New 2021 Baccalaureate - What’s new for FIS?

The 2019-2020 school year will mark the end of an era for all Upper Secondary students enrolled in the French curriculum: the old Baccalaureate exam, based on the format that prevailed since 1995, will be the last one.

Former sections “S” (Science), “L” (Literature) and “ES” (Economics and Social studies) are to be replaced with “Speciality courses”.

This new system is based on an entirely different approach that now makes it possible for students to associate mathematics, natural and social sciences. As a result, they can now combine classes in a way that they would not necessarily have been able to up until now.

More generally, the new Baccalaureate aims to adapt better to students’ preferences and aspirations, while providing more support to them as they build their life projects.

Here are the main information and elements of change to remember for the upcoming year at FIS:

I) Continuous assessment gets a bigger share

As final exams will only make up 60% of the final grade, continuous assessment (contrôle continu) turns into an essential part of the new Baccalaureate with a 40% share divided as follows:

  • all 1ère and Terminale school reports (same coefficient for both years) will count for 10%, in order to value students’ consistent work
  • 30% of the final grade will come from 3 sets of “continuous assessment exams” that will be taken in 1ère and Terminale. These joint examinations will be for subjects taken by all students, and for the speciality course to be taken only in 1ère.

3 different measures will ensure students’ equity is respected despite the local constraints of continuous assessment: all exam topics will be drawn from a digital national bank; all exam sheets will be made anonymous and graded by a different teacher than that of the students; grades will be harmonized by a dedicated body.

II) Exam calendar to be more spread out and better balanced

As a consequence and starting in the current school year, 1ère students will be assessed continuously throughout the year and during joint “continuous assessment exams” to be organized during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

The first set of joint exams will take place in February 2020, and the second one around May. This new type of exams will be for the following subjects: History-Geography; Language A; Language B; Science and the Speciality course taken only in 1ère.

Spreading out exams over the last 2 years of high school makes the Terminale year much lighter, especially the end of the year towards which students were focusing a huge part of their efforts on.

III) A much larger and customisable choice of courses

However, the most important change introduced by the new Baccalaureate is the creation of new speciality courses offered to students in an “à la carte” approach.

Starting this year, FIS offers speciality courses that include subjects that were not part of the curriculum before, or at least not in 1ère. Students are now able to customise their curriculum among the 9 speciality courses that are offered at FIS: Arts; History-Geography, Geopolitics and Political Science; Human Sciences, Literature and Philosophy; Digital Technology and Computer Science; Foreign Languages, Literatures and Civilisations (English); Mathematics; Physics-Chemistry; Earth and Life Sciences; Economic and Social Sciences.

While there were 5 different types of specialisation available for FIS 1ère students in 2018, this year they could choose among an impressive 27 combinations – 3 speciality courses to be chosen among the 9 offered at FIS. And in 2020, Terminale students may have to choose between 32 possible combinations…

A real revolution for all high school students, in FIS and in France!