The Baccalauréat Français International (BFI), formerly Option Internationale du Baccalauréat (OIB)
The British version of the BFI is an integrated Franco-British school-leaving qualification based upon a long-standing partnership between the French Ministry of Education and Cambridge International. The unique feature of the BFI is that A-Level style examinations in English Literature, and History-Geography are added to the full syllabus of the traditional French Baccalaureate. All pupils are required to write and speak in an extended analytical mode at university entrance level in English as well as French. The demands of this dual curriculum mean that pupils learn to manage a heavy workload, and acquire different approaches to thinking and methodology through the two languages. This cultural and intellectual flexibility generally enables them to become highly successful undergraduates.
How are BFI entrance requirements expressed?
British universities generally make ‘conditional offers’ that require:
- an overall mark out of 20 (e.g.13/20)
- one or more specified marks in individual subjects (e.g. 13/20 with 13/20 in Mathematics for an Engineering applicant).
The BFI as proof of English Language competence
The British version of the BFI is widely taken by British universities as proof of English language competence, without the need for further proficiency tests. The linguistic demands of the English and History-Geography exams concern the use of English in an academic context through essay-based analytical responses; this makes them an excellent preparation for university study in any subject. The levels of linguistic achievement for successful candidates are C1 or C2 on the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), or ‘educated native speaker/writer.’
Click here for a guide outlining the linguistic demands of the BFI for university admissions tutors.
BFI and A Level admissions requirements
The main published sources of comparison with UK A Levels are the BFI Handbook and information provided by individual universities such as the University of Manchester.
For individual required subjects, universities may specify point scores which generally range from 12 to 17/20 and comparability with A Level has been established by UCAS as follows: