OPTION INTERNATIONALEDU BACCALAURÉAT (OIB)The International Option of the FrenchBaccalauréatExaminations Handbook for the British Option2021 editionAdministered by Cambridge Assessment International Educationin cooperation with the Ministère de L'Éducation NationaleThis Handbook applies to the examinations to be held in Summer 2021v1.1 02/02/21

FOREWORD AND FURTHER INFORMATION2021: Changes have been made throughout this document, following the Bac reform. Teachersare advised to read the whole document carefully to familiarise themselves with these changes.This introduction to the British version of the International Option of the French baccalauréat is intendedto provide information for teachers, examiners and inspectors, for students and their parents, and foradmissions officers in institutions of higher education. University admissions officers may wish to read chapter 3 as well as the preceding chapters. TheUCAS website and Qualification Information Profile nale-du-baccalaureat-oib-assessed-from-2021) offers a concise description of the OIB.This Handbook provides complementary information. More detailed information about the individual subjects that form the International Option can befound in chapters 6, 7, 8 and 9 for Language and Literature, and in chapters 10 and 11 forHistory-Geography. General information about administering and marking the examination is to be found in chapters4 and 5.The convention of italicising French words has been employed: these are used in the text wheretranslation is inappropriate. The French term baccalauréat is used throughout to avoid any confusion withother examinations, such as the International Baccalaureate or the European Baccalaureate which haveno connection with the French national examination. Reference is made to French conventions fornaming classes: 1ère is equivalent to British year 12 or lower sixth, terminale to British year 13 or uppersixth.Abbreviations used in this handbook and useful websitesReaders may wish to consult the following websites in connection with the OIB, the French baccalauréatand Cambridge Assessment International Education. This list also provides a key for abbreviations usedthroughout this handbook: Cambridge Assessment International Education : The site of the French Ministère de l’Education Nationale : Direction des relations européennes et internationales et de la coopération (DREIC) -cooperation.html Direction générale de l’enseignement scolaire rale-ou-ministere 171987 Ministère de l’Education Nationale pages on international sections and the et international/82/4/2015 juillet brochure ensco HDEF 504824.pdf The site of France Education International (formerly the CIEP) The site of the Service Interacadémique des Examens et Concours (SIEC) The UCAS website: The ASIBA site (Association des Sections Internationales Britanniques et Anglophones): The AEFE site (Agence pour l’Enseignement Français à .service-This handbook is updated annually. All suggestions for additions and amendments should be madedirectly to ASIBA ([email protected]).2

INFORMATION FOR SCHOOLS WISHING TO PREPARE CANDIDATES FOR THEOIBOnly schools approved by the Ministère de l’Education Nationale may undertake the Option internationaledu Baccalauréat. Schools wishing to prepare candidates for the British OIB must in all cases contact theDREIC (the department responsible for OIB within the Ministère de l’Education Nationale) as well asASIBA to request their approval.DREIC (Direction des Relations Européennes et Internationales et de la Coopération)Myriam GraftoCheffe de départementDREIC110, rue de Grenelle75357 PARISTel. 33 1 55 55 05 88Under the aegis of ASIBA, a number of teachers carry out administrative functions for the British OIB.For descriptions of these roles, please see section 4.2. Currently these are as follows:James Cathcart(British Section,Lycée International de St Germain-en-Laye)[email protected] Corrigan(Section Anglophone de Fontainebleau)[email protected] andSteering GroupNick Baker(British Section,Lycée International de St Germain-en-Laye)[email protected] e, Lyon)[email protected] and Strategic Liaison Leader, Languageand LiteratureRob Miller(AnglophoneSection,Internationale, Lyon)[email protected] Lead for Overseas Oral ExaminationCentresCitéScolaireCatherine SagneThe British OIB Schools & Exam CentresAdministrative Coordinator(Lycée International de St cademicDeputy Coordinator of the Academic SteeringGroupSubject Leader, History-GeographyBritish OIB Schools & Exam Centres AdministrativeCoordinator

