Here is how you will excel in your German exam. With these top tips by an experienced German tutor, you will get an A* in German.
#1 Get a good understanding of German word order. If you understand where to place a word in a German sentence, you'll avoid some of the most common mistakes among English native speakers. #2 Learn to conjugate German verbs and use regular, irregular, separable verbs and reflexive verbs by looking at logical patterns that apply to them before you commit them to memory. Once you have this under your belt, work your way through German tenses- from the Perfekt tense, the Praeteritum, the Plusquamperfekt to the future tense.
#3 Once you understand the four German cases and their function in a sentence, you'll distinguish between subject, direct and indirect object with ease. #4 And with a solid understanding of the cases, you need to turn to German pronouns, prepositions (two-way prepositions, accusative only, dative only prepositions, and- though less important for GCSE- the prepositions that go with the genitive case) and adjective endings to learn how they influence the usage of the cases.
#5 increase your German vocabulary by using flash cards/index cards in the way I describe below.
As soon as you have understood and practiced all of the above, you can turn to other topics that require a good understanding of these grammar topics, such as relative clauses, the passive voice (again, less important for GCSE), and the subjunctive in German (for GCSE, you only need to understand the basics, whereas for A-level you should practice it thoroughly).
If you're confused about grammar terms, check out our post on the topic. But don't panic- with the above tips, we got you covered for your German exam.