Hi! I'm in y12 and take A level German (alongside Spanish and English Language). I really do love it, even more than the GCSE, but I will add it is a step up and is challenging. If your school offers AQA, there are three papers: a listening, reading and writing, writing and speaking. Honestly, the writing in paper 1 focuses on summarising texts and also includes translation (which you have said you can do well). For improving your GCSE grade, it comes down to vocab and practice. Before my GCSEs, I had done pretty much every past paper possible going back as early as the early 2000s, from multiple different exam boards. Even though some of the content is slightly difference, it is still worthwhile as it gets you understanding how exactly the exams work and where your weak areas are. But overall I think German is such an amazing A level and provides you with some of the most exciting experiences out of any subject. The key thing for A Level is having a passion for the subject as it does require consistent work and if you really are interested in it, then it makes it easier. I will add that I got a 9 at GCSE and the greater your initial language ability the better as there does seem to be a large gap between people who achieved different GCSE grades, but this is probably more down to consistent work and effort from those at the top end as we enjoy the subject more.