ROLESCambridge International designates the Association des Sections Internationales Britanniques etAnglophones (ASIBA) as the official interlocutor on their behalf for the British version of the OptionInternationale du Baccalauréat (OIB). ASIBA plays an important role in supporting the British OIB and inliaising with the various departments of the Ministère de l'Education Nationale on behalf of CambridgeAssessment International Education. Matters relating to policy and the administration of the assessmentsprovided by Cambridge International must be approved by Cambridge International.The organisation of ASIBA: Coordinator and DeputyCoordinator of theAcademic SteeringGroupStrategic LiaisonLeaders forLanguage/Literature andHistory-GeographyCambridge Inspector forEnglish Language &LiteratureCambridge Inspector forHistory-Geography ENL SubjectGroupAcademic Steering Group Provides strategicleadership on OIB issues Organises OIBexaminations Liaises betweenCambridge Internationaland MEN Heads of British /Anglophone Sections Academic Steering GroupVolunteersUniversity Entrance/RecognitionExtra-curricularprojects 4Schools’ ForumForum for discussionand feedback on OIBissuesHGSubject GroupASIBA BoardOversees budget andmembershipManages website

CONTENTSPart I: Introduction1. Grading systemThe jury and baccalauréat resultsThe September sessionRattrapage2. THE INTERNATIONAL OPTION2. 14Roles and responsibilities of the Cambridge InspectorsThe schools’ administrative arrangementsResponsibilities of Heads of OIB Written and Oral Examination CentresSecurity of provisional oral marks: the responsibility of the Head of the OIBCentreCoordination among schoolsHow the written paper is setSelecting the oral passages/Key contentAssistance to new schools5. EXAMINATION ARRANGEMENTS AND MARKING5. 12Preliminary considerationsBritish university offersAfter admission to British university4. ADMINISTERING THE BRITISH VERSION OF THE OIB4. 10The origins of the International OptionThe two subjects taught in EnglishHow are OIB subjects examined?3. COMPARISON WITH A LEVEL FOR UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS3.13.23.3page 8General principlesThe written examinationConducting and marking the oral examinationThe role of Assistant Moderators in oral examiningTerms of reference for Assistant Moderators (oral examinations)Estimated gradesSpecial circumstances and arrangementsEnquiries about resultsExamining in overseas centres (lycées français à l’étranger)page 21

Part II: Language and Literature6. SUBJECT DETAILS6. of worksThe written examinationThe oral examination7. INSTRUCTIONS TO EXAMINERS7.17.2page 31page 33Written examinationOral examination- Passages for the commentary- Shakespeare: commentary and discussion- The Synoptic Topic- Starter- questions- Conducting and assessing the oral8. MARKING CRITERIA FOR THE WRITTEN EXAMINATIONpage 389. MARKING CRITERIA FOR THE ORAL EXAMINATIONpage 45Part III: History-Geography10. SUBJECT DETAILS10.110.210.310.410.510.610.7Aims and objectivesFurther aims of the History programmeFurther aims of the Geography programmeThe History-Geography syllabusAssessmentThe written examinationThe oral examination11. INSTRUCTIONS TO EXAMINERS11.111.211.311.411.511.611.76page 54General guidance on the marking of written responsesSpecific guidance on markingGeneric marking criteriaGrading hors sujet questionsRecording written examination marks for the juryGrading the oral examinationRecording oral examination marks for the jurypage 58

APPENDIX 1page 66Administrative Organisation 2020APPENDIX 2page 67Protocol for the Organisation of Oral Examinations in Overseas CentresAPPENDIX 3Technical Specifications7page 71

