French high school students must obtain the baccalauréat if they are to have any chance of getting into university. Almost all teenagers have to write the nationwide standardized tests at the same time. About half of them pass.
Everyone has to write the philosophy exam, which was held yesterday. Charles Bremner tells us what questions were on the exam [Stress test for France's young philosophers]. You have four hours to answer one of the questions. How would you do?
If you were in the economics and social science stream, the questions were ....To me the questions indicate that France expects more of its potential university students than we do in Canada. We used to have standardized province-wide exams in Ontario but they were abolished 40 years ago. As far as I know we never had a test that everyone in the entire country had to write.
If you were one of the science students the questions were ....
- What is gained by exchange?
- Does technological development transform mankind?
If you were in the literature stream the questions were ....
- Is it absurd to desire the impossible?
- Are there questions which no science can answer?
- Does objectivity in history suppose impartiality in the historian?
- Does language betray thought?
I don't think such a test has ever been popular in the USA.
[Hat Tip: Uncertain Principles: Answers Matter More than Questions]