From spiral notebook to QR code: Baccalaureate ABCs celebrates its 60th anniversary


For six decades, baccalaureate holders have been preparing for their exams with these little books adapted to all reforms and all generations.

few days off 2023 specialized baccalaureate exams, High school students are tens of thousands to fold it up, re-read it, and highlight it in fluorescent. For 60 years, B.A. ABCs has faithfully accompanied students on their B.A. revisions and even patents. A memory that allows us to see the evolution of programs as well as the ways high school students review over time.

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Because for six decades, ABC has had time to develop. When it was first published in 1962, Nathan Editions provided a single guide: The Guide to the Phenomenal Philosophy Test. Aspiring baccalaureate holders had to count on a dense text, not airy and colorless. “It sounds unattractive, but at the time it was very groundbreaking. This is the first time high school students have had access, at home, to a review tool like this.”explains Stefan Luciani, managing editor of extracurricular groups. It is distinguished by its famous spiral, “which kept the book open and flat, without the reader having to worry about it.”ABC delivers trusted content written by expert teachers.

Table of Contents

new formats

Very quickly, ABC became a hit. Ten years after its creation, the collection already contains 18 titles dedicated to the baccalaureate (with access to algebra, dissertations in economics, arts, accounting …) but also an ABC dedicated to the patent’s predecessor, the BEPC. After abandoning spirals in 1990, the 2000s saw a major change with the move to four colours. And after 22 years, ABC Group is adapting to the new generation by offering additional visual content, such as videos on TikTok, Instagram or even mind maps and QR codes. In terms of annual sales, the publisher prefers to remain conservative.

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This version of the ABC Spiral Tray dates back to 1962.

What can we learn from these sixty years of progress? First, today’s high school students prefer more airy and colorful content. The contrast is strong between the text blocks presented to students in 1962 and the yellow, red, or blue bubbles made up of keywords or other mind maps. As a result of regular consultations with several teachers: “We make sure to stay in touch with students: we regularly visit high schools and above all, our content is written exclusively by middle school teachers when we address middle school students, and the same for the high school level”continues Stefan Luciani, who specifies: “Having our texts written by a prep teacher when the book is aimed at third graders is a good idea wrong, we need writers who stay close to our readers”.

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Since the 2000s, ABC bac has been in color (here is a version from 2022).

If form becomes more digestible, what about matter? The evolution of the ABC makes it possible to transcend the idea that today’s college and high school students are considered less intellectual than students of 60 years ago. “You can’t say that students learn less, but they learn differently. With the baccalaureate reform, for example, high school students are less seeking the cradle and have to revise in the long run. The subjects are also very verbally oriented, which prompts us to prepare them for rhetoric »explains Severine Merville, Director of Marketing and Development.

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These new ways of learning include new formats that did not exist 60 years ago. From now on, middle school and high school students can access various podcasts, videos, online quizzes, or QR codes in order to diversify their learning methods. What do you think that in 60 years the original book will have disappeared in favor of virtual formats? “noSeverine Merville smiles. Even if it has evolved a lot, our work remains essential for students: they know everything they need to pass their exams is in it..


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