Concours (selection process)

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The Concours ( French for concurrence , competition , co-financing , competition , competition is) in the education system in France , the entrance examination and the selection process for study at a grande école . The current selection process for employees at institutions and bodies of the European Union also feeds on this tradition . A similar procedure is also used for civil servants.

As a rule, after completing the Baccalauréat, applicants prepare for these entrance exams in two-year courses in classes préparatoires ( prépas ) , which set the course for careers in industry, politics and business. These classes préparatoires are attached to the grammar schools. Most of them are public, some (a few) private.

The concours consist of two parts, a written and an oral.

In this concours , the applicants must first and foremost prove their general education . Here, special knowledge is not required, but broad general knowledge, impeccable expressiveness (and spelling ), strong logical thinking and - in the oral part - stable nerves.

The system of the concours is very simple: the grandes écoles determine the number of study places that they offer in view of the labor market situation. The applicants who achieve the best results will be accepted. Example: If a school advertises 200 places, the z. B. 7000 applicants accepted the first 200. So this is not about passing an exam, but about doing better than the competition.

This system has both critics and supporters. The first criticize the continuation of a caste system , the others welcome the democratic process. Young people from the educated middle class are in the Grandes écoles over-represented, but there are more graduates than in the traditional university programs that offer genuine career prospects.

Since 1990 the concours has not been the only procedure for admission to a grande école . Applicants with an exceptional professional career can also be accepted ( validation of the acquis professionnels ). Even the ENA accepts such students.