HE Exams Wiki

German IGCSE

IGCSE German (as a foreign language) is available from CIE and Edexcel.

Please check that the centre you have in mind can do the speaking assessment. Do not assume that the centre can do the speaking assessment unless they have said they will. Recent examinations under Covid-19 conditions have been different to the norm and there may be changes to the way the speaking element will be assessed in the future. This is still under discussion and may not affect IGCSEs.

Edexcel International GCSE German (Foreign Language)

[International GCSE from 2017- German]

This exam has traditionally been vey popular with Home Educators. The new syllabus was first examined in summer 2019, so there are now a few years of past papers available, as the format is different and more difficult compared to the older syllabus. The exam is offered by Faregos (exam centre for Home Educators) and is therefore a good practical choice.

CIE IGCSE German (Foreign language)

[IGCSE : German - Foreign Language (0525)]

This new course had its first exam summer 2021. Resources are now published and available from Hodder and other sellers. Home Educators like CIE courses, but the difficulty with this particular exam is that the speaking is internally assessed by the centre, who need to understand this and agree to making this available. Check this carefully when speaking to the centre! In terms of content, this course does not vary substantially from the other (I)GCSE courses, but the structure of exam varies slightly between courses and CIE schedule the 4 papers over several days. This can be difficult if you are having to come from some distance to sit the exam.

German GCSE AQA/EDEXCEL (Foreign Language)


These normal GCSEs are now available to external candidates, given that you can find a centre to take you on! They are very much designed for the UK market and resources are very good, but teachers' packs and audio material very, very pricey! The big new element in these exams is the translation in both directions, as well as more difficult reading and listening papers, compared to the old exam.

Other language qualifications

The European Framework of Reference for Languages


These qualifications are easy to access in many countries all over the world, often preparing learners for living in the country, where the language they are learning is being spoken, so there is a different emphasis on practical use of language right from the beginning. A good alternative if you don't need it to be a GCSE or A-level qualification.

Beyond GCSE...

A-level German

These courses can be prepared by using textbooks and related film/literature to cover the syllabus, but it's a big course to cover. There is a speaking element, which needs to be carefully arranged with an exam centre. To cover the material for these new courses 2/3 hours teacher/contact time a week would be considered a minimum, as well as several hours of personal study and research.

AQA AS/A-level


Edexcel AS/A-level


Courses and Textbooks

Each exam board has at least one endorsed book for a foreign language course. Publishers include Hodder and Pearson. Audio and teacher packs can be very expensive. If you can it's worth getting the book for the correct syllabus, although differences are not as major here as they would be for other subjects.

[Wolsey Hall German IGCSE] correspondence course

Online Tutors/Classes

There are various online tutor sites where you can get one-to-one tuition over Skype, Zoom etc. eg see [The Tutor Crowd]

Trixi Schirok teaches German at all levels including IGCSE, as well as more advanced. Her lessons take place via the online platform Zoom, mostly in small groups of 3-6. She is a native speaker, qualified teacher and home ed mum. Below is a link to her FB Teacher Page, which can also be accessed by non FB users. It will give you info re. her classes, reviews from previous students/parents, as well as lots of other useful posts relating to German. You can contact her via email: germantrixi@icloud.com or through her FB Teacher Page. https://www.facebook.com/GermanTrixi/photos/a.100570181310188/130906788276527/?__tn__=%3C

Online Resources

[DuoLingo] - Free interactive site, good for a few European languages - also available as iPad and Android apps.  Includes lessons, tests, and a competitive and optional social element.  Great for teaching you exact spellings and accents.  Really good fun. May be better suited to teens than littlies as many of the sentences you have to translate are about drinking wine and beer!  As well as completing exercises and gaining points, you can help to translate the web via a crowdsourcing project.

[Busuu] - Interactive site and language learning community - can put you in touch with other learners to practise together.  

[Conversation Exchange] - Pairs you with another learner who wants to learn, say, English - you can meet, Skype, email etc.. to practise.

[Zut!] - Interactive language site, free outside school hours.  Covers French, German, Welsh and Spanish.

[Memrise] - Vocabulary building using fun mnemonics techniques in a game-like format.  Covers many languages including French, Mandarin and Japanese. “A world memory champion and a neuroscientist have joined forces to create a language-learning website called Memrise, which combines mnemonic tricks with a game to help users learn quickly and efficiently”

[Quizlet German IGCSE] - Vocabulary flashcards in German - use wider search terms, eg 'German GCSE' for more options.

[BBC Languages] - Courses in a number of languages, all free online.

Comments from HE-Exams list

We also use the AQA GCSE Grammar Workbook (OUP) - for extra grammar exercises, together with German DeMystified which has loads of written practice and an accompanying CD of audio.

All this, together with the software package Fluenz (expensive, but brilliant) and we think we are making progress.  Currently averaging an A* with all assignments being marked as per final exam marking scheme.

He had previously been learning German using Rosetta Stone before crossing over to IGCSE. DS also used Memrise for vocabulary. He was scoring A/A* on all his past papers.