Are you preparing for the IGCSE German exam and wondering how to get the best possible grade? If so, you are not alone.
However, preparation for IGCSE German can be challenging and stressful, especially if you don’t have a clear plan. With this in mind, our tutors compiled some helpful tips to help you revise for your IGCSE German exam effectively and confidently.
Before Your IGCSE German Exam
It goes without saying that preparation for your exam should start long before D-day. The sooner you begin your revision process, the more time you’ll have to grasp the vocabulary and grammar needed for success.
But being an early bird isn’t enough to get the highest grade. You have to make sure your revision is thorough and comprehensive to hone all the important language skills:
Reading, speaking, listening, and writing. No matter if you take Pearson Edexcel or Cambridge IGCSE German, these skills WILL be tested.
With the following tips, you can make your revision all-around, effective, and even fun.
Immerse yourself in the language
The best advice we can give is to use German as much as possible during your study sessions and beyond. Speak, read, write, and listen to German regularly to improve your fluency and confidence.
Master grammar and vocabulary
Both Cambridge and Pearson Edexcel IGCSE German guides provide a list of grammar, structures, and vocabulary taught throughout the course. To secure the highest score, you need to know them like the back of your hand.
The best way to memorise, and more importantly, understand something as challenging as rules is to put them to use. We recommend flashcards, quizzes, and interactive tools like Quizlet or Memrise to commit essential words and phrases to memory.
Get to know your exam format
Past papers and sample answers can give an idea of what to expect as you sit your exam. They are available on the websites of your exam boards – here and here. To practice, you should complete practice papers under timed conditions and evaluate your responses using mark schemes. Working with past papers will help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, as well as improve your time management.
Seek feedback and learn from mistakes
Self-assessment is great but feedback on your performance from a teacher, tutor, or native speaker is even better. You shouldn’t be afraid of constructive criticism. After all, it helps understand areas for improvement.
On top of that, you can benefit from studying with a German tutor, who is able to provide an objective assessment of your skills and assist in improving them.
Enhance listening skills and pronunciation
German podcasts, radio shows, or audiobooks can contribute to boosting your listening comprehension and pronunciation. It shouldn’t be too hard to find materials and topics that align with your expected level (A2-B1) – We recommend checking out podcast series like Deutsch – warum nicht? or Slow German.
Practice writing through diaries or blogs
It is easy to sharpen your writing skills and express your thoughts via something as entertaining as a blog or as personal as a diary. You can use them to write about various topics such as hobbies, family, school, aspirations, etc.
If you wish, you can share your entries with your friends, teacher, or a wider online audience. You can also use Penpal World to connect with other learners and native speakers who can correct your writing and provide feedback.
Watch German media for language and cultural insights
German TV shows, movies, and videos available on streaming services or YouTube channels (Easy German, Deutsch für Euch, etc.) can help enhance your listening and reading skills while providing a deeper understanding of German culture and humour.
Oftentimes, these media feature subtitles or captions to assist your comprehension.
During Your IGCSE German Exam
As we have already mentioned, your end-of-the-course assessment involves testing all four major language skills. In the case of Cambridge, they have separate Papers for each skill: Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing.
On the other hand, Pearson Edexcel has structured their assessment with 3 papers, whereas Paper 2 combines the components of Reading and Writing. Since mastering each skill contributes to 25% of your final grade, performing well in each section is extremely important.
We’d like to offer some tips to help you stay focused and organised as you go through every component of your IGCSE exam.
Tips on Acing The Listening Component
- Pace yourself. Start from the beginning and work your way through the paper. Remember that the recordings become longer as the exam progresses. You need to allocate enough time for later tasks.
- Understand the instructions. Before answering questions, carefully consider the topic, setting, and individuals involved in the conversation. Think about the vocabulary you are likely to use and the information required in the questions.
- Active listening. Listen attentively and actively. Look for context clues and utilise the information given in the content to deduce the meaning of unfamiliar words. Avoid making hasty decisions before the speaker finishes.
- Answering techniques. Follow the instructions closely and pay attention to the number of answers required. Most questions only call for one answer, but some of them require two or more choices. If you’re unsure, you can make an educated guess to maximise your chances.
- Stay focused. If you miss an answer, remain calm and continue with the next part of the recording. Panic can lead to further mistakes, so maintaining your concentration throughout the paper is vital. You can listen to recordings twice, so if you miss anything, you have a chance to catch it the second time.
How to Succeed in Reading Component
- Understand the question words. Pay close attention to question words such as Wer?, Wo?, Wie viel(e)?, Warum?, Wann?, Um wie viel Uhr?, and Wie?. Understanding these words will help you understand tasks accurately.
- Practice reading strategies. Carefully read the passage titles as they provide insights into the text’s content. When answering questions, pay attention to details, and refer back to the text for clarification.
- Answering techniques. For multiple-choice questions, select only one option. If required to answer in German, keep your responses concise. Stick to the material provided and avoid adding unnecessary details that may distract from the question’s intent.
- Prioritise communication over accuracy. While correct spelling is important, examiners are focused on assessing your ability to communicate your thoughts. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes as long as what you’re trying to say is clear.
- Always check your answers. Distribute your time the way to have a few minutes for reviewing and verifying your answers for accuracy. Make sure that your responses align with the text and question requirements.
IGCSE German Speaking Assessment Advice
- Rely on predictability. You can make an educated guess regarding potential questions and plan suitable answers based on your experiences or imaginative scenarios.
- Articulate and elaborate. When responding to questions, aim to provide detailed answers. It is a great idea to support your opinions with reasons, examples, and additional details.
- Expand your answers. If you are encouraged by your teacher/examiner to provide more information, seize the opportunity to elaborate further. Use phrases like “Erzähl mir bitte etwas mehr” or “Kannst du noch mehr darüber sagen?” as ways to expand on your response.
- Ask when you haven’t understood something. It’s important to learn phrases and expressions that allow you to ask for clarification or to repeat what someone just said. Not only will this ensure effective communication but your show your ability to effectively interact in German.
- Stay calm and confident. Treat the speaking test as an opportunity to showcase your language skills. Maintain composure and speak clearly without rushing through your responses.
How to Nail Your IGCSE German Writing Assessment
- Time management. During the exam, carefully manage your time. Consider writing a brief plan for each question, including relevant key verbs in the appropriate tenses.
- Stick to the word limits. Certain questions in the Writing assessment specify word limits, and you should stick to them. Ensure that your responses directly address the given topic and you don’t mention anything irrelevant.
- Demonstrate language variety. Incorporate a wide range of grammar structures to showcase your language proficiency.
- Check and review. Give yourself enough time to carefully check all your answers. You need to verify the accuracy of verbs, as well as the spelling and agreement of adjectives and nouns.
Revise for Your IGCSE German Exam with TutorsPlus
The IGCSE German exam may seem intimidating due to its complexity and multi-stage structure. However, you have nothing to be afraid of if you carefully revise using these tips and all available resources.
Enlisting the support of someone who has a strong command of the German language is an excellent idea. It becomes even better if that person is familiar with the specific expectations of the IGCSE exams.
Fortunately, at TutorsPlus, we have a network of tutors who are not only expert linguists but also well-versed in IGCSE qualifications.
Don’t let any doubts or uncertainties hold you back. Contact TutorsPlus at +41 022 731 8148 or firstname.lastname@example.org and let us connect you with experienced tutors who will guide you through your revision. Remember, with the right support and diligent preparation, you can excel in your IGCSE German exam and achieve all your academic goals.