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Exam Guide | Model Answer

Leaving Cert German (Higher) - Exam Guide

Exam Structure

Level Higher

2 ½ hours - Written exam
40 minutes - Aural Exam

Marks 400

Oral exam (100 marks)
15-20 minutes
Informal conversation with external examiner
Picture Sequence or Project
Role Play

  Written paper (220 marks)
2½ hours (150 minutes)
Text 1: Reading comprehension –Literary Extract (60 marks)
Text 1: Applied Grammar (25 marks)
Text 11: Reading Comprehension (60 marks)
Text 11: Related written expression (25 marks)
Written Production (50 marks) – answer (a) or (b)
  Aural exam (80 marks)
40 minutes
Listening comprehension tape plus questions

Exam Strategy

The Aural Exam
The Listening Comprehension takes place 15 minutes after the Written Paper. It is worth 80 marks (20%), has four sections and lasts 40 minutes. All instructions are in English and you must answer in English, apart from Section 2, where you are required to write a note in German. However, if you answer in German when you are asked to answer in English, or vice versa, you will still get half marks. The four parts are generally structured as follows:

  • First Part: Interview
  • Second part: Phone call
  • Third Part: Dialogue
  • Fourth Part: News

Note the following:

  • You will have some minutes to read the questions before the tape is played. Use this time carefully. Underline the key words in the questions (what, where, how…) so that the task will be clearer in your mind.
  • The first time around, listen attentively to the whole extract to familiarise yourself with the topic and with the way the questions relate to it. (Usually the questions follow precisely the order in which the information is given on the tape.)
  • You should write down your answers when the extract is played the second time. Each of the extracts will be separated by a beep. When the extracts are played for the third time they are played straight through, and this is when you should check over your answers.
  • Try not to leave any blanks. Put something down. Who knows, you might be right!

The Oral Exam
There are three sections in the German Oral Exam:

 Section 1. General Conversation  40 marks
 Section 2. Project or Picture Sequence  30 marks
 Section 3. Role Play  30 marks
 Total:  100 marks

Role-plays and picture sequences are available in schools just after Christmas so you will have plenty of time to prepare these in advance. For a comprehensive guide to the German oral exam, click here.

Walk-through the paper (Question by question)

The Written Paper

Text I - Reading Comprehension (Literary Extract)
This text is usually taken from a novel and takes a narrative form, sometimes with a long piece of dialogue. You must answer all 4 questions.

Question 1:

  • There are usually 4 parts to this question.
  • The questions are written in German and must be answered in German.

Questions 2 & 3:

  • These questions are also sub-divided.
  • You are usually asked about aspects of the text.
  • The questions are written in English and you must answer in English.
  • Be sure to answer in as much detail as possible.

Question 4:

  • In this question you might be asked for your opinion on an issue in the story.
  • Your answer will usually refer to the language or content of the passage.

Note the following points:

  • The texts will have numbered sections, and the questions may direct you to these. Make sure you take your answers from the sections specified.
  • Do not copy out chunks of the passage in German.  There must be evidence that you have understood the text.  Try to answer Question 1 in your own words.
  • Don’t try to impress the examiners by extending your answers beyond what you have been asked. This would be seen as an indication that you really didn’t understand the question.
  • Note that the same question types may not be the same from year to year .
  • Watch your grammar. For instance if you are asked about the author of the text where he or she uses “Ich”, rephrase the comment using the appropriate pronoun, “Er / Sie”, etc.

Text I - Applied Grammar
These two questions are about grammatical structures and language awareness in the text.

  • You may be asked to find specific grammatical categories in the text, to complete sentences or to explain the meanings of words.

Text II - Reading Comprehension

Question 1

  • You may be asked to find specific grammatical categories in the text, to complete sentences or to explain the meanings of words.

Questions 2 & 3

  • The questions are written in English and you must answer in English.

Question 4

  • In this question you are usually asked to find synonyms and match them with listed words.

Text II - Related Written Expression
You have a choice between (a) or (b).  Write approximately 100 words. There are usually 13 marks given for content and 12 marks for expression. Make sure that you mention every point.

Question (a)

  • You are required to write a dialogue based on the theme of the text.

Question (b)

  • You are asked to comment on a picture, which is based on the text, and answer the questions.

Written Production
You have a choice between (a) or (b) 

Question (a): Letter

  • This may be formal / informal.
  • Your letter should be at least 160 words in length.
  • Prepare for this question by learning opening and closing phrases as well as general topic areas and idiomatic phrases.
  • Never use your own address.

Question (b)

  • Write an essay related to an issue illustrated by a photograph or cartoon, answering all the questions in some detail.

Exam Guide | Model Answer


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