The Secondary School cycle is validated by the European Baccalaureate at the end of year 7. The certificate awarded is fully recognised in all the European Union countries, as well as in a number of others. Those awarded the certificate enjoy the same rights and advantages as other holders of school-leaving certificates in their respective countries, including the same right as nationals with equivalent qualifications to seek admission to any university or institution of higher education in the European Union.
The Examining Board, which oversees the examinations in all language sections, is chaired by a university professor and is composed of examiners from each country of the Union. They are appointed annually by the Board of Governors and must meet the requirements laid down in their home countries for appointment to examining boards of the same level.
The Baccalaureate examination assesses performance in the subjects taught in the sixth and seventh years, and to qualify for admission pupils must have completed at least the last two classes of the secondary course at the European school.
Assessment of each candidate's performance is based on:
- Part 1: a preliminary mark, the so-called "A mark" reflecting performance in course-work, oral participation in class and the results of tests during year 7, and accounts for 50% of the marks.
- Part 2: a so-called "B mark" at the end of year 7 that consists of:
a. five written examinations, which account for 35% of the marks, including the student's mother-tongue (or the language of the section in which the student is enrolled according to the category to which he or she belongs), first foreign language and mathematics, which are compulsory for all candidates.
b. three oral examinations, which account for 15% of the marks, including the student's mother-tongue (or the language of the section in which the student is enrolled according to the category to which he or she belongs), which is compulsory.
To pass the Baccalaureate, candidates must achieve a minimum of 50%.
The close scrutiny exercised by the Examining Board, which, as far as the written examination papers are concerned, requires double marking and, where necessary, a third marking, guarantees the high level and quality of the Baccalaureate and thus allows the certificate to be awarded only to students with the competences and knowledge required to go on successfully to higher education.