Exams & Qualifications

IFS is an international school with over 60 nationalities, offering students multiple qualifications and certificates to suit a variety of international educational needs. 

With its rigorous curriculum and a structured syllabus, IFS students strive for academic success in all their fields of endeavour. And there is no better measure than their outstanding results. 

100%

Pass Rate for Bac

80%

of IFS students achieve Bac distinctions of Bien or Très Bien

82%

of students achieve DNB distinctions of Bien or Très Bien

70%

of IFS students achieve A* - A for one or more IGCSE exams

Diplôme National du Brevet (DNB)

The National Diploma (Le Diplôme National du Brevet des Collèges or DNB) is a diploma given to students at the end of Troisième (grade 9). The certificate is linked to the common core of knowledge, skills and culture and the results obtained in formal examinations. The assessment is mostly continuous throughout Collège (Middle School), with one oral exam and four written exams at the end of Troisième.

To be awarded a diploma, pupils must acquire the seven key competencies of the “Common Core of Knowledge and Skills” and score a minimum of 400 points (out of 800).

Eight components of the “Common Core of Knowledge and Skills” are taken into account throughout College. These components are evaluated according to a four-level scale. Positioning on this scale is based on evaluations conducted throughout Cycle 4 (Middle School) by teachers. Mastery of the common core is assessed on 400 points.

Four written tests, common to all the candidates, are examined on the subjects, French, mathematics, history and geography and moral and civic education, sciences (physics-chemistry, earth and life sciences, technology – 2 disciplines out of 3).

The written French and mathematics tests are evaluated on 100 points each. The written history – geography – moral and civic education and science tests are evaluated on 50 points each. The written language test is scored on 100 points. In addition, students must acquire a level A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in a foreign language (English).

An oral examination is conducted on one of the subjects studied in the History of Art. The final rounds are scored on 400 points.

For students, the national diploma of the brevet is awarded when the total points is greater than or equal to 400. Endorsements or distinctions are granted if the total points are at least 480, “Fairly Good”; if the total is at least 560, “Good”;  and if the total is at least 640, “Very Good”.

Diplôme National du Brevet “option Internationale” (DNBI)

The national diploma “international option” is made up of all the common core tests plus two specific oral tests in language and literature and history-geography (mathematics for Chinese sections). Both tests are conducted in the language of the section according to a schedule set up at the school.

Students must be schooling in the international section in Troisième as a condition to be enrolled in the international option of the DNB. However, students enrolled in the international section are not required to register for the international option of the national diploma if they so choose. They can still opt for the standard French DNB.

Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)

Developed by Cambridge International Examination (CIE), the IGCSE is a very popular English language curriculum. A qualification that can open doors around the world, leading universities and employers worldwide accept Cambridge IGCSE as evidence of academic ability for 14 to 16-year-olds.

This two-year course is a popular gateway to higher education or professional studies in a family’s home country or overseas. Critically for IFS students, the IGCSE provides a language test pass for emigrating or studying in another country. For example, achieving a Grade C in IGCSE English is often enough to satisfy the language requirements for some universities in English-speaking countries.

The IGCSE exams are offered at the end of Seconde (grade 10) to students who have opted into the International Section of the Lycée. Conducted in May each year, IFS student will sit exams in Language (A) English, Geography, History and English Literature. Assessment ranges from written to oral tests, as well as practical exams and coursework.

A sign of the strength of the bilingual international section, IFS student each year are regularly and significantly above the world IGCSE grade averages. Setting them up comfortably for the OIB in Terminale.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS™, is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers.

For those students in either Main Stream, European section or the International section of IFS Lycee, who are looking to apply to English-speaking universities worldwide, IFS offers the language proficiency IELTS test at the end of Première (grade 11).

The IELTS assesses whether students are ready to begin studying in an environment where English language is used and reflects some of the features of language used in academic study.

The IELTS test assesses students’ abilities in listening, reading, writing and speaking. The test is administered by the British Council and the Australian IDP Education.

