The spelling performance of pupils at the end of elementary school is still down in 2021, but less markedly than in 2015, according to a study published on Tuesday by the Ministry of Education.

According to this survey on spelling, conducted four times since 1987 with the same dictation for CM2 pupils, the average number of errors has increased steadily, rising in thirty-four years from 10.7 errors to 19.4, indicates the statistics agency of the Ministry of Education (Depp).

A less marked decline

Between 1987 and 2007, the number of faults increased from 10.7 to 14.7 (+4).

Then it settled at 18 in 2015 (+3.3).

The decline observed in results for each period therefore continues in 2021, but less markedly than in the previous period (+1.4).

It is the grammatical spelling (rules of agreement between the subject and the verb, agreements in the nominal group, agreements of the past participle) which concentrates most of the difficulties.

On this point, however, the decline observed between 1987 and 2015 does not continue in 2021.

For example, the agreement of the adjective "worried" of dictation goes from 46.2% success in 1987 to 25.3% in 2021. But after a sharp drop until 2015, stability is observed in 2021 Lexical errors remain the least frequent.

The most successful girls

This decline in results also continues to affect all students, regardless of gender and age.

However, girls perform better than boys: they make an average of 17.7 errors against 21.1 for boys.

But the difference in the number of errors between girls and boys, which had been stable between 1987 and 2007, then increased between 2007 and 2015, tends to stabilize again in 2021.

Differences in dictation performance also continue to be linked to students' social environment.

Thus the group made up of pupils from the least advantaged schools made an average of 21.9 errors, against 15.5 in the quarter made up of schools with the most advantaged pupils.

The two median groups have fairly similar performances (around 19 errors), showing that it is in the most advantaged and least advantaged schools that the weight of pupils' social origin is greatest.


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