiday-makers some of the loveliest self-catering properties in France. www.cheznous.com makes it easy to find your ideal cottage, which can be booked directly with the property owner.

Europe'?s market leader in river cruises

Croisi EuropeFrench family-run company building, owning and operating almost 40 elegant ships. From French Canals to European and Asian rivers and coastlines, CroisiEurope offers the largest destination cruises among the marketplace.

World War 1 - The Centenary Special Edition

World War 1 - The Centenary Special EditionTo mark the centenary of World War 1, the publishers of FrenchEntre magazine have produced a NEW special edition publication - 148 pages of stunning images and amazing history. Click here to buy now!

FrenchEntrée eNewsletters

Free newslettersEnjoy free eNewsletters from FrenchEntrée including: French Property Weekly, Enjoying Life in France, French Proeprty Tips, Bonnes Vacances, Currency update and Tax & Law Quarterly. Click here to find out more.

Financial advice & solutions for people relocating to France

Siddalls Download Siddalls help sheets for "your new life in France" by clicking here.