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:
- a preliminary mark based on course-work, oral participation in class and testsduring the seventh class, which counts for 40 per cent of the marks.
- at the end of the seventh class
- 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.
- 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.