French connections

France's baccalaureate: The hardest high school exam in the world?

For many French people, passing the national end-of-high-school exam, known as the Baccalaureate or Bac, is an important rite of passage. The French love to brag about the Bac and how tough it is because that implies that French schoolchildren are smart. But with so many people passing the diploma, has it lost its value? The government recently completely reformed the Bac to make it a "springboard to success". Time will tell whether it retains its egalitarian - albeit stressful - appeal.