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    Hello!
    I've just finished my GCSEs and I hope to study Maths, Biology, Chemistry and German next year (ik i'm going to die.)
    Anyone who takes German, what advice do you have and to what extent is it different from GCSE?
    Thanks
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    Which exam board do you do?

    Bear in mind your spec is now completely different due to the changes, but I assume the it'd roughly going to be the same

    The biggest difference I found with German AS was relevance and interest. At GCSE you seemed to do questions like "what's in my town" and stuff like that, however at AS the topics are, imo, much more interesting. For example entertainment and media, tourism, family (which sounds boring but it's stuff like gay marriage in Germany etc etc, quite interesting).

    Also, grammar. The grammar content compared to GCSE is much much larger, as I found for GCSE you could get away with bare minimal knowledge as long as you checked your writings and speakings grammatically. At AS, since you have to write essays without being able to check them, it's much harder.
    One piece of advice I will say right now is LEARN GENDERS TO WORDS. Seriously. I made the mistake of thinking "meh 1/3 chance I can correctly guess it'll be fine", but when things get more complex with cases and prepositions that take certain cases etc, you want to show off that you know this verb makes the noun dative.... But you can't remember the gender to show you know that. Seriously. Seemingly tiny rule, massive, impact that separates good from best.

    Finally speakings are different too. You don't spend weeks writing and learning text, it's all improvised. Fear not you do get an A4 sheet to take in with you (assuming yours is the same as mine), and you choose the topic it's on so you will know roughly what your teacher will ask you. It sounds really daunting, but trust me you will be fine. The idea terrified me at first but when we came round to it and I was practicing it was great because I was like "damn I can actually spontaneously speak German". Cool tings
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    The exam board is Edexcel.
    Thanks for the advice! Do you learn vocabulary through lists every week or is it more independent, like reading texts because I much prefer the latter.
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    (Original post by alchima)
    The exam board is Edexcel.
    Thanks for the advice! Do you learn vocabulary through lists every week or is it more independent, like reading texts because I much prefer the latter.
    Ah okay, I do OCR so there will likely be some differences.

    To be honest it doesn't really matter and it's whatever works for you, as long as you're learning. We were told to make vocab lists throughout the year from stuff that comes up in lessons, so our teacher would be like "writing x down it comes up in exams a lot" and just other key words we deemed to be useful. I found for me - again, doesn't work for everyone - learning through lists most effective, it was just mindnumblingly boring so as a long term method isn't very useful. However I would recommend it in the run up to exams when you just need to get learning key vocab.

    Other than that we were encouraged to read German news articles and stuff like that and note vocab in it, which I assume is what you're talking about. This is more useful especially for vocab if you're doing an essay. One key key difference between GCSE and A Level is how meanings of words are portrayed; at GCSE you'll be told something like "time is Zeit." However it depends on the context you are using the word in, so if you said "the time is up" you would use Zeit, but if you said "the first time" you would use Mal. This sort of thing you can't learn from just memorising lists and that's where context and stuff becomes critical, and nothing impresses an examiner more than saying something that doesn't strictly translate into English in the same way, but doing it correctly.

    Basically, tl;dr, both are key imo but people learn differently. Try both see which is best for you, but imo I would use both. List learning more for just before exams when you need definitions for comprehension, tedious but you can reasonably learn 20 words or so in 15 minutes and recall 80% a day or so later, and other texts for general understanding.
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    (Original post by AdamCee)
    Awe were encouraged to read German news articles and stuff like that
    Examples, examples, examples... please.
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    (Original post by karmacrunch)
    Examples, examples, examples... please.
    Sorry for late reply been away for a few days

    My personal fav for reading is Deutche Welle - they have part of their site in English iirc but also the rest in German. You can sign up for email alerts and they like send you top 5 articles every week or something like that. Handy general vocab and it's aimed at people learning German. Also a lot of people in my class brought Harry Potter in Germany, that's a very common thing to do.

