I'm going to France to spend 1 year studying at an university. Do I have to take any medical examination to take a visa for that?
Yes and no. There is a mandatory medical examination but it can (and usually does) take place after you have obtained a visa and entered France. It is still necessary to prove you have done it to stay in France and renew the visa.
My understanding is that its purpose is not to keep sick people out of France but to make sure some conditions (like tuberculosis) that have become uncommon in France are not left untreated.