External certification test - CESS 2023
Since the 2010-2011 school year, the common external tests, which take place at the end of secondary education, are mandatory for all students.
These tests assess the mastery of one or more skills in the subjects of French and history.
Please note: the instructions for taking the tests, the questions asked and the marking criteria are the same for all students.
Who are these tests for?
The history test concerns pupils in the 6th year of general secondary education. As well as the 6th year of transitional technical and artistic secondary education
In French, the "Qualification" test is aimed at students in the 6th year of technical and artistic qualification education. As well as the 7th year of secondary vocational education.
The "Transition" French test concerns pupils in the 6th year of general secondary education. It also concerns the 6th year of transitional technical and artistic secondary education.
Who obtains the CESS 2023 certificate?
The certificate is awarded to students who meet the requirements in all subjects of the study year. Therefore, the test is taken simultaneously in all schools. The class council considers that pupils who have obtained at least 50% in the test have mastered the competences assessed. The results are then integrated into the student's average for the corresponding subject. For students who did not pass or were unable to participate in the test in whole or in part? In this case, the class council can estimate their mastery of the skill(s) covered by the test on the basis of their personal file. If the certificate is refused, then it is possible to appeal under certain conditions.
The legal framework governing the external certification tests for the school year 2022-2023
This framework is defined by the following documents. Circular 8859 of 6 March 2023, which concerns the organisation of these external certification tests. Order of 04 May 2016, which establishes the modalities of registration, distribution, marking and securing of these external tests. Decree of 2 June 2006, which concerns the external evaluation of the achievements of pupils in compulsory education and the basic education certificate. These documents define the guidelines and rules to be followed in organising and conducting the tests. They also set out the evaluation criteria and safety standards that apply.
How to obtain the CESS 2023?
The Certificate of Higher Secondary Education (CESS) can be obtained in three different ways:
1/ Via secondary education.
At the end of the 6th year of general secondary education, transitional technical education or technical qualification. At the end of the 7th year of secondary vocational education. In the framework of the "article 49" training organised in the CEFA (Centre d'Education et de Formation en Alternance) of the secondary education in alternation.
2/ Via social promotion education.
Social promotion education is mainly aimed at adults and offers training courses with reduced hours, which can take place during the day, in the evening or at weekends.
3/ Via the central jury.
The central jury is a system of tests organised by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. The tests of the central jury concern the programme of the 5th and 6th years of study of the chosen section. Successful completion of these tests leads to the CESS. The central jury does not organise preparatory courses, but only exams/tests. Candidates must prepare themselves by their own means. It is possible to prepare via the distance learning system of the French Community. Or via public schools for the preparation of the central jury for a fee. To register for the central jury of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, you must find a secondary school corresponding to the section and option chosen. Then, obtain the programme for the 5th and 6th years of study, and validate your registration at the jury headquarters on the basis of this programme.