    In terms of listening, the thing I found most effective was German films with German subs, although this is hard. People say watch a film in German and the English subs will help you absorb it but personally I just found myself reading the English and basically blocking out the German, however with the subtitles it not only helps you put a sound to the word but you can pause it at certain points if you see a recurring word or phrase or one that looks handy and translate it. Obviously don't expect to get the full gist of the film, but it's quite fun.
    Personal recommendations would be Die Welle and Das Leben Der Anderen (the latter is Oscar winning and dubbed in English so make sure you get the right version!)

    I also spent some time listening to German YouTubers, a gal called DeutchFurEuch did some really good grammar stuff and also "EchtSprache" I think she called it which she just had a chat in German for 10 mins or so. Helps to absorb it.

    Final final piece of advice is German music, which I did my oral on - although I don't know if that's changing under the new spec. Depending on the type of music you like, German rap can help significantly, especially if you look at translations while listening. Personally recommend Marteria and Kasper. If you're into metal, perhaps Rammstein (the basis of my speaking actually!), and more punk-metal there's Oomph.


    Hope that helps!
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    (Original post by AdamCee)
    Sorry for late reply been away for a few days

    My personal fav for reading is Deutche Welle - they have part of their site in English iirc but also the rest in German. You can sign up for email alerts and they like send you top 5 articles every week or something like that. Handy general vocab and it's aimed at people learning German. Also a lot of people in my class brought Harry Potter in Germany, that's a very common thing to do.
    No worries!

    I've been trying to listen to the news on DW (Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten ) but it's so difficult. :eek: I have to look at the transcript and I still don't understand a lot of the words. When did you feel you could uinderstand most of articles?

    (Original post by AdamCee)
    In terms of listening, the thing I found most effective was German films with German subs, although this is hard. People say watch a film in German and the English subs will help you absorb it but personally I just found myself reading the English and basically blocking out the German, however with the subtitles it not only helps you put a sound to the word but you can pause it at certain points if you see a recurring word or phrase or one that looks handy and translate it. Obviously don't expect to get the full gist of the film, but it's quite fun.
    Personal recommendations would be Die Welle and Das Leben Der Anderen (the latter is Oscar winning and dubbed in English so make sure you get the right version!)
    I've watched 'The Wave', it's really good. + I've borrowed 'The Life of Others'. :mmm: I'm trying to watch a series called 'Türkisch für Anfänger' but it doesn't come with any subtitles. I get the gist of it and understand bits here and there but I'm wondering if watching it without subtitles and not understanding most things is a bit of a waste of time?

    (Original post by AdamCee)
    I also spent some time listening to German YouTubers, a gal called DeutchFurEuch did some really good grammar stuff and also "EchtSprache" I think she called it which she just had a chat in German for 10 mins or so. Helps to absorb it.

    Final final piece of advice is German music, which I did my oral on - although I don't know if that's changing under the new spec. Depending on the type of music you like, German rap can help significantly, especially if you look at translations while listening. Personally recommend Marteria and Kasper. If you're into metal, perhaps Rammstein (the basis of my speaking actually!), and more punk-metal there's Oomph.
    Thanks! I'll look them up. (: As scary as this is, I'm really looking forward to taking German. + Your post is really helpful!!
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    (Original post by karmacrunch)
    No worries!

    I've been trying to listen to the news on DW (Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten ) but it's so difficult. :eek: I have to look at the transcript and I still don't understand a lot of the words. When did you feel you could uinderstand most of articles?

    I've watched 'The Wave', it's really good. + I've borrowed 'The Life of Others'. :mmm: I'm trying to watch a series called 'Türkisch für Anfänger' but it doesn't come with any subtitles. I get the gist of it and understand bits here and there but I'm wondering if watching it without subtitles and not understanding most things is a bit of a waste of time?

