Undergraduate Admissions, Evaluation 3: The written pieces
The written pieces represent the third evaluation of the application. They aim to better understand the candidate’s background, motivation, intellectual project for Sciences Po as well as his writing and thinking skills, thanks to a series of written productions, integrated into the application.
- Candidates from the French secondary school system must write their written pieces in French, even if they apply for the Undergraduate College’s programmes in English or international dual degree programmes.
- Candidates from foreign secondary school systems (applying through the Sciences Po admissions website) have the choice of writing their written pieces in either French or English, depending on the language of the programme(s) they wish to enrol in at Sciences Po.
THE WRITTEN EXERCISES
The written pieces consist of two exercises:
- Motivations and project for Sciences Po
- An essay on one of five proposed themes
Please note: The questions of the written pieces may differ for some of the dual degrees with French universities, present on the Parcoursup platform. These questions will be updated when registration on Parcoursup opens.
In this section, you should express clearly and thoughtfully your motivations for applying and your interest in the intellectual and educational project of Sciences Po. You must demonstrate a solid knowledge of our Bachelor’s degree curriculum, programmes and campuses.
You are expected to demonstrate your motivation for Sciences Po by answering three questions and to articulate a clear and considered answer for each of them:
- Where does your interest in the humanities and social sciences come from? How do the themes of instruction and teaching methods at the Sciences Po College match your academic ambitions? (2500 - 3000 characters including spaces)
- The Sciences Po College curriculum is offered on several campuses and via a variety of study programs. Specify the two program choices on which you would like to study and explain in detail your interest in each. (1500 - 2000 characters including spaces)
- Based on concrete examples drawn from your activities, experiences and/or personal interests, what commitments or projects would you like to pursue or develop in your academic career as a student at Sciences Po? How and why? (1500 - 2000 characters including spaces)
This section of the application gives candidates a chance to demonstrate their critical thinking and writing skills through an essay responding to one of following five subjects.
The subjects for the 2023 admissions campaign are the following:
- Choose a scientific discovery that would have deserved a Nobel Prize or the Fields Medal. You will be awarding the prize: write the speech that briefly presents this breakthrough and highlights its political and social impact.
- In the society around you or in the world, do you believe there is or is not a cause for indignation that could justify civil disobedience? Provide a precise, contextualized and well-argued answer.
- Choose a leading figure born or deceased in 1923. You are a high school teacher. After introducing this figure to your students, explain to them why it is important to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their birth or death.
- You want to make a documentary film about a 21st-century event that you found particularly striking. Write the synopsis: this summary of your screenplay should reveal the creativity and originality of your project.
- In your neighbourhood or in your town, imagine an initiative bringing tangible improvements in the social, cultural and/or environmental fields. Describe your project and then develop the arguments to present this initiative at the next city council.
Guidelines for writing your essay:
Applicants should select and respond to one of the five questions proposed by Sciences Po within 3000-4000 characters (including spaces).
The text should be personal and written by you alone. A sincere and authentic response is expected of each candidate. The essay is not an academic exercise but a writing that focuses on your writing skills and personal reflection.
Calculation of your mark
At the end of Evaluation 3, each of two independent examiners awards the candidate, a mark out of 10. This double assessment of the written pieces is totalled to give a mark out of 20 for the third evaluation of the admissions procedure. Both examiners have an excellent knowledge of the foreign education system and the Sciences Po Undergraduate College.
How Can I Prepare for the Written pieces?
Sciences Po considers each candidate as a unique combination of talents, interests and passions. Whatever your background, skills or previous experience, your writings allow you to highlight the solidity of your motivation and your career, as well as your writing and thinking skills.
It is very important, in order to prepare your exercice, that your writing be honest, sincere and that you have prepared them alone without any outside help. This could distort the exercise and penalize your grade.
Texts prepared with the help of a third party are recognisable and may have disciplinary consequences. In case of suspicion of plagiarism, essays may be given a mark of 0.
Please note that plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.