The European Baccalaureate – What is it?

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What is European Baccalaureate

The secondary school course is validated by the European Baccalaureate examinations at the end of the seventh class. The certificate awarded is fully recognised in all the countries of the European Union, as well as in a number of others. Those awarded the certificate have the same rights and benefits as other holders of school-leaving certificates in their countries, including the same right as nationals with equivalent qualifications to seek admission to any university or institution of higher education in the European Union.

The Examining Board, which oversees the examinations in all language sections, is chaired by a university professor and is composed of examiners from each country of the Union. They are appointed annually by the Board of Governors and must meet the requirements laid down in their home countries for appointment to examining boards of the same level. The Baccalaureate examination assesses performance in the subjects taught in the sixth and seventh classes, and to qualify for admission students must have completed at least the last two classes of the secondary course at the European school.
The assessment of each student consists of two elements:

  1. a preliminary mark based on course-work, oral participation in class and tests during the seventh class, which counts for 40 per cent of the marks.
  2. at the end of the seventh class
  3. five written examinations, which represent 36 per cent of the marks, of which mother-tongue, first foreign language and mathematics are compulsory for all candidates.
  4. four oral examinations, which count for 24 per cent of the marks, of which mother tongue and the first foreign language are compulsory, as well as history or geography if the candidate has not already taken a written examination in these subjects.

To obtain the Baccalaureate, a candidate must obtain a minimum of 60 per cent. The close scrutiny of the Examining Board, which demands double correction and may require a third, guarantees the high level and quality of the Baccalaureate. The certificate is thus awarded only to pupils having the competence and knowledge required to go on to tertiary education.

The Baccalaureate examinations

The European Baccalaureate examinations are the means by which secondary education is assessed at the end of year S7. Candidates are required to take five written and three oral examinations. The written examinations must cover L1, L2 and Mathematics, while the oral examinations must cover either L1, L2, or a subject taught through L2 (such as History or Geography). Therefore, candidates must demonstrate proficiency in at least two languages, both in written and oral forms.

Each examination covers the entire syllabus of the corresponding subject in s7 and evaluates the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that candidates have acquired in previous years, particularly in s6.

Both written and oral examinations undergo double correction and marking by both the candidates’ teachers and external examiners. The final grade is determined by the average of the two examiners’ marks. In case of a disagreement of over two points, a third external corrector is consulted. They will thoroughly analyse the previous corrections and assign a final grade between the highest and lowest awarded by the previous two correctors.

The Board of Governors of the European Schools annually appoints external examiners who meet the requirements established by their respective countries for appointment to examining boards of the same level.

European baccalaureate diploma

It is a qualification awarded to students who successfully complete their secondary education at one of the European Schools. The diploma is recognized in all European Union countries and is equivalent to national diplomas of secondary education.

To obtain the European Baccalaureate certificate, students must pass a series of examinations covering a wide range of subjects, including languages, mathematics, science, and humanities. These exams are designed to assess not only students’ knowledge and understanding but also their analytical and critical thinking skills, creativity, and ability to communicate effectively.

In addition to passing the exams, students must also fulfil certain requirements, such as demonstrating proficiency in at least two languages and completing a personal research project. The personal research project involves researching and writing a paper on a topic of the student’s choosing, under the guidance of a teacher.

This Diploma is highly respected and is recognized by universities and employers worldwide. It provides students with a strong foundation for further academic study or entry into the workforce.

You can find further information in another article.

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Aim of the European Schools

Educated side by side, untroubled from infancy by divisive prejudices, acquainted with all that is great and good in the different cultures, it will be borne in upon them as they mature that they belong together. Without ceasing to look to their own lands with love and pride, they will become in mind Europeans, schooled and ready to complete and consolidate the work of their fathers before them, to bring into being a united and thriving Europe.

Marcel Decombis, Head of European School, Luxembourg between 1953 and 1960