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German A-level

I know for a fact that I want to do English at university, so I'm definitely studying that and religious studies (bc I really enjoy it) but I'm struggling to pick my third a-level.
I originally wanted to do history, bc I find it interesting, but I'm not that good at it and the a-level course doesn't appeal to me that much. I hadn't even considering doing German, but my teacher thinks I should and I've been thinking about it a lot more. it'll be a nice change from my other subjects, the class will be much smaller, and I don't want to forget all the German I'm learning for GCSE. I'm better at it than history at the moment, but I'm worried that it'll become too difficult and time-consuming for me.
basically what I'm asking is if anyone doing a-level German can share their experience or offer any advice?
thanks x
Original post by s006
I know for a fact that I want to do English at university, so I'm definitely studying that and religious studies (bc I really enjoy it) but I'm struggling to pick my third a-level.
I originally wanted to do history, bc I find it interesting, but I'm not that good at it and the a-level course doesn't appeal to me that much. I hadn't even considering doing German, but my teacher thinks I should and I've been thinking about it a lot more. it'll be a nice change from my other subjects, the class will be much smaller, and I don't want to forget all the German I'm learning for GCSE. I'm better at it than history at the moment, but I'm worried that it'll become too difficult and time-consuming for me.
basically what I'm asking is if anyone doing a-level German can share their experience or offer any advice?
thanks x


Most 6th forms/colleges let you swap subjects/courses in the first few weeks if people realise it's not your cup of tea/too hard/whatever.
How about trying German, then if you realise once you start that you would rather do something else then you can change.
(edited 12 months ago)
Original post by s006
I know for a fact that I want to do English at university, so I'm definitely studying that and religious studies (bc I really enjoy it) but I'm struggling to pick my third a-level.
I originally wanted to do history, bc I find it interesting, but I'm not that good at it and the a-level course doesn't appeal to me that much. I hadn't even considering doing German, but my teacher thinks I should and I've been thinking about it a lot more. it'll be a nice change from my other subjects, the class will be much smaller, and I don't want to forget all the German I'm learning for GCSE. I'm better at it than history at the moment, but I'm worried that it'll become too difficult and time-consuming for me.
basically what I'm asking is if anyone doing a-level German can share their experience or offer any advice?
thanks x


I definitely agree with Emma, I started doing 4 A levels for the first few weeks to choose which to drop. I took German A level as one of my subjects.
It is in my experience quite difficult and a lot of work because you are not only learning the language but you learn history of Germany, for example in my exam board (Edexcel) you learn about East and West Germany and the events leading up to the reunification of Germany. It's very interesting and, in my view, widens your perspective of current world issues and events. If you like history then you will really enjoy German.
Another thing you do more of is grammar, which gets surprisingly easier throughout the course. I was not good at grammar at all in GCSE but the language is much more accessible now I have a firmer knowledge of the different cases etc.
In the exams themselves you will do two essays (around 350 words each); one essay will be about a German book you will read and the other is about a German film you watch. The book can be a play if you choose. I believe you can do two pieces of literature if you choose instead of a book and film but you cannot do two films. You do the listening and reading exam which is similar to GCSE paper. There is a translation into English and a translation into German.
In the speaking exam, you have to discuss the topics you learn but there is also a section in which you talk about your IRP (independent research project) in which you have prepared and researched a topic. This can be anything that interests you that link to German - A German singer, or sports team, event etc.
Something I did which helped with the speaking exam for the topic areas (and also with the other exams in general) was make mind-maps with words and phrases you can learn to give you a starting point and points to include or steer the conversation to. I'd definitely recommend doing this if you take German.

