Here are a few other things that I found complex or confusing when I was preparing for the exam.
The rapports du jury: Teachers and capesiens talk about the rapports du jury like they are the gospel. Essentially, after each session of a concours, the jury for that concours will publish a report about what texts were used, what responses were ideal (though there is never only one answer), and what problems they noticed generally among the candidates. In other words, what was done well and what was done badly. A large section of the rapport du jury for English will be about the candidates’ English, which can be interesting to read, but is fairly useless to an Anglophone. Honestly, the year I passed the CAPES, the rapports du jury were not very useful because the test had completely changed from the year before.
The rapport du jury for English for 2011 is available here (under langues vivantes étrangères, CAPES externe).
Stages: One result of the mastérisation of the CAPES is that teacher trainees no longer have a part-time year to get used to teaching before being thrown in full-time. As a result, the MEF Masters has a stage and professional training component. Normally, if you are a candidat libre, this shouldn’t concern you, but the diocese may nonetheless ask you to do one, and it’s in your interest to comply, because you want the accord collégial. Plus, as I’ve said multiple times, almost any contact with the diocese is a positive thing. Depending on your teaching experience and your diocese, you may well not have to do one. Poitiers asked me to complete a three-week stage, and fortunately the maître de langue schedule allowed me to do so.
Other Enseignement Catholique “stages” may be built into the preparation year. It’s important to realize that the diocese doesn’t receive a list of people taking the CAFEP, nor any sort of list of people who are admissible, so they have no idea who you are until you contact them. Once you contact them (the earlier the better), they can tell you want types of trainings you need to go to in order to get the accord collégial. I only had one three-day training, and as usual the people were lovely, and it took place during a university vacation in a city an hour away.
One note about this, though: you may well be in a diocese where they don’t ask you to do these things. Also, another American in my académie didn’t know about any of these things (training, stage) and so didn’t do them, and she didn’t seem to have any problems getting the accord collégial. So, take all this with a grain of salt!
Saisie des voeux: Around April you may start hearing public capesiens talking about their official, online saisie des voeux. For the public concours there are official dates and an official online system for telling the Ministry where you want to be placed your stage year. This official saisie des voeux concerns only public candidates. The so-called saisie des voeux for the private system is fairly informal, and depends on your diocese, so, as usual, you should contact them between the written and the oral exams in order to find out what they want you to do.
Next page: After You Pass: Carte de Séjour, Affectation