Which one should you choose?

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International trade is a field that offers a wide range of career options. This sector is in full expansion. To facilitate the entry of young students into this field and into business schools, there are various competitive exams, including the Sésame and Accès exams. What are the principles of these competitions and which one to choose ? We answer your questions.

What are the objectives of the Sésame and Accès competitions?

These are post-bac competitive exams that allow students to enter higher education in business. Successful completion of these competitive exams allows students to pursue a four-year or five-year degree in the best business schools.

The Sésame competitive entrance exam is a way to obtain a place in the most prestigious international management and business schools. The Sésame association is in partnership with 900 schools and universities in France and in foreign countries. The courses followed are oriented towards an international career. The competition has attracted more than 150,000 candidates since its inception.

The Accès competition is in collaboration with three main higher education institutions. It allows you to enter these business schools that have a strong commitment to excellence and success.

What are the differences between the Sésame and the Accès competitions?

Written and oral exams of the Sésame exam

The main difference between the two competitions is in the tests. The Sesame exam begins with written tests. These are common to all member business schools. The written test is divided into 3 parts:

  • the language MCQs: this is the first major part which includes 45 MCQs for each language chosen. The platform suggests 11 foreign languages including Spanish, Japanese, Hebrew and many others. English is mandatory. For each language, the questions cover conjugation, comprehension, grammar and culture;
  • The reasoning and skills MCQ: this test lasts one hour. There are 45 questions to be answered. The quiz covers general logic with 15 reasoning exercises. There are also tests of numerical skills and verbal skills;
  • the MCQs: 20 questions for documentary analysis and 45 questions on contemporary issues.

The oral test is intended only for students admitted to the written tests. Its organization is specific to each grande école.

Written and oral exams of the Accès exam

The Access exam also begins with three written tests , including :

  • the summary test : this test evaluates the candidates’ ability to express themselves and understand the written word;
  • logical and mathematical reasoning: the test lasts 2 hours and consists of 3 parts. We have the logical reasoning, the mathematical reasoning and the mathematical problem;
  • cultural and English openness : this is the part that tests knowledge of current events and general culture. It includes 75 questions on history, geography, politics, economics, arts and entertainment. The English section tests grammar, vocabulary and comprehension. There are 50 questions in total.

The oral test of the ACCESS competition is intended for candidates who have passed the written tests. You can contact the international business school of your choice to find out when and how it will be held.

What are the registration fees for the Sésame and Accès competitions?

For the Sésame exam, the registration fee is 295 euros. There is no limit to the number of schools you wish to apply to. If you opt for the Accès exam, the registration fee is 190 euros.

How to register for the Accès and Sésame competitive exams?

How to register for the Accès competition

You must register directly on the Accès competition platform. Once you have paid the registration fee, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. You must download your invitation and present it to take the written tests. You are required to provide the notification issued by the MDPH or CDAPH of your academy.

How do I register for the Sésame exam?

To register for the Sésame exam, you must go through the Parcoursup platform. The first step is to register on the platform. Once your registration is confirmed, you can take the tests. The Parcoursup services allow you to consult the results of your admission to the competition. If you are admitted, you choose the program and the school. Among the choices is ESCE, a business school specializing in international careers. We offer a multidisciplinary training.

Can I register for both the Accès and the Sésame exams in the same year?

The Sésame and Accès competitions are organized by different departments. Therefore, you can register for both competitions in the same year. However, registration for both competitions at the same time is optional.

If you have registered for the Sésame exam, you already have access to more than 14 schools. You have the opportunity to follow 17 programs, including 8 BBA programs and 9 MBA programs, which represent 5,000 places. The Accès competition gives access to only 3 schools and 3 MBA programs for 2,000 places.

How to prepare for the Sésame and Accès exams?

Preparation for the Sésame and Accès competitive exams begins with a review. For the written tests, it is important to review the lessons using your old courses. We also advise to follow the news. The most difficult test to prepare for is the logic test. You should stay focused and read the questions and instructions carefully. For the language test, the best preparation is practice. Review your basic grammar and pronunciation. For the oral test, it is best to review your CV before the day of the test. You need to master your CV to better highlight your assets.

Updated 21 April 2023