Are you revising for your A-level German exams and wondering what you should focus on in order to get an A*? Then continue to read this post as we share our top 5 tips on how to get the top grade in A-level German.
So here are our top 5.
TIP 1 Focus on German word order
German syntax is tricky and very different from English. That's why many English native speakers are confused about the sequence of German words in a sentence. The good news is that German word order rules are quite logical. Once you understand the fundamental difference between main and subordinate clauses in German and follow time-manner-place or better tekamolo in German, you'll know how to structure German sentences properly and avoid the most common mistakes. In our experience, students struggle the most with certain conjunctions and specific subordinate clauses. So make sure you read through the below and practice them.
And since examiners pay attention to punctuation mistakes as well, don't forget to learn about comma rules in German.
TIP 2 Practice all four cases
I'm not telling you anything you don't know when I say using German articles isn't easy. So what is the best strategy to learn and use them properly? First, make sure you learn the gender rules in the German language and how to form the plural of German nouns. Second, understand the difference between the four cases in German and what is being communicated with them. Don't just focus on the difference between nominative and accusative in German. If you really aim for an A*, you are expected to master
the dative case in German
the German genitive case
TIP 3 Learn the most common prepositions
Since the use of articles is not just determined by the logic of the four cases but also by prepositions in German, you need to learn the most common prepositions and the case they go with. The four categories are
TIP 4 Revise the tenses and moods
Maybe you think you don't need to revise the tenses, but think again! Not only could you lose important marks in the writing sections of paper 1 and 2, you could also mix them up in the translation tasks in paper 1. So make sure you revise the conjugation of German verbs in the present tense, paying attention to regular, irregular, separable verbs in German and German 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 in German. Finally, revise the passive voice in German and the
TIP 5 Increase your vocabulary range
Many A-level students go into their German exam with a fairly good passive vocabulary that allows them to recognise German words in texts but a less than ideal active vocabulary. As a result, they show a lack of variety in their spoken and written expression, using the same words and familiar phrases over and over again. I cannot stress this point strongly enough: you won't get an A* in your final exams if you follow the same strategy. Examiners reward a broad vocabulary range in all papers with extra marks, so make you sure you increase your German vocabulary by using flash cards in the way I describe on my blog.
A-level German isn't a walk in the park and getting an A* in German is particularly difficult. So if you need extra help, we offer 1:1 A-level German tuition and small A-level courses. 95% of our students were awarded an A* in the past, so we know what we're talking about.
I hope you found our tips helpful. We keep our fingers crossed for you!