    Thanks! I'll look them up. (: As scary as this is, I'm really looking forward to taking German. + Your post is really helpful!!
    Hmm.. I'd say it was about Christmas time when I realised I could understand news articles and things like that - obviously not perfectly, but enough to get the gist of the story behind it. And wow you really are getting ahead!! For me, watching without subtitles doesn't really have much of an effect, however a few people have recommended it to me before, supposed to help with pronunciation lots as well. Immersion is the best way of learning though and if you find it effective without subtitles, go for it!

    You should be! It's hard work but I definitely found it's been the most enjoyable and "rewarding" in the sense that I can see the real life application it holds which is always motivational. And no worries!!
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    (Original post by AdamCee)
    Hmm.. I'd say it was about Christmas time when I realised I could understand news articles and things like that - obviously not perfectly, but enough to get the gist of the story behind it. And wow you really are getting ahead!! For me, watching without subtitles doesn't really have much of an effect, however a few people have recommended it to me before, supposed to help with pronunciation lots as well. Immersion is the best way of learning though and if you find it effective without subtitles, go for it!

    You should be! It's hard work but I definitely found it's been the most enjoyable and "rewarding" in the sense that I can see the real life application it holds which is always motivational. And no worries!!
    Thanks again! + I hope your results day went well! (:
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    (Original post by alchima)
    Hello!
    I've just finished my GCSEs and I hope to study Maths, Biology, Chemistry and German next year (ik i'm going to die.)
    Anyone who takes German, what advice do you have and to what extent is it different from GCSE?
    Thanks
    Sweet choice of subjects! I did the exact same this year and I'm going to be moving into A2 next year (dropping German though) if you ever need any advice then you can always PM me

    As for the difference between GCSE and AS German, the grammar definitely caught me out. Try to perfect it at the start of the year so that for the rest of the year you can focus on content and all of that stuff. It requires a lot of work but it's definitely worth it!
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    Small bump but ditto on grammar. I did GCSE a very long time ago so I'm not sure what grammar you learn in GCSE, but at AS level you absolutely need to know:

    - Passive
    - Subjunctive
    - Adjective Endings (don't cry ok)
    - Irregular Verbs

    Then all the basic **** like past tense, modal verbs etc.

    To perform well, the top two especially if you want 5/5 grammar mark on Essays. Even better if you can combine them (I act. wrote a post about combining the passive & subjunctive if you're interested:
    http://deutsian.tumblr.com/post/1436...unctive-german)
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    (Original post by TianaEsther)
    Sweet choice of subjects! I did the exact same this year and I'm going to be moving into A2 next year (dropping German though) if you ever need any advice then you can always PM me

    As for the difference between GCSE and AS German, the grammar definitely caught me out. Try to perfect it at the start of the year so that for the rest of the year you can focus on content and all of that stuff. It requires a lot of work but it's definitely worth it!
    Thanks
    How did you cope with these subjects? I'm going to choose a biology and chemistry related degree and German is something i enjoy learning.
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    (Original post by alchima)
    Thanks
    How did you cope with these subjects? I'm going to choose a biology and chemistry related degree and German is something i enjoy learning.
    Every subject was different for me tbh, I genuinely have always loved maths so learning that wasn't too much of a problem. Try and keep up to date with the work (even better if you can get ahead) and keep doing past papers questions for specific sections constantly. If you get stuck on a question from a paper, you can always use examsolutions.
    Chemistry was annoying at the beginning because no matter how hard I tried I couldn't do the calculations correctly but you'll eventually come around. That for me was the trickiest bit. The practicals are also very tedious.
    Biology tends to get a bit boring at times since there's a lot of content to memorise but you'll be surprised at how much you can learn! Keep going over the content that you've learnt throughout the year to make sure you don't leave lots until the end and then start panicking because it's not worth it
    German was my favourite and I'll be very sad when I have to drop it because it was completely different from all my other subjects and it was actually so fun to revise for. Like I said before, grammar is important but other than that I think you'll have fun learning the content.
    Good luck
 
 
 
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