Date of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Jack Dougherty


In France, students take the Brevet examination at the end of middle school to assess whether or not students have mastered the necessary middle school curriculum. This research analyzes the stated purpose and the consequential social outcomes of the Brevet through the use of interview data and content analysis of French educational policy documents, mass media news reports, social media, and school websites. On the one hand, the official policies, as well as interviews with French educators and a student, portray the exam as low-stakes with very few academic consequences for failure. On the other hand, performance on the Brevet is widely reported in French news publications and social media, revealing a wide social following, pressure for students to succeed, and social stigma if students fail to perform. The results of this research suggest that this disparity between purpose and consequences can be explained by the increased accessibility to exam scores due to online news reports and the explosion of social media.


Senior project completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies.