I have spoken to several French natives regarding this issue...their age~ 35yo
1. They use 'suivre' for "taking a French course...Je suis un cours de français and never 'prendre' for a full course. But!! I was told that if you are referring to a specific class you can say: "Je prend une classe de français aujourd'hui"
2. For "I passed my bac"... I was thought to use 'Reussir'..J'ai réussi mon bac...They said 'Avoir' is used more commonly now.
I suspect that the common usage will vary as vary with regions of the country,as it does everywhere
Just to add my bit -
I would say that a student 'suit un cours...' and a teacher 'prend une classe...' but language evolves all the time and I am sure English has a greater influence on French than in my time.
As for using 'réussir', the emphasis will be on passing the exam rather than having done it.
So if someone has just passed an exam you will use 'réussir' and after they have a diploma, you will use 'avoir'.
J'ai mon bac/mon permis de conduire/une licence en anglais etc.
Hope this helps!
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