National diploma (France)
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The national diploma  is a diploma given to French pupils at the end of 3e (year 10 / ninth grade), This diploma is awarded to students who are or were within French cultural influence, including France itself, Lebanon, Syria and Algeria, the first two were subject to the French Mandate after World War I whilst the last was under French occupation from 1830 and until 1962. Also the pupils outside France who study in French Schools of the Agency for French Teaching Abroad network sit for this exam.
To be awarded a diploma, pupils must acquire the seven common core skills and score a minimum of 190 points (out of 380). These points are awarded via tests in each subject except in history-geography-civics (continuous assessment: contrôle continu) and in a final exam at the end of 3e. Also starting from 2008, pupils must acquire the A2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in a foreign language (English, German, Spanish, Italian...). In other countries, primarily the UK, United States, Canada, and several ex-Yugoslav and Asian countries, the equivalent period covered by the diploma is middle school.
Over the course of the ninth grade, at the end of each unit of a course, all pupils take a test graded out of twenty points.[clarification needed] At the end of each trimester the average mark from each subject is calculated as well as a general average (the average of all the subjects' averages).
Up until 2007 the averages from the two school years (six trimesters) from the start of the quatrième or eight grade to the end of the ninth grade were counted towards the final result. From 2007 onwards, only the marks from the ninth grade are used. A pupil may know he has a good enough average to pass the Brevet before sitting for the exams. However students may not skip the exams, as that would mean automatic disqualification.
At the end of the ninth grade, three tests are taken, such that each will have a score of:
History, geography and citizenship: 40
And as of 2011, an oral exam in cultural history is mandatory for all students in the ninth grade. It is taken before the three other tests. It consists of writing an essay (around 2000 words) about any art form and analyzing 6 to 8 paintings, then presenting them to two teachers (at least one history teacher) for 10–15 minutes then answering questions that they ask. This also has a score out of 40.
The results are calculated using a weighted total. The subjects of the final exams are weighted as follows:
- French: 2
- Mathematics: 2
- History, Geography and Civic Education: 2
The subjects studied in the ninth grade are given a total weighting of 9 to 11, depending on the série taken. In order to pass the Brevet, the pupil must score on average the equivalent of 10 out of 20. A higher score may result in the award of a "mention":
- Brevet des collèges or Diplôme National du Brevet
- (socle commun de connaissances et de compétences
- Subjects to study for the Brevet Degree
- histoire des arts
- contrôle continu
- assez bien
- très bien