PART I: INTRODUCTIONThe Option Internationale du Baccalauréat (OIB) (see: ale-du-baccalaureat-oib-assessed-from-2021) is a special version of the French BaccalauréatGénéral (see ral-assessed-from-2021) taken bystudents enrolled in an ‘international section’ in lycées in France and abroad (as part of the AEFEnetwork).Candidates for the British version of the OIB study two subjects in English in addition to the full curriculumof the Baccalauréat Général: English Language & Literature and History-Geography. CambridgeAssessment International Education provides quality assurance to align the examinations of these twosubjects to the UK A Level.1.1 Grading systemAll students achieve an overall score out of 20 for their Baccalauréat – this includes fractions.A Pass (Passable/Sans mention) requires an average of 10 points or more.In addition, honours grades (mentions) are awarded on the basis of the average point score achieved: Tres bien (Distinction) average of 16 or more points Bien (Merit) average of 14 points or more but fewer than 16 Assez bien average of 12 points or more but fewer than 14In practice, the top mark-band (16–20) is awarded to a small percentage of candidates. In 2019, forexample, 11.7% of all Baccalauréat Général candidates in France achieved a mention très bien (anoverall average mark of 16/20 or better)1, while 12.3% of A level candidates in England achieved 3 A*/Agrades or better2.Note also that 16/20 in an individual subject within the Baccalauréat is given the same UCAS tariff as agrade A* at A Level and that 15/20 is rated as equivalent to a grade A at A Level.1.2 The jury and baccalauréat resultsAll results are delivered by regional jurys. This is a final deliberation and review of marks to ensureconsistency and fairness. The jury for each group of schools is chaired by a president appointed by therectorat (the regional educational authority), and is made up of the examiners of the candidates beingconsidered.Very often, candidates' marks fall comfortably within one or other of the categories of mentions, and theseresults are confirmed formally by the jury. However, in cases where a candidate's marks are just below ahigher mention, or just below the minimum pass mark for the baccalauréat as a whole, the president ofthe jury will review the marks given by examiners so as to award the candidate the baccalauréat or themention if appropriate. The candidate's livret scolaire may be consulted; this contains a record of thestudent's work, average marks for the year, and teachers’ comments for the final years of lycéeeducation. A candidate's written paper may also be reconsidered during the course of the jury.Examiners present at the jury may be asked if they are willing to allow the candidate extra points. They donot have to agree - it may be that they feel the candidate has already been given the benefit of everydoubt. Often, however, the jury considers awarding the marks that borderline candidates would need, fortheir results to go up, unless what is read in the livret scolaire about work and commitment leads them tofeel that this would be unjustified. Cambridge Assessment International Education will provide a letter tothe regional jurys via the Mission de Pilotage des Examens (DGESCO) to indicate that OIB marks may beincreased by up to one point per subject if requested by the president of the jury.1Note d'information - N 19.28 - juillet 2019: loads/attachment data/file/840413/2019 provisional A level and other16-18 results in Englandv2.pdf8

Under the baccalaureate reform, students are no longer able to choose OIB subjects for rattrapage orals.1.3 The September sessionEach year a September session of the baccalauréat is held for any candidates who could not sit theexamination in June. OIB papers are set each year by the Inspectors for these September sessions.The Ministry of Education texts defining access to these sessions mention candidates who can justify thattheir absence for the whole or a part of the June session was caused by factors over which they had nocontrol. Illness, bereavement and accident are given as examples.Candidates at the September session register for the session via their school and are accepted by theirlocal rectorat. It is important that information on the candidates sitting this examination reaches the BritishOIB Schools & Exam Centres Administrative Coordinator.Heads of OIB Sections must ensure this takes place. This should be done as early as possible: that is, bythe date of the release of OIB final marks by jurys, or, failing this as early as possible in the final week ofAugust. This is so that arrangements can be made for Designating examinersDesignating a central or regional examination centre, where this is neededEnsuring that convocations are issued by SIEC and rectorats for candidates and for oral andwritten examinersModeration and Signing off of final marks by the InspectorsSeptember session oral examinations will normally be conducted via videoconference.1.4 RattrapageUnder the baccalaureate reform, students are no longer able to choose OIB subjects for rattrapage orals.9

