How to choose your specialty courses in second?

specialty courses

Before getting to the heart of the matter, it is important to know what is meant by “specialties”. In France, secondary school students must choose three specialty courses out of nine, which allows them to follow in-depth courses in areas that interest them or that are related to their orientation project.  The choice of specialty courses in second can influence the possible courses in first and final, it is therefore advisable for students to find out from their establishment and their guidance counsellor.  Here are some of our tips for choosing your second year specialisms.

Specialty courses in second, Study Smarter

With a Master’s degree in translation and technical writing, I am delighted to be able to offer advice to students and future students to help them succeed.

1. How has the second changed since the baccalaureate reform?

Since the reform of the baccalaureate in 2019, the second has undergone several changes, in particular the choice of specialty courses, the possibility of choosing three specialties and an optional course , an orientation module and integration into continuous assessment with regular assessments .  In general, students can choose two or three specialty courses from 13 proposals, with an obligation to choose a specialty from each field of mathematics, physical sciences and life and Earth sciences if they opt for three specialties.

For students in the technological route, it is compulsory to choose a specialty among the seven offered in their series. The second aims to strengthen the culture common to all students and to help with orientation in first.

2. What are the specialties in second?

Since the high school reform of 2019, in general and technological second, students can choose from the following specialty courses :

  1. Biology, ecology
  2. Chemical Physics
  3. Life and earth sciences
  4. Digital and Computer Science (NSI)
  5. Economics and social sciences
  6. Arts (general track only)
  7. Engineering Sciences
  8. History-geography, geopolitics and political science
  9. Health and social sciences and techniques
  10. When will you have to decide on your specialty courses in second?

In second, you will be in the general and technological route . Then, during their 3ᵉ term , the students of the second must choose their specialty, generally around January or February. Schools organize information sessions and individual interviews to help students make their choice. Before making a final decision, it is important to take the time to think things through and get information from the school and the guidance counsellor. At the end of the third term, the choice of specialty will be validated by the director of the school. The specialties now replace the S, ES and L streams at the Lycée.

Even if you make your decision during the third trimester, the choice is not made in a rush, but is carefully considered throughout the year .

what are general and technological routes?

The general track is a three-year course (in second, first and final) which prepares to continue higher education and leads to the general baccalaureate.  It includes common courses as well as specialist courses that students choose according to their professional or academic objectives. The sector offers three series: the scientific series (S), the economic and social series (ES) and the literary series (L).

The technological route leads to the technological baccalaureate and aims to prepare students for technical and technological professions. It offers practical and theoretical training in various fields such as health, industry, services, environment, management sciences and technologies. Students can then continue their studies in higher education or enter directly into the professional world. The sector offers four series: Health and Social Sciences and Technologies (ST2S series), Management and Management Sciences and Technologies (STMG series), Industry and Sustainable Development Sciences and Technologies (STI2D series) and Science and Technology of Design and Applied Arts(STD2A series).

Specialty courses in the second year constitute an important element of the baccalaureate reform, offering students the possibility of personalizing their school career according to their interests and their plans for the future.  Pupils have the possibility of choosing among thirteen specialties in the general route and seven in the technological route, with the possibility of choosing up to three specialties in the general route.  Specialty courses aim to develop specific skills and prepare students for higher education, while allowing them to explore areas that interest them. In addition, the choice of specialist courses can have implications for the future orientation of students, by influencing higher education choices and career prospects.

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