Skip to main content
Since 2004, revealing what drives you!

Orientation and the bac Grand Oral exam of the new 2021 Bac - 3rd step

Today, June 21, 2021, the first Grand Oral du Bac takes place for the students of the terminale.

Here is what it says about time 3, related to orientation and professional project:

"Time 3: You discuss your career plan with the jury (5 minutes)

You explain how the question dealt with is useful for your study project, and even for your professional project.

You talk about the different steps that have enabled you to advance in your project (meetings, commitments, internships, international mobility, interest in common courses, choice of specialties, etc.) and what you will do with it after your baccalaureate.

The jury pays attention to the way you express your personal thoughts and your motivations.

Please note: for the general track, if your question concerns the specialty "Foreign and Regional Languages, Literatures and Cultures", you can take the first two parts of the Grand Oral in a foreign language."

You surely understand it as I do, so it is important here to have a professional project and to argue it while knowing how to create links with one's experiences to demonstrate the logic and relevance of one's choices and actions.

I recently spoke with a journalist from Le Monde, a specialist in education, and a few fundamental points of questioning emerged.

First of all, not all professional projects are the same and then there are those that are made up to disguise one's uncertainty and those that have really been thought out and built for a long time.

And it is not easy to argue correctly and to be convincing when yours is rather part of the first type.

The first question concerning this exercise therefore stems from the need to have a well thought-out professional project built upstream.

Of course, it is a matter of pushing students to think about their professional project and to prepare it earlier.

Because the identified problem faced by our educational system is that school does not prepare students to define and choose a career.

In 2018, in the study by the National Center for Evaluation of the School System (CNESCO), "Helping young people better identify their personal tastes and motivations: A lever for improving guidance", Cnesco, 2018, it was identified that 43% of students had no career plans after the Bac. That's almost one in two students!

To remedy this, they have introduced more hours of support for the creation of the professional project and a globalized supervision. On the government website here is what it says in 2021:

"54 hours are planned, as an indication, depending on the needs of the students and the modalities of guidance support put in place for guidance choice support ;


The autonomy that is recognized to the different actors (parents, students, educational teams) in the construction of pathways, in the organization of time volumes, and in the time devoted to this activity opens up a wide range of possibilities in terms of innovation.
Managers must encourage and promote all actions that will boost the ambition of all students:

    - compare their tastes and their knowledge of professional activities ;
    - confront their projects and their values;
    - confronting their projects and their skills.

Encourage the conditions for the emergence of the student's personal project

Disseminate information to users

Students and their legal representatives must have the information they need to make informed choices about their future.
This is the first condition for becoming an actor in the construction of their educational pathway:

    - know where and from whom to obtain information ;
    - know and consult the ONISEP's "Mon orientation en ligne" site, which offers a personalized service and where you can consult frequently asked questions. Also consult the orientation guides on the ONISEP website;
    - Be able to search for relevant and necessary information;
    - discover and understand how the professional world works
    - find out about the different training courses.

Setting up time to discover careers and higher education courses

This is an important dimension of the students' reflection, who too often project themselves into professions that are familiar to them.
Time spent in the school (forums, conferences, etc.), during visits to companies or training organizations, or during internships, should encourage variety and diversity.
The student's project must be constructed and chosen; to this end, the management staff must encourage actions and organizations that :

    - allow the student to discover the economic and professional world ;
    - develop the student's sense of commitment and spirit of initiative
    - enable students to develop their educational and professional orientation project;
    - allow students to compare their tastes and knowledge of professional activities and university courses.

The use of the FOLIOS application can be useful. It is a tool to help build the project; it allows traceability within the framework of the Parcours Avenir.

We can see that in 2021 we are still in an orientation linked to knowledge of professions, training, skills (grades), where it would be important to encourage an orientation linked to introspection, desire, pleasure and meaning. In short, the individualization of the process remains insurmountable for the institution.

Reading between the lines, it is clear that it is a question of conforming the individual to the needs of society and companies, rather than helping him or her understand and identify his or her own desires.

It is at this point that we can begin to wonder about the notion of citizen today, seen by the school and seen by the company, to evaluate the question of the needs of each one and the art of making it all work without a hitch, but this is not the subject anymore.

To come back to the question of orientation within the school, I may sound pessimistic, but I consider that given the education system in place and the means it has, they will not have the money nor the temporal and professional capacities to offer what I think is necessary. A system that would base learning on interest, autonomy and meaning.
There is a chance, however, that the problem of equal opportunities (among others) cannot be solved in such a reality.

To conclude, I think we can say that a professional project framed solely by the national education system will only be flawed by the influential nature of the proposed framework, via the advice or opinions of professors, even if they are aware of the issues of orientation and the subtle art of questioning, and the absence of personal development and the search for what makes sense for the individual.

We are therefore faced with a paradox: we have a guidance system that is conceived in terms of grades, jobs and training mainly and that requires that the result be in the form of motivation, eloquence and argumentation with regard to the choices of students who go through this mill. This is deeply inconsistent.

How do grades motivate you to do anything other than have better grades (eventually), how does the catalog of jobs and training allow you to know yourself and to identify in a world that has deeply influenced you so far, to define what you really like or want? How can you develop a relevant argument on such a non-existent basis to explain your choices, which are not really yours?

Finding out about jobs and training courses without any ideas or prior reflection is like deciding to browse through the redoubt catalog simply fuelled by the desire to buy something, anything, that we might like. It is to sink, then, in a symptomatic behavior which, in my opinion, needs to be clarified.

It is, in my opinion, a confusing collapse of meaning.

I like this formula which I have already used in this exact context, it describes the situation perfectly for me.

I have no statistical idea, but I can assume that it puts a lot of students in a great deal of inner turmoil to have to undergo such an ordeal (with a double meaning, of course).

As a result, if the quality of the argumentation is low during the test, there will have to be a leveling down to save the honor of this new vintage of the Bac and this will be at the expense of the interest of the exercise, which does exist, but not according to these premises.

Of course, they are trying to find solutions to the problems of the failure or drop-out rate in bachelor's degrees, which is close to 40% (Source: CNESCO), which is logically linked to the percentage of students who do not have a professional project at the end of the baccalaureate, and this by ensuring that the students are motivated for the specialties they have chosen and that they have a well thought-out professional project.

I don't believe in this at all, but I sincerely hope for all the students who did not have the chance to be intelligently accompanied in their choice, that the future will prove me wrong.


  • Created on .
  • Last updated on .

Want to assess your situation?

© All rights reserved.

Article L122-4 of the Code of Intellectual Property: "Any representation or reproduction in whole or in part without the consent of the author [...] is illegal. The same applies to translation, adaptation or transformation, arrangement or reproduction by any art or process."


  • 254 rue lecourbe
    75015 Paris
  • 23 avenue de coulaoun
    64200 Biarritz
  • 71 allée de terre vieille
    33160 St Médard en Jalles

Phone : +33673176667

History & Info

Practice founded in 2004.
Website and content redesigned in 2012.
SIRET NUMBER: 48990345000091

Legal information.