The Rest of the 2011 Mathematics Baccalaureat exam

As promised, here is the last section (four pages, two long exercises, each one made of subsections and subquestions) of one of the French Mathematics Baccalaureate exams. This version is one for folks who did serious secondary work in mathematics and science. This was a lot of very slow, technical typing, and trying to figure out whether I want to give a literal translation, or whether I should reach for easier understanding by American readers. I tried to opt for the second choice.

Be prepared: this section of the test is rough going, too. If you can’t quite even figure out what they are asking, you are in very good company! Only folks who have been specifically and recently studying or teaching these particular concepts would have a chance of passing.  Even with a score of 45%.

(page 4:)

and page 5:


page 6:

 and finally, page 7:

If you’ve read until here, you might think that the math part of the regular SAT is almost trivial in comparison to this test I translated. But remember this: kids raised in the French tradition and who attend French schools, find that a lot of the content of the American SATs is a mystery to them as well.

Published in: on June 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm  Comments (2)  
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Another Glimpse at the French Educational System

Here’s another look at one aspect of the French educational system: the study of foreign languages.

In general, native-born French citizens of Gallic stock are not known for their fluency in any foreign language. In fact, most French folks who take vacations take them in France.

On the other hand, some French kids end up spending time in other European countries like England, Germany, Italy, Spain and who learn those languages well as a result. Plus, there are lots of French citizens who come from former French colonies like those in southeast Asia and northern and sub-Sarahan Africa who speak both French and their families’ native languages as well.

But it is quite interesting to see the incredible list of foreign languages in which a student can take a baccalaureat exam these days. Here is the list of 47 different languages:

  1. Amaharic
  2. Arabic
  3. Armenian
  4. Bambara
  5. Breton (the language ofBrittany)
  6. Bulgarian
  7. Cambodian
  8. Catalan
  9. Chinese
  10. Creole (Haitian language)
  11. Croatian
  12. Czech
  13. Danish
  14. Dutch (i.e., Flemish)
  15. English
  16. Finnish
  17. Fulani
  18. German
  19. Greek (modern)
  20. Haussa
  21. Hebrew (modern)
  22. Hungarian
  23. Indonesian
  24. Italian
  25. Japanese
  26. Korean
  27. Laotian
  28. Lithuanian
  29. Macedonian
  30. Malgasy  (i.e., the language ofMadagascar)
  31. Norwegian
  32. Occitan – Langue d’Oc (Languedocien)
  33. Persian (i.e, Farsi)
  34. Polish
  35. Portuguese
  36. Provencal
  37. Romanian
  38. Russian
  39. Serbian
  40. Slovak
  41. Slovenian
  42. Spanish
  43. Swahili
  44. Swedish
  45. Tamil
  46. Turkish
  47. Vietnamese
Here is my source, if you doubt me. These exams come in levels 1, 2, and 3, the differences between which escapes me. I don’t know which is higher: level 1 or level 3; it could be either way.
Published in: on June 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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