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The European Baccalaureate ("Bac") is awarded to students who successfully managed to complete a European School. These are mainly attended by students whose parents work for a European Institution. There are currently 14 European Schools. This diploma should not be confused with other types of educational qualifications also called Baccalaureate. Also, in the German language the European Baccalaureate is called Europäisches Abitur, not to be confused with the German Abitur.

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The European Baccalaureate

The European Baccalaureate is taken at the end of the seventh year of secondary education. It is awarded only by the fourteen European Schools and should be distinguished from the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the baccalaureate of various national systems. Details of this examination are set out in the Annex of the Statute of the European School and in the Regulations for the European Baccalaureate, available from the schools.

The European Baccalaureate is administered and directly supervised by an external examining board appointed annually by the Board of Governors. The examining board consists of up to three representatives of each member state, who must satisfy the conditions governing the appointment of equivalent examining boards in their respective countries. It is presided over by a senior university educator appointed by each member state in turn, assisted by a member of the Board of Inspectors of the schools.

Article 5 (2) of the Statute provides that holders of the Baccalaureate shall:

  • enjoy, in the Member State of which they are nationals, all the benefits attaching to the possession of the diploma or certificate awarded at the end of secondary school education in that country; and
  • be entitled to seek admission to any university in the territory of any Member State on the same terms as nationals of that Member State with equivalent qualifications

The Baccalaureate is a two year course and assesses the performance of students in the subjects taught in secondary years 6-7.

The first awards of the European Baccalaureate were made in 1959.

The EB is marked in percentages out of 100, and, in contrast to many national systems (e.g. British A-Levels), comprises many compulsory subjects, including a foreign language, some science, mathematics, philosophy, gym, and history and geography (these are taught in the students' first foreign language, i.e. English, German or French).

Subjects
Course periods per week Notes
Column 1: Compulsory
Language 1
Language 2
Mathematics 3 or 5
Sport
Religion or Ethics
Column 2: Compulsory if not taken in Column 3
Philosophy 2
History 2
Geography 2
Biology 2 if no other Science has been taken.
Column 3: Optional
Geography 4
History 4
Philosophy 4
Language 3 4
Physics 4
Chemistry 4
Biology 4
Art 4
Music 4
Language 4 4 only if studied in the 4th and 5th year
Latin 4 only if studied in the 4th and 5th year
Ancient Greek 4 only if studied in the 4th and 5th year
Economics 4 only if studied in the 4th and 5th year
Column 4: Further Optional
Advanced Language 1 3
Advanced Language 2 3
Advanced Mathematics 3 only with 5-period maths from Column 1
Column 5: Complementary
Laboratory Physics 2
Laboratory Chemistry 2
Laboratory Biology 2
ICT 2
Elementary Economics 2 only if not taken in Column 3
Sociology 2
Art 2 only if not taken in Column 3
Music 2 only if not taken in Column 3
Physical Education 2
Drama 2
Language 5 2

A minimum of 31 periods a week must be taken, with a maximum of 35 periods. At least 2 Column 3 subjects must be chosen, a maximum of 4 can be taken.

The total mark consists of:

  • 15% coursework from 7th year
  • 25% exams in January
  • 24% Oral exams in June
  • 36% Written exams in June

Consequently, there is a comparatively heavy workload for the students; the system is less suited to such people who prefer to be highly specialised in one field. However the pass-rate is very high (above 90%) due to the practice of 'weeding out' candidates who are not academically strong enough to complete the Baccalaureate. This process starts from an early age whereby many pupils either leave, are asked to leave or fall foul of the 'three strikes' rule (fail a year 3 times and the student will be asked to leave). Failing the same year twice also means leaving the school. Failing and repeating a year is a common occurrence from age 10 upwards, roughly 5% of pupils will fail in each year.

However, the pluridisciplinarity it offers is advantageous to students wishing to study in France and Germany. Most of the English section students and a significant minority of students from the other language sections apply to British universities.

Evaluation of the European Baccalaureate

In a recent study based on a sample of over 500 former European School pupils, Kelly and Kelly compared the performances at British and Irish Universities of students who had taken the European Baccalaureate with the performances of students who had studied A-levels. This showed that, in terms of the probability of getting a good degree, a European Baccalaureate (EB) score of 80 or more is roughly equivalent to 360 UCAS points awarded for A-levels (3 A grades). An EB score of 70 to 79 is equivalent to a UCAS score of 320-340 (ABB to AAB) and an EB score of 60 to 69 is equivalent to 280-300 UCAS points (BBC, BBB). Even students with a bare pass at the EB (60-64) are more likely to get a good degree at university than students who achieved 240-280 UCAS points (BBC, BCC, CCC). The full study can be downloaded from here:[1]

External links

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Academic grading
Africa
EgyptKenyaMoroccoSouth AfricaTunisia
North America
CanadaCosta RicaMexicoUnited States
South America
ChileVenezuela
Asia
BangladeshChinaHong KongIndiaIndonesiaIranIsraelJapanNepalPakistanPhilippinesSingaporeSyriaUnited Arab EmiratesVietnam
Europe
ECTSEuropean BaccalaureateGPA in Central and Eastern Europe
AlbaniaAustriaBosnia and HerzegovinaBulgariaCroatiaCzech RepublicDenmarkFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceHungaryIcelandIrelandItalyLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSerbiaSlovakiaSloveniaSpainSwedenSwitzerlandUkraineUnited Kingdom
Oceania
AustraliaNew Zealand

The European Baccalaureate ("Bac") is awarded to students who successfully managed to complete a European School. These are mainly attended by students whose parents work for a European Institution. There are currently 14 European Schools. This diploma should not be confused with other types of educational qualifications also called Baccalaureate. Also, in the German language the European Baccalaureate is called Europäisches Abitur, not to be confused with the German Abitur.

