GCSE German (old spec)


This specification is valid for GCSE Exams taken in Summer 2024 and 2025.

Why study GCSE German?

The aims of the course are to enable students to develop an understanding of German in a variety of contexts. It also allows students to increase their knowledge of German vocabulary and structures, to transfer language learning skills and to communicate effectively in German. Finally, the course aims at helping students to understand countries and communities where German is spoken.

GCSE German FAQ's

What will I learn?

Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based:

Theme 1 : Identity and culture

Theme 2 : Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Theme 3 : Current and future study and employment

Each of these broad themes is broken down further into sub-topics which we cover over the 2-year course.  Many of the topics will have been covered briefly in Years 7-9,  allowing us to study and analyse a topic in much more depth over the GCSE.

A new feature of the GCSE is the emphasis placed on cultural awareness.  Students will be learning about the customs and traditions of German speaking countries alongside the more traditional language structures, vocabulary and grammar.

How will I be assessed?

There are two tiers of entry: Foundation (Grades 1-5) or Higher (Grades 4-9)

(25% of GCSE)

Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language.

(25% of GCSE)

Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of different purposes.

There are 3 parts to the speaking exam:

  1. Role-Play
  2. Describing a photo card
  3. Talking about 2 topics from the above Themes.  (You get to choose one of them!)

(25% of GCSE)

Understanding and responding to different types of written language.
There will be a selection of questions to answer in English and German and also a translation from German into English.

(25% of GCSE)

F – Describe a photo in 4 sentences, 40-word question, 90-word question, 5 sentences to translate from English – German

H – 90-word question, 150-word question and a short paragraph to translate from English to German.

What course will I follow?


What skills or equipment will I need?

The qualification requires students to:

  • Develop the ability to listen to and understand spoken German in a range of contexts and variety of style
  • Communicate in speech for a variety of purposes
  • Read and respond to different types of written language
  • Communicate in writing for a variety of purposes
  • Understand and apply a range of vocabulary and structures
  • Develop language learning and communication skills which can be applied broadly

Where can GCSE German lead to?

Not only is Germany one of the UK’s most important trading partners but German itself is spoken by 120 million people as a first language and by many millions as a second and third language.

German is the second most commonly used scientific language in the world and many of the Western world’s most important works of philosophy, literature, music, art history, chemistry, physics, engineering and medicine are written in German and continue to be produced in German.

Studying German can also lead to careers in translation – for business and communities - and education – Primary, Secondary and Higher.

We are not just thinking about the global arena either: BMW manufactures engines on the outskirts of Birmingham and Thomas Dudley, a local company, does the majority of its trade with Germany so there are opportunities here in our own region for students with German as an additional language.

How can i support my child with German?

  • Revision Guide and Workbooks 
  • Log onto Germanradio stations and TV online
  • Language apps