A-Level German

Helping Pupils Flourish Through Language-Learning

Exam Board and Specification Codes: Edexcel AS 8GN0 and Edexcel A-Level 9GN0

Why Study German?

German is an important European language, the study of which at advanced level is both intellectually challenging and satisfying. A qualification in German demonstrates an intellectual achievement, while also showing that the pupil has command of the language of one of Europe’s economically advanced areas.

What is Covered by the Course?

AS

The AS-Level curriculum includes two topics:

  • Development of Germany’s Society – nature and the environment; education and the world of work
  • Political and Artistic Culture in German-speaking Countries – music, media and festivals; cultural traditions

A-Level

The A-Level curriculum consists of four topics:

  • Developments in German Society – nature and the environment; education and the world of work
  • Political and Artistic Culture in German-speaking Countries – music, media and festivities; traditions
  • Immigration and Multicultural Society
  • Reunification of Germany; society in the GDR; Germany after reunification

How is it Examined?

AS

AS consists of 2 written papers and 1 oral exam:

Paper 1 – Listening, reading and translation

Comprises a listening and reading task, and a translation from German into English, on topics based on the society and culture of the German language.

(1hr 45mins; 40% of total qualification)

Paper 2 – Written response to works and translation

Comprises a translation from English into German, and an extended response on either one literary text (play, novella, novel) or one feature-length film. The film or literary text is chosen from a prescribed list – see Suggested Reading below.

(1hr 40mins; 30% of total qualification)

Paper 3: Speaking

This internally conducted and externally assessed exam comprises 2 tasks based on provided texts and linked to two general topics:

  • Development of German society
  • Political and Artistic Culture in Germany

Task 1 combines answering set questions and sustaining a free discussion on topic one.

Task 2 involves a free discussion on one subtopic drawn from the main topic.

(30mins of which 15mins is formal preparation time; 30% of total qualification)

A-Level

A-Level consists of 2 written papers and 1 oral exam:

Paper 1 – Listening, reading and translation

Comprises a listening and reading task, and a translation from German into English, on topics based on the society and culture of the German language.

(2hrs; 40% of total qualification)

Paper 2 – Written response to works and translation

Comprises a translation from English into German, and an extended response on either one literary text (play, novella, novel) or one feature-length film. The film or literary text is chosen from a prescribed list – see Suggested Reading below.

(2hrs; 30% of total qualification)

Paper 3 – Speaking

This internally conducted and externally assessed exam comprises 2 tasks to be completed based on provided texts and linked to the four general topics listed above.

Task 1 is a discussion based on a stimulus containing two statements.

Task 2 is in 2 parts, the first of which involves a presentation of independent research and the second of which comprises a discussion of that research.

(23mins of which 5mins is formal preparation time; 30% of total qualification)

Related University Courses and Careers?

German A-Level can lead to studying German at university on either a single subject degree course or as part of a combined honours degree course. The German language might be used either as a primary focus of employment, e.g. interpreter, professional translator, or as a secondary skill supporting employment in a loosely related career, e.g. in the Foreign Service, in commercial employment involving German activities, or the arts.

Suggested Reading:

AS

Literary Texts

Andorra (1961, play) – Max Frisch

Der Besuch der Alten Dame (1956, play) – Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Der Vorleser (1995, novel) – Bernhard Schlink

Die Entdeckung der Currywurst (1993, novella) – Uwe Timm

Die Neuen Leiden des Jungen W. (1972, novel) – Ulrich Plenzdorf

Ich Fühl Mich so Fifty-Fifty (1994, novella) – Karin König

Stern ohne Himmel (1958, novel) – Leonie Ossowski

Films

Das Leben der Anderen (2006) – Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Das Wunder von Bern (2003) – Sönke Wortmann

Der Wald vor Lauter Bäumen (2003) – Maren Ade

Die Welle (2008) – Dennis Gansel

Good Bye, Lenin! (2003) – Wolfgang Becker

Lola Rennt (1998) – Tom Tykwer

Rosenstraße (2003) – Margarethe von Trotta

A-Level

Literary Texts

Andorra (1961, play) – Max Frisch

Der Besuch der Alten Dame (1956, play) – Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis (1944, play) – Bertolt Brecht

Der Vorleser (1995, novel) – Bernhard Schlink

Die Entdeckung der Currywurst (1993, novella) – Uwe Timm

Die Neuen Leiden des Jungen W. (1972, novel) – Ulrich Plenzdorf

Die Verwandlung (1915, novella) – Franz Kafka

Die Verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum (1974, novel) – Heinrich Böl

Ich Fühl Mich so Fifty-Fifty (1994, novella) – Karin König

Sansibar oder der Letzte Grund (1957, novel) – Alfred Andersch

Sommerhaus, später und andere Erzählungen (1998, short stories) – Judith Hermann

Stern ohne Himmel (1958, novel) – Leonie Ossowski

Tonio Kröger (1903, novella) – Thomas Mann

Films

Almanya, Willkommen in Deutschland (2011) – Yasemin Samdereli

Das Leben der Anderen (2006) – Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Das Wunder von Bern (2003) – Sönke Wortmann

Der Untergang (2004) – Oliver Hirschbiegel

Der Wald vor Lauter Bäumen (2003) – Maren Ade

Die fetten Jahre sind Vorbei (2004) – Hans Weingartner

Die Welle (2008) – Dennis Gansel

Good Bye, Lenin! (2003) – Wolfgang Becker

Lola Rennt (1998) – Tom Tykwer

Nirgendwo in Afrika (2001) – Caroline Link