A few weeks after the application round deadline, you will receive an email indicating whether or not you have been shortlisted for an interview.
This email will include practical details regarding your interview and further information.
Goal of the Interview
The interview is designed to assess your academic potential and your ability to learn, think independently, adapt and engage with new ideas.
You might be asked about a mathematics problem, be invited to discuss the different aspects of a physics exercise or have a conversation on a scientific publication.
Whatever form the interview takes, we are looking for qualities such as perseverance, enthusiasm and creativity. Keep in mind that many questions are designed to test your ability to apply logic and reason to an idea you may never have encountered before, so don't worry if the interview is about a topic that you haven't covered yet. Feel free to ask questions during the whole process!
All courses of the Bachelor Program are taught in English, applicants must be fully fluent in English. If you are shortlisted, your English level will be evaluated as well during the interview, which will take place in English.
The interview is conducted via a videoconferencing app. It lasts 50 minutes and is conducted entirely in English. It is divided into two parts:
- 30 minutes of mathematics questions mainly about your high school curriculum
- 20 minutes of scientific culture knowledge and motivation questions.
During the whole interview, your English level will be tested. To best prepare for the interview, we recommend studying your High-School Mathematics curriculum and to keep up with what is happening in the Science world right now by reading news, research papers, studies, etc.
École Polytechnique created a MOOC called "Mathématiques : préparation à l'entrée dans l'enseignement supérieur" (Mathematics: how to best prepare for Higher Education). This MOOC is only available in French. Though the course is now over, you can still watch the videos. They are a great opportunity for French-speaking candidates to prepare for the oral exam for the Bachelor Program.
French to English vocabulary glossaries for the oral interview
Two students of École Polytechnique's Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program have created two French-English glossaries to help Bachelor Program applicants prepare for their oral interview: one in mathematics and one in physics. Thanks to Anthony Guillen (X2016) and Ayman Idrissi-Kaitouni (X2016) for their great work!
In order to help you to prepare the mathematics part of your oral interview, please find hereafter some examples of mathematics exercises given during an interview. These examples are for information purposes only; they are not binding upon Ecole Polytechnique in terms of the content and difficulty of the questions you will be asked to resolve.