2. THE INTERNATIONAL OPTION2.1 The origins of the International OptionThe practice of offering a bilingual curriculum to students fluent in two languages has long beenestablished in French international lycées and in other French schools serving international communities.These establishments have been in existence since the 1960s. The normal baccalauréat cannot,however, fully measure the attainment and potential of genuinely bilingual students, because its foreignlanguage examinations are designed for students who begin the formal study of a language at 11, 13 or15 years of age.In 1981, the French government, responding to a growing demand among parents for more widespreadbilingual education, and recognising a need to make additional provision for foreign nationals studying inFrance, proposed that specially designed ‘international sections' be created. A number of foreigngovernments agreed to take part in the setting up of this structure, among them those of (what was thenWest) Germany, Italy, Denmark, Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA. Inmost of these countries, the relevant ministry of education took responsibility for creating andadministering the International Option, the final examination towards which students in these internationalsections directed their studies. In the case of the UK, the University of Cambridge Local ExaminationsSyndicate (UCLES) was asked to set up and run the British option. UCLES, which had no financialinterest in the examination, was chosen because of its considerable experience in A Level syllabuscreation and examination and its long history of international examining. UCLES is now called CambridgeAssessment and the division which administers the British OIB is now called Cambridge AssessmentInternational Education. Their role is to provide quality assurance for the OIB.The British international sections were to be staffed by English-speaking teachers and were to offer tuitionin English and in History-Geography for six hours per week. All other subjects were to be taught in Frenchin the normal way. One important purpose of introducing these sections was to ensure that foreignnationals who wished to do so would be in a position to return to their countries of origin for highereducation. Another was to offer to French nationals who had a very good practical mastery of a foreignlanguage the right to study using this language as a vehicle for learning, alongside foreign nationals forwhom it was a mother tongue. These objectives still hold good.Some years after the formal founding of the international sections, the International Option of thebaccalauréat was launched in several languages. The French government insisted that the InternationalOption should possess three important characteristics.1 It would have the same status and validity as all the other parts of the baccalauréat général,and thus contribute significantly to the candidate’s overall marks;2 The two subjects making up the International Options would obey the principe de substitution;that is, they would replace other subjects within the baccalauréat teaching and examinationstructure, rather than being added on to that structure. The OIB Language and Literature papersreplace the first foreign language and the OIB History-Geography papers replace the normal,purely French, histoire-géographie examination;3 The subjects included in the International Options would be taught and examined by foreignnationals who are native speakers, to a standard comparable to that of the equivalentexamination in the ‘home’ country. With the recent growth of international sections within theFrench state system, French teachers with a high level of English competence and mastery havejoined the pool of teachers who are native speakers.For the OIB, subject Inspectors appointed by Cambridge International set and moderate the marking ofthe written papers, inspect a sample of the oral examinations (both directly and via Assistant Moderatorswho report to them), and scrutinise all oral marks with the help of Associate Inspectors. They provide aspecification based on the official syllabuses issued by the Ministry, define works to be studied andensure that examining standards and objectivity are maintained. They also prepare reports at theconclusion of each examination session which are sent to Cambridge International and to the FrenchMinistry.10

