The DNB is both an assessment and a certification of the the knowledge and skills acquired at the end of middle school. Results are based on continuous assessment and final exams.
Each subject is assessed in a separate test, except for science (two subjects), and an oral exam for students enrolled in a school. Objectives and common foundation The Brevet is a diploma attesting to the knowledge and skills acquired during middle school, and is awarded by a jury.
Access to high school is not conditioned upon obtaining the Brevet diploma. The common foundation of knowledge, skills and culture define the requirements each student should meet by the end of compulsory schooling. It sets out all the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed in school, in life and as a future citizen.
The common foundation of knowledge, skills and culture.
The DNB exams consist of four written and one oral exam for school candidates. These tests assess the level of proficiency in the Common Foundation. Homeschooled candidates sit for five written tests.
The written examinations are based on the cycle 4 curriculum. An oral exam on history of arts or on an interdisciplinary project.
1. French written test Duration of the test
Duration 3 hours
Candidates are presented with a literary text, which may be supplemented with an image.
The total of 100 points are weighted as follows:
- Literary text, which may be supplemented with an image (50 points – 1 h 10 minutes):
- Grammar and language skills: questions to assess language skills and mastery of grammar as well as a redrafting exercise.
- Comprehension test Dictation (10 points – 20 minutes) of approximately 600 characters. Writing task (40 points – 1 h 30 minutes): candidates choose from two topics.
2. Written math test
Duration of the test: 2 hours
The exercises are based on the cycle 4 mathematics curriculum and include mastery of the following skills: “search”, “model”, “represent”, “reason”, “calculate” and “communicate”.
The test includes a compulsory algorithmic exercise (programming). The test is scored out of 100 points.
3. Written examination of history – geography – moral and civic education Duration of the test: 2 hours
The test scored out of 50 points consists in three exercises:
- Exercise 1. Analysing and understanding documents in history or geography (20 points)
- Exercise 2. Mastering the language of reasoning and the use historical and geographic landmarks (20 points)
- Exercise 3. Mobilising skills in moral and civic education (10 points)
4. Written test in physics-chemistry, life and earth sciences, technology, known as the “science test”
Duration of the test: twice thirty minutes, i.e. 1 hour
Only two of the three possible subjects are evaluated at each session. The test is scored out of 50 points.
5. Oral defense
Duration of the test: 15 minutes
The candidate presents an art history topic or one of the projects carried out during the cycle 4 interdisciplinary practical lessons in one of the following domains: Career guidance, Civics, health education, Arts and Culture.
This oral test is a defense: its purpose is to assess the candidate’s ability to present knowledge and skills acquired in several subjects.
Candidates can choose to take the test individually or in groups (maximum of three candidates) but are assessed individually. The candidate’s presentation (5 minutes) is followed by an interview with the jury (10 minutes). In the case of a group presentation, a 10 minute presentation is followed by a 15 minute discussions between the jury and the whole group; each candidate is subject to an individual assessment.
The test is scored out of 100 points: Proficiency in oral expression (50 points) Mastery of the subject presented (50 points)