SESAME exam: everything you need to know in order to be ready for it

19 Aug 2019


For future students in higher education, SESAME is the common test bank which allows them to access 17 post-high school diploma programs from 14 management schools. Registration, preparation for the exam, calendar of events... We will tell you everything you need to know about the SESAME exam 2023. However, if you have a diploma that is not a French one, the admission process is quite different and you won't have to go through the SESAME exam.


What is the SESAME exam?


SESAME is a test shared with 14 business schools that deliver 4-year or 5-year Master Degrees, like IPAG Business School. Created in 1992, today SESAME is a reference in the field of higher education and post-high school diploma tests, it is even a compulsory way to access certain courses offered by leading business schools. For example, if you wish to join the IPAG Business School Grande Ecole Programme in Paris or Nice, just after high school, you must pass the SESAME exam. Be careful not to confuse the SESAME exam with the AMBITIONS+ exam, which allows you to join our Grande Ecole Programme but only in the 3rd or 4th year.


How to register for the SESAME exam?


SESAME will be integrated into Parcoursup's national admission platform. All the information on the sectors, the various programs of the contest will always be on the SESAME site but the contest registration will be done on Parcoursup. You will only have to make one wish, SESAME, and will also have to choose the languages and the place for the common written tests for the contest. Payment will be made online, directly on Parcoursup. Registration fees are 195 euros for one school (30 euros per additional school) and you can also apply to several IPAG programs at no additional cost:


What are the different tests of the exam and their coefficient?


The exam takes place in two steps, firstly, one day of written tests, on Wednesday 12th April 2023, followed by oral tests of eligible students organised by the various SESAME schools over several days between mid-April and the beginning of May 2023. For each test, the coefficients are different depending on the schools and the programmes.


Written tests


Written tests are composed by a modern languages test, a reasoning and skills test and a documentary analysis and knowledge of contemporary issues (in French). For the written languages test (2h), it is in English and in a second language (German, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian) with 40 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) per language. The reasoning and skills test (1h) consists of 15 MCQs by type of exercise (logical reasoning, numerical skills, verbal skills). Finally, the documentary analysis and knowledge of contemporary issues (3h) consists of 20 multiple-choice questions for analysis and 40 questions on contemporary general culture related to current events.


Oral tests


Unlike written tests, the oral test is unique to each school, the scoring too. Once you have crossed the written tests, you make an appointment with the business school (or business schools) you want to join. The oral test for integrating into IPAG's Grande Ecole Programme consists of an individual interview in front of a jury in French (30 minutes of preparation and 30 minutes of test) and an interview in English with another jury (15 minutes).


How to prepare for the SESAME exam?


There is no secret: to consider admission in a major business school and succeed in higher education, you must be well prepared. The selectivity of certain programmes and the limited number of places in certain post-bac courses, requires that you put all your chances of success on your side. Language test, synthesis, reasoning or analysis... On the official SESAME website or on the official application, you will find online past papers and quizzes to be able to practice with. You can also opt for remote preparation courses or intensive courses during the holidays.

Do not hesitate to contact us.

Good luck, and maybe see you soon!