I hope this hasn't been too overwhelming but I was super confused about what was actually involved in the course and exam for ages so I hope it helps. This is also my experience which has been with the Edexcel exam board. The course may be very different in other exam boards so check which board you would be doing.
Please ask if you have any more questions :smile:
Reply 3
Original post by Anonymous0305
I definitely agree with Emma, I started doing 4 A levels for the first few weeks to choose which to drop. I took German A level as one of my subjects.
It is in my experience quite difficult and a lot of work because you are not only learning the language but you learn history of Germany, for example in my exam board (Edexcel) you learn about East and West Germany and the events leading up to the reunification of Germany. It's very interesting and, in my view, widens your perspective of current world issues and events. If you like history then you will really enjoy German.
Another thing you do more of is grammar, which gets surprisingly easier throughout the course. I was not good at grammar at all in GCSE but the language is much more accessible now I have a firmer knowledge of the different cases etc.
In the exams themselves you will do two essays (around 350 words each); one essay will be about a German book you will read and the other is about a German film you watch. The book can be a play if you choose. I believe you can do two pieces of literature if you choose instead of a book and film but you cannot do two films. You do the listening and reading exam which is similar to GCSE paper. There is a translation into English and a translation into German.
In the speaking exam, you have to discuss the topics you learn but there is also a section in which you talk about your IRP (independent research project) in which you have prepared and researched a topic. This can be anything that interests you that link to German - A German singer, or sports team, event etc.
Something I did which helped with the speaking exam for the topic areas (and also with the other exams in general) was make mind-maps with words and phrases you can learn to give you a starting point and points to include or steer the conversation to. I'd definitely recommend doing this if you take German.

I hope this hasn't been too overwhelming but I was super confused about what was actually involved in the course and exam for ages so I hope it helps. This is also my experience which has been with the Edexcel exam board. The course may be very different in other exam boards so check which board you would be doing.
Please ask if you have any more questions :smile:

thank you this was so helpful! i’d be doing aqa but from the spec it seems pretty similar. the historical aspects sound really interesting so you’re probably right that i’d enjoy that, and it would make losing history a bit less of a loss. i think i’m pretty much decided that i’m going to do it now so i’ll definitely note down that revision technique! thank you :smile:
Original post by s006
thank you this was so helpful! i’d be doing aqa but from the spec it seems pretty similar. the historical aspects sound really interesting so you’re probably right that i’d enjoy that, and it would make losing history a bit less of a loss. i think i’m pretty much decided that i’m going to do it now so i’ll definitely note down that revision technique! thank you :smile:

No problem! Glad to be of help :smile:
Reply 5
hey
Im in year 12 right now and I'm doing German and my exam board is also aqa. I'll just outline what we do and how I find it. so we follow a aqa AS textbook on a website called Kerboodle and the topics consist of many things such as music, architecture, family, Berlin and many other things. this side of German itself is interesting but some things I find boring lol but its nothing hard. then we watch a movie called Good bye Lenin. its a great movie about how germany was split so its got that element of history which is interesting and we have to write a 250 word essay on the film so its just like English literature basically. this isn't anything hard as well but just takes practice to perfect your essays. in my opinion, German is more of a like a chill subject for me as there's only 6 people In my class and my teacher is very interactive and kind and we get to talk about many things in our lesson in German of course. I have been predicted an A in German and I actually think its not hard but just takes dedication as you would with any other language as all you're really doing is learning new vocab essentially and it will you a chance to perfect your German grammar as it has with me.
hope that helped!
Original post by s006
thank you this was so helpful! i’d be doing aqa but from the spec it seems pretty similar. the historical aspects sound really interesting so you’re probably right that i’d enjoy that, and it would make losing history a bit less of a loss. i think i’m pretty much decided that i’m going to do it now so i’ll definitely note down that revision technique! thank you :smile:
Reply 6
Original post by nomanch28
hey
Im in year 12 right now and I'm doing German and my exam board is also aqa. I'll just outline what we do and how I find it. so we follow a aqa AS textbook on a website called Kerboodle and the topics consist of many things such as music, architecture, family, Berlin and many other things. this side of German itself is interesting but some things I find boring lol but its nothing hard. then we watch a movie called Good bye Lenin. its a great movie about how germany was split so its got that element of history which is interesting and we have to write a 250 word essay on the film so its just like English literature basically. this isn't anything hard as well but just takes practice to perfect your essays. in my opinion, German is more of a like a chill subject for me as there's only 6 people In my class and my teacher is very interactive and kind and we get to talk about many things in our lesson in German of course. I have been predicted an A in German and I actually think its not hard but just takes dedication as you would with any other language as all you're really doing is learning new vocab essentially and it will you a chance to perfect your German grammar as it has with me.
hope that helped!


okay that’s put me at ease quite a bit! sounds interesting and my class will be even smaller. thank you :smile:
Reply 7
your welcome if you have any other questions let me know
Original post by s006
okay that’s put me at ease quite a bit! sounds interesting and my class will be even smaller. thank you :smile:

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