Education Abroad: Breaking the Bachot

From the moment a French baby opens his little Gallic eyes, his ruling purpose in life becomes preparing for the bachot, the grueling baccalaureate exam that decides who shall enter universities and the grandes ecoles, and thus automatically become the elite that will some day rule the nation. The exam was over last week, and in Paris and Marseille milling, delirious teenage students overturned cars, pelted passers-by with flour, bombarded police with eggs, set bonfires on the sidewalks. They were celebrating the end of the pretest tension—and a lot of them were celebrating the fact that this year they knew...

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