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French B SL


As of 2012 the IB Language B exam has changed in format and contents. This article is outdated.

Pour faciliter la communication entre les étudiants de ce niveau, et puisque ceci est la section Anglaise de « Wikibooks », la plupart de cette section est en Anglais.

To begin, French B is the second lowest difficulty of Group 2 Subjects. It is intended for students who have some background in French already, and wish to improve upon their reading and writing. There is no IB syllabus for French, so it really depends on your teacher to prepare you for your exams.

The Exams


Your French IB mark is determined primarily by external markers. The Oral Exam is internally marked, and externally moderated, whereas the Paper 1 & 2 are externally marked.

The Oral Exam


You are expected to speak for 3 to 5 minutes on a subject of your choice. Following this, there is a question period between you and your teacher for 2-3 minutes. During this question period, their job is to show your breadth and depth in the French language.

Note: You have to do your oral via cassette tape recording or digitally via CD recorder.

Tips for the Oral:

  • It would be most beneficial to your mark if you chose something relating in some way to French culture. Talking about Ford cars really has nothing to do with French culture, and would not impress markers. Some examples that are sure to "wow" the marker would be
      • French Regions (e.g. Provence, Champagne, Franche-Comté)
      • Francophone Countries (e.g. Cameroon, Haiti, Belgium, etc...)
      • French Cuisine
      • French Art
      • Basically, anything distinctly French or Francophone will do
  • Pick something you're interested in and can talk easily about
  • Read newspapers and magazines about recent events in France or French-speaking countries, and express your opinions.
  • Watch French television. It is very helpful in picking up enunciation and pronunciation, as well as French expressions, which the markers love to hear.
  • Practise your speech and record yourself. It is very helpful to hear yourself on tape, and to recognise what common errors you make.

Paper 1


The Paper 1 exam is 1h 30 minutes. This exam is designed to test your reading comprehension. You will be given two packages:

  • Your readings
  • The exam itself

The exam is composed of approximately 50 questions. They range from True/False to Fill in the Blanks to Finding Synonyms to Matching.

A strong grasp of French vocabulary and grammar is a must to succeed in this exam.

Paper 2


The Paper 2 exam is also 1h 30 minutes. It is designed to test your writing skills. A list of questions will be given to you - you must choose one of these and write a response of at least 250 words to it.

Some teachers recommend that you write at least double the minimum, but to be honest, go with quality over quantity. Aim for 350 words, but make those 350 words rife with idiomatic expressions, various verb tenses, and a clear presentation of your knowledge of the language. It is all a matter of personal preference in the end.

Tips for Paper 2


Il faut que vous sachiez comment écrire dans les formes suivantes:

- Discours

- Lettre à un ami

- Lettre formelle

- Page de journal intime / Blog

- Essai

- Guide (humoristique ou non)

- Interview / Dialogue / Conversation

- Editorial

- Brochure

- Compte-rendu

- Page d'accueil d'un site Internet

- Article de journal

- Critique (de livre ou de film)

- Fin d'un récit

Know the specific formats of each form, as these are easy marks to get. If you fail to write in the specific format, your points can go down by a lot. Format includes register, vocabulary, phrases, and physical appearance (for example if it is a newspaper article include columns).

Les questions d'écriture vont exiger une de ces formes. Si vous n'écrivez pas dans la forme précisée, vous serez pénalisé.

French B HL


The Exams