France was the first country to integrate syllabuses devised with foreign partners into its national systemof university entrance level examinations. The result is a well-balanced academic qualification upon whicha challenging curriculum for bilingual students is based. The examination structure also fostersinternational communication and understanding in an area where cooperation does not often – and noteasily – exist.2.2 The two subjects taught in EnglishStudents studying the International Option take the two subjects most closely related to language andculture: langue et littérature and histoire-géographie. In the case of the British option, these two subjectshave second year A level equivalence within the British A Level system. Detailed information about thetwo subject syllabuses can be found in chapters 6 and 10 of this Handbook.Briefly, candidates studying Language and Literature have a choice of literary texts from four genres:drama, poetry, prose fiction, and Shakespeare’s dramatic works. For the oral examination, they mustprepare a Shakespeare play and then two further texts illustrating a synoptic topic based on a period orgenre. For the written examination in this subject (4 hours), they must study two texts, taken from twodifferent genres. Texts studied for the oral examination may not be used for the written. They must alsofollow a Critical Appreciation course and be prepared to write on a previously unseen passage orpassages of poetry or prose. Candidates must write three essays in the written examination and answerboth general and detailed questions on their texts in the oral. Both the oral and written examinations areentirely in English.In History-Geography, the teaching structure is bilingual, the programme of study being divided betweenFrench teachers and teachers from International Sections, and taught in parallel in two languages. Inmost schools, both History and Geography are divided in this way; in some schools, History is taught inEnglish and Geography in French. In all cases, students have to answer written and oral questions in onelanguage upon material which they may have learned in another. The History syllabus for the examinationcovers five Themes: Collective memory; Media and public opinion in the context of one political crisis;Great powers and world tensions from 1918 to the present; Levels of government from 1945 to thepresent; and, Study of Britain from the second half of the 20th century to the present. The Geographysyllabus is a human geography programme comprising three Themes: Keys for understanding a complexworld; Globalisation and development; and, Urbanisation and demographic issues. The writtenexamination (4 hours) is divided into Sections A and B, each containing two essay questions and astructured document-based question. Candidates choose one Section and answer one essay and thedocument-based question, one being History and the other Geography or vice versa. Althoughcandidates may choose to write in French, virtually all who sit the British OIB write in English. Choice ofthe language in which the OIB History-Geography paper is to be answered must be made by thecandidate in November of the final year (terminale), at the point at which the candidate registers for thebaccalauréat général in his/her lycée. The oral examination is based on 10 Key issues and 10 Key terms.There will be a set of four approved lists of Key issues and schools will be asked to select one of theselists for use with their candidates. The 10 Key terms are common to all schools in France. Schoolsoutside France, where the orals are held earlier, have a different set of Key terms. The oral examinationis always conducted entirely in English.2.3 How are OIB subjects examined?At the end of the course, candidates sit a four-hour written examination in each of the two subjects as wellas an oral in each. In Language and Literature, students are tested on work done over a 2-year period; inHistory-Geography, material studied in the final year (terminale) is examined. Both oral examinations areconducted by two teacher-examiners. Candidates must deliver a presentation or talk at the beginning ofeach oral, using as their starting point a randomly chosen passage, selected by the examiners, from theShakespeare play they have studied (for Language and Literature) or a Key issue chosen at random outof 10 previously agreed and announced (for History-Geography). Then follows a more general discussionabout the Synoptic Topic (for Language and Literature), or a question and answer session on the chosenKey content (for History-Geography). Both the written and oral examinations are marked out of 20. Moreinformation about the marking standards of the written examinations and the conduct and assessment ofthe orals can be found in subsequent chapters.11

3. COMPARISON WITH 'A' LEVEL FOR UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONSUCAS has published a Quaification Information Profile (QIP) for the OIB which can be found tionale-du-baccalaureat-oib-assessed-from-2021In particular, please note: for UK HE admissions purposes, the OIB is regarded as comparable inprogramme size with four A levels hence given a combined multiplier of 16. In addition, linguisticperformance in the British version of the OIB is assessed following expectations of first language usage .1 Preliminary considerationsSimple comparison between A Level and the French baccalauréat (with or without the OIB) is difficult.The former lays stress on specialisation, while the baccalauréat embodies the ideal of a broad curriculum.In addition, OIB candidates are not just highly fluent in at least two languages: every day they face thedemanding task of working to native-speaking standard in those languages and balancing, from one hourto the next, the languages and perspectives of two cultures. This bicultural dimension is a key distinctivefeature of the OIB and the International Sections that prepare students for it. Candidates have a heavierworkload than most baccalauréat candidates. They forgo the high mark that they would almost certainlyhave achieved if they took the ordinary baccalauréat foreign language (LV1) English examination. Thequalities of flexibility, resilience, tolerance and independence they develop make them more than usuallywell prepared for the challenges of university study.3.2 British university offersMost OIB students have little difficulty entering British universities: Admissions Officers generallyrecognise the distinctive strengths they bring to an academic community. OIB candidates are wellprepared for higher education in the UK: they have experienced a British style of pedagogy with aparticular emphasis on dialogue, critical thinking and analysis, and developed a British approach toextended academic writing in English.Making comparisons with A LevelIt is possible for admissions tutors to ‘translate’ A Level grade combinations into OIB terms. Thesecomparisons are based mainly on equating the achievements of the two national cohorts in their finalexaminations.The table below, taken from Manchester University’s website, represents typical grade equivalenciesbetween A level grade requirements and French Baccalauréat and OIB overall grade ternational/country-specific- information/france/entry-requirements/How should OIB entrance requirements be expressed? Either an overall mark out of 20 (e.g.13/20) Or, if appropriate, an overall mark out of 20 together with a specified mark level in a relevant subject(e.g. 13/20 with 13/20 in Mathematics for an Engineering applicant).In setting offers, it should be remembered that high marks in the Baccalaureate are rare. For example, in2019, 11.7% of all Baccalauréat Général candidates in France achieved a mention très bien (an overall12