Baccalauréat (Bac)

The French Baccalaureate or “le Bac”, is as much a part of French culture as bread, wine and cheese. First introduced by Napoleon I in 1808, the French Baccalauréat is an extensive, national examination taken at the end of the “Lycée” (High School), upon completion of grades 11 and 12. It is the required qualification in France and worldwide for students wishing to carry on their studies in Higher Education.

During Premiere (grade 11) and Terminale (grade 12), students take different exams based on nationally designed exercises, focused on History and Geography, Foreign languages A and B, Science culture, PE and 1 speciality subject they have chosen. These ongoing assessments contribute 30% of the final grade.

Throughout the two years, students also take different tests given by their teachers for each mandatory subject. These assessments (“livret scolaire”) contribute 10% of the final grade.

At the end of 11th grade, students take a French language and literature final exam in June, as the first part of the Baccalaureate. They are tested on their written skills and on an oral presentation of a text.

At the end of 12th grade, students take 3 written exams (Philosophy and two speciality subjects they have chosen and studied during 11 and 12th grade) and one oral exam about a personal project linked to a speciality subject. These exams contribute 60% of the final grade.

In order to obtain a baccalaureate, students must achieve at least ten out of a possible mark of 20. Above this, honours are awarded. Between 12 and 13.99 – assez bien (honours); between 14 and 15.99 – bien (high honours); between 16 and 20 – très bien (highest honours).

For those students who score less than ten, but eight or more, they can opt for the épreuve de rattrapage, which is an oral exam given in two subjects of the student’s choice. In this way, providing the student does well enough to raise his/her overall grade to ten, those students just missing the required pass mark are able to obtain their baccalaureate without having to repeat their final year at school.

Find out about the 2021 baccalauréat: https://youtu.be/3qBD5OhVDOM | http://www.horizons2021.fr/

Option  Internationale du Baccalauréat (OIB)
L’Option Internationale du Baccalauréat (OIB), is a variant on the French national Baccalauréat. It combines the breadth and rigour of the French Baccalaureate with extra subjects taught and examined in English in a single diploma. Students preparing for the OIB are required to study in the International Sections for the last two years of Lycée (High School).

Two subjects, English Language & Literature and History–Geography, are added to the full syllabus of the traditional French Baccalaureate. These extra subjects are examined in English and differ in content to reflect British curriculum content. The OIB is certified jointly by University of Cambridge International Examinations and the French Ministry of Education as equivalent to A-Level in standard.

It provides students with a university entrance qualification valid in both France, Britain, US, Canada and worldwide. Students who are bilingual but whose English is stronger than their French are thus heavily favoured.

Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK)

The HSK is a Chinese standardized test of Standard Chinese (Mandarin) language proficiency for non-native speakers, such as foreign students and overseas Chinese. The HSK is recognised worldwide and is certified by the Education Ministry of the People’s Republic of China.

At IFS this certificate is offered to Grade 6 and Grade 10 students.

Goethe-Zertifikat

The Goethe-Zertifikat is an internationally recognized exam of German language ability. The exam comprises reading, listening, writing and speaking sections and demonstrate that you have a basic knowledge of German.

Upon completion, students will be issued with an official and internationally recognized certificate corresponding to the level reached under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera (Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language or DELE) 

The Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera (DELE) are official Spanish language proficiency diplomas, organised by the Instituto Cervantes and granted by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

The DELE exams are designed following the guidelines of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and the Manual to relate examinations to the CEFR , both works of the Council of Europe.

DELE diplomas are recognized internationally and enjoy great prestige, not only among public and private educational institutions and authorities but also in the business world and between chambers of commerce. They are an official guarantee in the evaluation and certification of language proficiency in Spanish.

English Test (APTIS)

The Aptis test is a flexible English language test that enables us to assess English language proficiency. Aptis is an accurate and efficient assessment tool that is used to test all four English language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing).

Run by the British Council, Aptis for Teens is a general English language test aimed at 13-17-year-olds. It has been designed to meet the needs of younger language learners in developing their English language.

Diploma of French Language Studies (DELF)

Organized and delivered by the French Ministry of Education, the DELF diploma assessing students level in French language proficiency and are internationally recognized.

Two versions exist, the DELF Junior (13 to 17 years old) and Prim (8 to 12 years old). These tests are run in collaboration with the Alliance Française.