With the reform of the bachelor’s degree, the level of students at the university is becoming more and more heterogeneous, especially in science degrees. Tutoring, additional options or a four-year undergraduate degree, each university uses the tools at its disposal to best place undergraduates in their courses.
The choice of majors and electives in the general secondary school affects the profiles in the university as well as the orientation. If you are aiming for a science degree after terminal, you will have students in your class who are not taking the same subjects as you.
Universities have responded to this heterogeneity by offering appropriate courses, but their means of action are uneven.
Importance of Mathematics in Undergraduate Science
First adaptation: promote math from high school. Because unlike prep classes or engineering schools, if a math major isn’t essential, It is strongly recommended to submit a better dossier to enter the science license.
Laurence Mouret, dean of UFR Sciences at the University of Aix-Marseille, insists that in computer science, physics, chemistry, biology or mathematics, “you have to do mathematics to do science” (13). Christophe Pellegrino, the former head of the biology license, confirms this: “Students who take mathematics and physics and chemistry do better than those who take SVT.”
Choose sustainable paths
In addition to the results, you should also follow the qualifications that are relevant to your project. “You should think in terms of profile, not in terms of prices”, advises Mélanie Guenais, head of the mathematics license at the University of Paris-Saclay (91). And it will pay off: “Regardless of undergraduate enrollment, it’s students who pursue expert mathematics who do best in a mathematics degree,” he points out, for example.
Laurence Mouret also noted this: “For the digital and informatics major, it is clear that the level of the student here is radically different depending on whether they follow it in high school or not.”
Clean: If you’ve already experienced the core subjects in high school, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding in your undergraduate degree.
Tutoring, options, each university has its own possibilities
However, if you haven’t chosen the ideal majors, don’t panic: universities try to match students’ achievements. Thus, support systems such as tutoring by older students or privileged relationships with undergraduate professors are employed.. Laurence Mouret explains: “We added options to overcome any shortcomings.”
But this support requires great organization and more it is difficult to apply in small universities. However, the most significant differences in levels can be expected. Less attractive, these licenses are actually less selective.
“These are the ones facing the most heterogeneous public,” confirms Mélanie Guenais. In this case, it is up to the teachers to adapt the course content as best as possible to suit everyone, at the risk of lowering the overall level.
Fourth year for non-scholars
Finally, for those who want to stop science in high school universities offer academic improvement through the fourth year of the degree. “If the profile is not complete, we recommend it,” explains Mélanie Guenais.
This arrangement can be part of, for example, Parcoursup’s “Yes, if” scheme and can also be tailored to students whose results are too fair to consider entering university.
All these facilities are also necessary for the future, so that students have the same skills before they are admitted to an increasingly selective graduate school.