Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Bac Results

French Bac results are posted on the door of the main office of the Lycée, and since we live right accross the street from the Lycée, we have witnessed the excitement of this day every summer for the past four years. Students arrive, nervous. Then they quickly scan the pages, looking for their name. Chandler's school has a 97% pass rate, so for the most part students are not too worrried about passing, they are curious to find out if they received a "mention," which is what I think Americans would call an "honor."

The grading system is a complex formula that assigns varying coefficients to each subject matter depending on the chosen major of the student. For example, as a Science Major, Chandler's math, biology, and Physics/chemistry exams had the highest coefficients, while history, philosphy, and languages had lower coefficients. The highest possible grade is 20/20. A student must acheive 10/20 to pass. Honors are given for 12-14/20 ( Assez Bien or Satisfactory), 14-16/20 (Bien or Well Done) and 16-18/20 (Très Bien or Very Well Done). Anything over 18 is extremely rare, but when it happens the student receives a Very Well Done plus the congratulations of the jury.

This year, the event had personal significance, since Chandler's results would be posted on those doors. It's a quintessentially French moment...there are no graduation ceremonies, no caps and gowns, just the day of results coupled with millions of text messages offering congratulations (or condolences, as the case my be). Once the students see their posted results, they can pick up their official results in the office, which gives the breakdown of their perfomance in each subject area. Then they gather with their classmates and compare notes. Here you can see Chandler (in orange) consulting with his friends.

Chandler passed with a "mention Bien," which is signified by the B after his name in the photo below. (By the way, that is a reflection of our house in the photo, Chandler's name written on our roof!) Professors also gather at the school to congratulate students on their results. Chandler's professors were pleased with his results, some were clearly emotional. They have watched him fight these past four years, having to learn French while preparing for this major exam. Their respect for what he has accomplished and their delight in his success was was evident in their words and demeanor. 

Chandler's overall score was 15/20, but he was most pleased with his score on the Math section--a perfect 20/20. For us, the greatest achievement has been his perseverance, his resilliancy, and his faithfulness. He has done a really hard thing with amazing tenacity and a brilliant attitude. We couldn't be more proud.