AdamCee
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So I was wondering, how different is it to GCSE? I'm assuming reading and listening are almost the same just with more complex language, but writing and speaking... Are they a similar format? Ie you prep it in advance, learn it, or are you supposed to make the thing up on the spot? Also how long are the pieces generally?

I enjoy the language but I despise learning sentences it's just so.. Tedious. Wondering if it's even longer for A-Level...

Any opinions appreciated
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Joe C-S
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(Original post by AdamCee)
So I was wondering, how different is it to GCSE? I'm assuming reading and listening are almost the same just with more complex language, but writing and speaking... Are they a similar format? Ie you prep it in advance, learn it, or are you supposed to make the thing up on the spot? Also how long are the pieces generally?

I enjoy the language but I despise learning sentences it's just so.. Tedious. Wondering if it's even longer for A-Level...

Any opinions appreciated
I started the AS course in September and it was a bit daunting but in reality you do most of the learning in AS and then you apply it in A2. The first couple of weeks is grammar-based to fill you in on the bits you weren't taught at GCSE (such as adjectival endings). In regards to the speaking unit, it's split into two sections: one you use a card with 5 or more questions on it and you answer it like a GCSE speaking assessment, but then the second section is more of a conversation on all other topics
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AdamCee
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(Original post by Joe C-S)
I started the AS course in September and it was a bit daunting but in reality you do most of the learning in AS and then you apply it in A2. The first couple of weeks is grammar-based to fill you in on the bits you weren't taught at GCSE (such as adjectival endings). In regards to the speaking unit, it's split into two sections: one you use a card with 5 or more questions on it and you answer it like a GCSE speaking assessment, but then the second section is more of a conversation on all other topics
So for the speaking, how long does it usually last, and how much time are you given to learn it?
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Katbo
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A level German is really really difficult... I took it and it's a lot tougher than I anticipated even though loads of people had warned me. For GCSE, broken down I got 2 A*s in the exam, 1 A* oral and 1 A in the written coursework. However, I have cried about German already. There is a lot of grammar and the vocab is almost limitless. You're up against fluent speakers too :eek: I am only in the initial stages and I don't want to put you off because it is such a fab skill to have a language in your knowledge but it's tough!! :cool:
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AdamCee
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(Original post by Katbo)
A level German is really really difficult... I took it and it's a lot tougher than I anticipated even though loads of people had warned me. For GCSE, broken down I got 2 A*s in the exam, 1 A* oral and 1 A in the written coursework. However, I have cried about German already. There is a lot of grammar and the vocab is almost limitless. You're up against fluent speakers too :eek: I am only in the initial stages and I don't want to put you off because it is such a fab skill to have a language in your knowledge but it's tough!! :cool:
Seriously? Wow.... I understood it was difficult for sure but seems even harder now...
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Joe C-S
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(Original post by AdamCee)
Seriously? Wow.... I understood it was difficult for sure but seems even harder now...
It is really hard but as the year goes on you begin to get used to it. And for the speaking it lasts 35 minutes, but that's with 20 minutes planning with your chosen card
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chloevictoria
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(Original post by AdamCee)
So I was wondering, how different is it to GCSE? I'm assuming reading and listening are almost the same just with more complex language, but writing and speaking... Are they a similar format? Ie you prep it in advance, learn it, or are you supposed to make the thing up on the spot? Also how long are the pieces generally?

I enjoy the language but I despise learning sentences it's just so.. Tedious. Wondering if it's even longer for A-Level...

Any opinions appreciated
Hi!

I finished A2 German with an A* in June and I'm currently studying German at university, so I hope I can help a little bit

Like with most subjects, the gap between GCSE and A-level German is usually pretty big. Quite a lot of people in my French and German classes dropped out within the first month.

It all depends on the exam board your school is with regarding the format of the exams. I was on Edexcel, and we had a 2 and a half hour combined paper of reading, writing and listening. For this, no matter which exam board, you must do extra reading and watch the news regularly to keep up your aural skills. I made this mistake in AS, and completely freaked out in the exam. Not many people get an A at AS purely because the exam is such a shock.

The language becomes very complex. You learn that some of what you were taught at GCSE was a complete lie in terms of grammar. You learn new tenses and new structures and you have to start applying this in your writing and spontaneous speech. With the speaking exam on Edexcel, I had a 25 minute exam. We had to pick one of four broad topics and were given a stimulus card with a short text containing a subtopic of the main topic (e.g. I chose Youth Culture and my stimulus card was on computers/computer games). You are then given about 10 minutes to anticipate which questions the teacher will ask you (the teachers are already given a list by the exam board). After this, the exam is about 15 minutes. The teacher will ask the 4 questions related to the stimulus and then you move away to the general topic... so this is completely spontaneous. A-level languages are different from GCSE in that the speaking exam is not an 'interview' as it were... they're more a discussion.

Other exam boards differ slightly.. but the main things to remember are:
-Grammar matters more than ever
-You need to have opinions on general topics - this can help with the speaking exam
-It's useful to read German newspapers and listen to German news shows on a regular basis
-Learning things by heart will not get you a high grade
-Spontaneity is key

Hope this helps!!
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AdamCee
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(Original post by chloevictoria)
Hi!

I finished A2 German with an A* in June and I'm currently studying German at university, so I hope I can help a little bit

Like with most subjects, the gap between GCSE and A-level German is usually pretty big. Quite a lot of people in my French and German classes dropped out within the first month.

It all depends on the exam board your school is with regarding the format of the exams. I was on Edexcel, and we had a 2 and a half hour combined paper of reading, writing and listening. For this, no matter which exam board, you must do extra reading and watch the news regularly to keep up your aural skills. I made this mistake in AS, and completely freaked out in the exam. Not many people get an A at AS purely because the exam is such a shock.

The language becomes very complex. You learn that some of what you were taught at GCSE was a complete lie in terms of grammar. You learn new tenses and new structures and you have to start applying this in your writing and spontaneous speech. With the speaking exam on Edexcel, I had a 25 minute exam. We had to pick one of four broad topics and were given a stimulus card with a short text containing a subtopic of the main topic (e.g. I chose Youth Culture and my stimulus card was on computers/computer games). You are then given about 10 minutes to anticipate which questions the teacher will ask you (the teachers are already given a list by the exam board). After this, the exam is about 15 minutes. The teacher will ask the 4 questions related to the stimulus and then you move away to the general topic... so this is completely spontaneous. A-level languages are different from GCSE in that the speaking exam is not an 'interview' as it were... they're more a discussion.

Other exam boards differ slightly.. but the main things to remember are:
-Grammar matters more than ever
-You need to have opinions on general topics - this can help with the speaking exam
-It's useful to read German newspapers and listen to German news shows on a regular basis
-Learning things by heart will not get you a high grade
-Spontaneity is key

Hope this helps!!
Cheers for that - helped loads!!

So you're expected to be, in some ways, almost fluent in conversation in the topic you're talking about? I'm assuming you don't have a week to go away and look up every verb you want to use. So it's much more based on actual vocab knowledge, rather than being able to memorise a speech..? If that makes sense?
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