average mark of 16/20 or better)3, while 12.3% of A level candidates in England achieved 3 A*/A gradesor better4.Note also that 16/20 in an individual subject within the Baccalauréat is given the same UCAS tariff as agrade A* at A Level and that 15/20 is rated as equivalent to a grade A at A Level (see: -2/).University Admissions Officers often consider candidates' results in relevant individual subjects as well asthe overall baccalauréat result or mention as the basis for offers. For example, an offer level of AAA at Alevel might be expressed in OIB terms as a mark of 14/20 overall with 14/20 in one or two subjectsrelevant to the candidate's proposed university course. This approach is particularly useful in settingoffers for courses requiring the A* grade at A level, and thus seeking excellence in specific subjects inaddition to strong overall achievement. In their OIB offers for such courses, universities might demand anoverall mark of 15 while requiring marks of 15 or 16 in the specific subject(s) for which the A* grade mightbe expected.Predicted gradesSince high marks are rare, predicted grades within the French Baccalaureate tend to be conservative. Itshould be noted that many schools are reluctant to predict an overall mark in the OIB above 16 – partlybecause it represents the highest recognised ‘grade’, the Mention Très Bien, and partly because of thedifficulty of predicting reliably above this point.The OIB as proof of English Language competenceThe British version of the OIB is widely taken by British universities as proof of English languagecompetence, without the need for further proficiency tests. The linguistic demands of the English andHistory-Geography examinations focus on the academic use of English; this makes them anappropriate preparation for university study in any subject. Expected levels of language use forsuccessful candidates are considered to be at to C1 or C2 level on the Common European Framework ofReference for Languages (CEFR), or ‘academically accomplished native speaker/writer’.3.3 After admission to British universityBecause OIB candidates have studied at least five academic subjects to examination level, they mayhave more difficulty than A Level students in making a choice of UK university courses. It is possible thatthe relatively unaccustomed academic freedom they will enjoy at a UK university will mean they will needa period of adaptation to a different way of working.That said, these fully bilingual students are nonetheless likely to prove excellent prospects for Britishuniversities. They have something special to offer any department in cultural terms, and they have theadvantage of having received a broad education. Moreover, they have been examined in ways that aredifferent to the methods used in A Level. In Language and Literature, for example, they are required toprepare a commentary on an extract (given to them only 35 minutes before the oral examination) from theShakespeare play they have studied and to defend their interpretations before two examiners - as well asanswering both detailed and general questions on the synoptic topic they have prepared for the oralexamination.In addition, the baccalauréat maintains a tradition of displ

OIB Only schools approved by the Ministère de l'Education Nationale may undertake the Option internationale du Baccalauréat. Schools wishing to prepare candidates for the British OIB must in all cases contact the DREIC (the department responsible for OIB within the Ministère de l'Education Nationale) as well as ASIBA to request their .