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Home > France > General Information

Education in France

Leslie Goovaerts

8 November 2012

In France, school is obligatory until the age of 16.

Kids begin school at the age of 3. They go to the Kindergarten for three years. Then, they go primary school for five years:
- CP (Preparatory Course) - age 6-7
- CE1 (Elementary Course 1) - age 7-8
- CE2 (Elementary Course 2) - age 8-9
- CM1 (Intermediary Course 1) - age 9-10
- CM2 (Intermediary Course 2) - age 10-11. During these five years, they mainly learn to read, write and count.

There are four years of collège (Junior High School): 6th / 5th / 4th / 3rd.

Contrary to the United States, you count the years in decreasing order. Therefore, students start the secondary school in 6th grade and go until 1st grade at the age of 17. The final year of secondary school is called Terminale when students prepare the Baccalauréat exams.

For those who continue after the age of 16, the last three years take place in the Lycée (High School): 2nd / 1st / Terminale.

When the students pass the exams of Baccalaurate, they can go to University.