The agrégation adventure of 2020 is over, and has been over since July 13th. But a lot of things happened in between my last post about it and that date, that I just didn’t have the spirits to write about since so much was up in the air.
I found out March 16th that I was admissible (=had passed the written part of the exam) for the private system interne exam (I’m not eligible for the public system interne exam). This feels like years ago since it was at the beginning of confinement and followed by so many conflicting decisions from the ministry of education—first, the orals were pushed to an unknown date; then they announced they would happen in September (I cried, knowing I wouldn’t be able to go to them in any sort of reasonable shape post-partum); then they ended up canceling them all together and selecting us just based on our written marks. And amazingly, I passed: I was number 6 out of the 18 private system candidates selected for the 18 open spots. (However, strikingly, my score wouldn’t have gotten me admitted in the public system—a fluke of it being a competitive exam and not an actual certification.) I found out late June.
In the meantime, I found out mid-May that I had gotten through the written exams for the external public exam, so I spent what was left of May and most of June cramming and practicing for those orals. I chased J and Littlest out of the house a couple of days in order to be able to do the 5-hour practice preparations. I re-read parts of the books, practiced with other candidates online, reviewed methodology and art movements for the épreuve hors programme… it dominated my life for a few weeks, along with learning that passing the external public exam would force me to immediate change schools for the public system. In the end I was fine with that but it was a little bit of a surprise (I had thought I could immediately ask for a détachement in the private system but that’s not possible the first year).
I went to Paris for the orals in early July. Everything had opened back up in Paris by that point but I didn’t take the metro. The public spaces mask order hadn’t happened yet but a lot of people were wearing masks and as for the exam center itself, everything was very strict, as well as at my hotel. So I felt safe. I did have to ask the guy across from me on the train to put his mask back on though.
After those three intense days, I spent a short week at home before leaving on vacation with J, Littlest, and friends. I found out while we were there that I did not pass the external exam this year: I missed it by 1.75 points out of 300. Which is not by any means the closest anyone has ever missed the cut-off mark, but it is a little frustrating. For now I don’t know if I will do it again next year. The written exams happen in March so I could in theory have time, but I’d hate to go through it again the same way as last year, preparing sort of last-minute, and missing the mark by the skin of my teeth. I’m tempted to start reading the new books in the programme, and since up for a distance course in September 2021 in order to prepare for it well for 2022. What with my new 15-hour time-table thanks to being agrégée from the internal exam, I would have time to do that. But baby #2 is coming soon and I want to take time for him. So we’ll see.