The European Baccalaureate

The European Baccalaureate is taken at the end of the seventh year of secondary education. It is awarded only by the fourteen European Schools and should be distinguished from the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the baccalaureate of various national systems. Details of this examination are set out in the Annex of the Statute of the European School and in the Regulations for the European Baccalaureate, available from the schools.

The European Baccalaureate is administered and directly supervised by an external examining board appointed annually by the Board of Governors. The examining board consists of up to three representatives of each member state, who must satisfy the conditions governing the appointment of equivalent examining boards in their respective countries. It is presided over by a senior university educator appointed by each member state in turn, assisted by a member of the Board of Inspectors of the schools.

Article 5 (2) of the Statute provides that holders of the Baccalaureate shall:

  • enjoy, in the Member State of which they are nationals, all the benefits attaching to the possession of the diploma or certificate awarded at the end of secondary school education in that country; and
  • be entitled to seek admission to any university in the territory of any Member State on the same terms as nationals of that Member State with equivalent qualifications

The Baccalaureate is a two year course and assesses the performance of students in the subjects taught in secondary years 6-7.

The first awards of the European Baccalaureate were made in 1959.

The EB is marked in percentages out of 100, and, in contrast to many national systems (e.g. British A-Levels), comprises many compulsory subjects, including a foreign language, some science, mathematics, philosophy, gym, and history and geography (these are taught in the students' first foreign language, i.e. English, German or French).

Subjects
Course periods per week Notes
Column 1: Compulsory
Language 1
Language 2
Mathematics 3 or 5
Sport
Religion or Ethics
Column 2: Compulsory if not taken in Column 3
Philosophy 2
History 2
Geography 2
Biology 2 if no other Science has been taken.
Column 3: Optional
Geography 4
History 4
Philosophy 4
Language 3 4
Physics 4
Chemistry 4
Biology 4
Art 4
Music 4
Language 4 4 only if studied in the 4th and 5th year
Latin 4 only if studied in the 4th and 5th year
Ancient Greek 4 only if studied in the 4th and 5th year
Economics 4 only if studied in the 4th and 5th year
Column 4: Further Optional
Advanced Language 1 3
Advanced Language 2 3
Advanced Mathematics 3 only with 5-period maths from Column 1
Column 5: Complementary
Laboratory Physics 2
Laboratory Chemistry 2
Laboratory Biology 2
ICT 2
Elementary Economics 2 only if not taken in Column 3
Sociology 2
Art 2 only if not taken in Column 3
Music 2 only if not taken in Column 3
Physical Education 2
Drama 2
Language 5 2

A minimum of 31 periods a week must be taken, with a maximum of 35 periods. At least 2 Column 3 subjects must be chosen, a maximum of 4 can be taken.

The total mark consists of:

  • 15% coursework from 7th year
  • 25% exams in January
  • 24% Oral exams in June
  • 36% Written exams in June

Consequently, there is a comparatively heavy workload for the students; the system is less suited to such people who prefer to be highly specialised in one field. However the pass-rate is very high (above 90%) due to the practice of 'weeding out' candidates who are not academically strong enough to complete the Baccalaureate. This process starts from an early age whereby many pupils either leave, are asked to leave or fall foul of the 'three strikes' rule (fail a year 3 times and the student will be asked to leave). Failing the same year twice also means leaving the school. Failing and repeating a year is a common occurrence from age 10 upwards, roughly 5% of pupils will fail in each year.

However, the pluridisciplinarity it offers is advantageous to students wishing to study in France and Germany. Most of the English section students and a significant minority of students from the other language sections apply to British universities.

Evaluation of the European Baccalaureate

In a recent study based on a sample of over 500 former European School pupils, Kelly and Kelly compared the performances at British and Irish Universities of students who had taken the European Baccalaureate with the performances of students who had studied A-levels.

This showed that, in terms of the probability of getting a good degree, a European Baccalaureate (EB) score of:

  • 80 or more is roughly equivalent to 360 UCAS points awarded for A-levels (3 A grades).
  • An EB score of 70 to 79 is equivalent to a UCAS score of 320-340 (ABB to AAB) and
  • an EB score of 60 to 69 is equivalent to 280-300 UCAS points (BBC, BBB).'

Even students with a bare pass at the EB (60-64) are more likely to get a good degree at university than students who achieved 240-280 UCAS points (BBC, BCC, CCC). The full study can be downloaded from here:[1]

External links


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