A 52-year-old Parisian mom posing as her 19-year-old daughter spent two hours taking France’s notoriously difficult baccalauréat exam at a test center before she was carted off to the police station to be questioned for possible fraud charges, Gawker reports
The poseur mom wasn’t spotted immediately because some adults also take the test, which is given at the end of an academic-track high school program and serves as a ticket to university admission. She was cleverly disguised in Converse sneakers, jeans, and lots of makeup, according to le Parisien.
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The woman, identified in the French press only as Caroline D., confessed to her deed, Miami Newsday reports
, saying she wanted to make sure her daughter got the best result. A proctor noticed that the mom’s ID was that of the daughter, who had already sat for a philosophy exam the previous day.
It’s not clear what penalties the French helicopter mom will face. Her daughter may also be penalized and may not be allowed to sit for the exam again for years, according to The Guardian
Sounds severe, but across the ocean in French-speaking Quebec, schools are even stricter about cheating. School officials at a high school there strip-searched 28 students last month to find a cell phone
that could have been used to cheat on a final math exam.
The French bac is famous for its comprehensiveness and difficulty. Students face enormous pressure studying for it and stakes are high, as it is the key to getting into a university with stature, which is especially important in France for determining future career success.
While some U.S. schools have adopted International Baccalaureat programs designed to mimic the French system, many in France criticize it for the stress it causes and are demanding an overhaul of the system.
A survey by Nouvel observateur found that only 36 percent of the French think the bac system should stay as it is.
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