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Bac 2021: specialty exams canceled and replaced by continuous assessment

The first specialty tests of the new baccalaureate, which account for a third of the final grade, are canceled in favor of continuous assessment due to the health crisis, according to a letter from Jean-Michel Blanquer sent Thursday, January 21 to teachers.

The teachings of these specialties “Will not be assessed through tests in March but on the basis of the averages of the three final terms of these courses”, indicates this letter, of which AFP has obtained a copy.

→ ANALYSIS. Bac 2021, candidates more than ever in the dark

The Minister of Education explains that he had to “Take into account the effects of the health crisis”. “In the words of the students, I heard the concerns expressed in the face of the difficulties of preparing for the tests of the specialty courses” and “In those of the professors, I was sensitive to the expression of a fatigue experienced in what is experienced as a race against time”, he describes.

“A reasonable decision”

For several weeks, teachers, students, parents and unions have been asking for the cancellation or postponement of these tests scheduled for March, while 70% of high schools have implemented hybrid education for nine weeks.

For Philippe Vincent, the general secretary of SNPDEN, the first union of school leaders, the cancellation of the specialty tests is “A reasonable and pragmatic decision in the current context”.

Sophie Vénétitay, from Snes-FSU, the first secondary school union, was more mixed. “We note the fact that the Minister heard that the tests could not decently be held in March, this will help to lower the pressure but it raises the problem of continuous monitoring which can be a factor of inequality”, she regretted.

The adapted philosophy and French tests

Concerning the Parcoursup platform – which was to integrate the marks of the March tests – Jean-Michel Blanquer specified that it “Will take into account the averages shown in the reports for the first two trimesters, as well as the teachers’ assessments”.

→ MAINTENANCE. Parcoursup, “the students of Terminale are in full trial”

In his letter, the Minister also announced “The adaptation made to the final philosophy tests (choice between three subjects instead of two subjects) and French (reduction in the number of oral texts)”.


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