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How to Prepare for the A-Level German Speaking Exam

Updated: Apr 3

Preparing for the A-level German speaking exam requires careful planning, practice, and confidence-building strategies. Here's a detailed guide on what students need to do in the exam, advice on how to prepare effectively, and with concrete tips on the stimulus cards and the Individual Research Project.


Master the A-level German speaking exam with ease
Master the A-level German speaking exam with ease


How long is the A-level German speaking exam and what do students need to do?

The A-level German speaking exam typically lasts between 15 and 20 minutes, although the exact duration may vary depending on the examination board and specific exam format. During the speaking exam, students are required to complete a series of tasks that assess their ability to communicate effectively in German. They will have to speak for approximately 5 minutes about the speaking card topic and for the remainder of the time they will have to present and discuss their Individual Research Topic (IRP).


My advice on how to approach the stimulus card conversation and the IRP


  1. Conversation with the examiner about stimulus card theme

  • Students are required to discuss the content of the stimulus card with the examiner, expressing their opinions and responding to questions.

  • Students get 5 minutes preparation time to study the card. Use this time wisely by carefully studying all the information and questions. What is the connection between the various information? How does the selected sub-theme relate to the theme you studied in class? What is the rationale behind the stimulus card? Let's look at one example.


AQA A-level German speaking card
AQA stimulus card taken from https://filestore.aqa.org.uk/sample-papers-and-mark-schemes/2022/june/AQA-76623-C-CARDS-JUN22.PDF

When examining the stimulus card above, consider the correlation between the initial information - the average annual clothing purchases among Germans - and the subsequent observations. Given that many young people are reported to make frequent purchases of inexpensive clothing, wearing them for brief periods, it can be inferred that they may surpass the average German in clothing consumption. Consequently, they bear a greater responsibility for the environmental repercussions associated with the production of low-cost garments. As numerous youths express significant concerns about climate change and environmental conservation, it encourages reflection on the harmful effects of fast fashion and the role individuals play in contributing to the climate crisis. Subsequently, the examiner may pose a follow-up question regarding initiatives aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of fast fashion. Both lines of inquiry serve as constructive approaches to addressing the challenges posed by the fast fashion industry.


  • The exam usually begins with a conversation between the student and the examiner.

  • The examiner may also ask follow-up questions to elicit more detailed responses.


2. Presentation and Q&A:

  • Following the conversation about the stimulus card theme, students are required to give a two-minute presentation on the topic they chose for their IRP.

  • Students should only mention aspects of the topic they are prepared to elaborate on in the Q&A section that follows their initial presentation.


3. Language Use and Interaction:

  • Throughout the speaking exam, students are assessed on their ability to use a range of grammatical structures, vocabulary, and language functions.

  • Students are expected to demonstrate fluency, accuracy, and coherence in their spoken responses.

  • Interaction with the examiner should be natural and engaging, with students initiating and maintaining conversation where appropriate.


  1. Assessment Criteria:

  • Students are assessed according to a range of criteria, which include fluency, accuracy, range of language, pronunciation, and interaction skills.

  • Assessment criteria may vary between examination boards but generally focus on the student's ability to communicate effectively in German across a range of contexts and tasks.


Overall, the A-level German speaking exam provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their linguistic proficiency and communication skills in German. By preparing thoroughly and practicing regularly, students can approach the speaking exam with confidence and perform to the best of their ability.


More general advice in preparation for the speaking exam


Understand the Exam Format:

  • Familiarise yourself with the format of the speaking exam, including the types of tasks, time allocation, and assessment criteria.


Expand Your Vocabulary and Grammar:

  • Build your vocabulary by learning new words and phrases related to various topics that may come up in the exam.

  • Practice using a range of grammatical structures, including complex sentences, tenses, and conjunctions, to express ideas fluently and accurately.


Practice Speaking Regularly:

  • Practice speaking German regularly to improve your fluency and confidence.

  • Engage in conversations with classmates, teachers, or native speakers, and participate in speaking activities in class.

  • Record yourself speaking and listen back to identify areas for improvement.


Prepare Topic Areas:

  • Choose a range of topic areas to prepare for the exam, including current affairs, culture, society, and personal interests.

  • Research and gather information on each topic, including key vocabulary, facts, and opinions.

  • Practice discussing these topics in German, expressing your own views and responding to questions.


Develop Presentation Skills:

  • Practice delivering presentations or monologues on chosen topics, focusing on clear structure, logical progression of ideas, and effective use of language.

  • Use visual aids, such as slides or cue cards, to support your presentation and keep track of key points.


Work on Pronunciation and Intonation:

  • Pay attention to pronunciation and intonation to ensure clarity and naturalness in your speech.

  • Practice pronouncing difficult sounds and words, and mimic native speakers' intonation patterns.


Practice with Past Papers:

  • Familiarise yourself with past speaking exam papers and mark schemes to understand the types of questions and expected responses.

  • Practice answering questions and completing speaking tasks under timed conditions to simulate the exam environment.


Seek Feedback and Support:

  • Seek feedback from your teacher or classmates on your speaking performance, focusing on areas for improvement.

  • Take advantage of speaking practice sessions offered by your school or language learning groups.


Build Confidence:

  • Build confidence by visualising success, practicing relaxation techniques before the exam, and adopting a positive mindset.

  • Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments in German language learning.


Review and Reflect:

  • Reflect on your speaking practice sessions and exam performance to identify strengths and areas for improvement.

  • Review feedback from teachers and incorporate suggestions into your practice routine.


By following these detailed steps and dedicating time and effort to practice, you can effectively prepare for the A-level German speaking exam and approach it with confidence.


Our blog has an array of posts for A-level German students, such as the 10 most important A-level German grammar topics to revise, how to write excellent A-level German essays, and our revision guides:



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