German A1 Exam – 5 days to go!

It’s been a little longer than planned since my last post, so now there are only another 5 days until the exam. I’m not excited or nervous yet, partly because we’ve been very sick and not getting much sleep. There are also no consequences (apart from the $100 exam fee already spent), so that may be contributing to my calm.

Katie and I watched the sample speaking section of the exam together, and it was more clear for me this time around. It intimidated Katie, though, as she realised we have a bit more work to do. Immediately after watching, we prepared a list of template questions. During the second and third parts of the exam, candidates ask a question, then another candidate answers. So, our prepared questions are for us to ask, but are likely to be similar to questions we have to answer. I’m confident we’ve prepared well for the speaking section, and now just need to practice.

Writing the template questions will help us in the writing section. In the writing section, we need to fill in a form with basic information (provided) and also write a short letter or postcard. Some of our template questions may be in the form, and we could possibly use them in the letter/postcard question. Also, constructing the template questions helps reinforce our understanding of German grammar and some vocabulary.

The listening section should be very easy. The section consists of a short audio excerpt, followed by a true/false or multiple choice question. The reading section is almost as easy. There is a small classified advertisement or email, followed by a true/false or multiple choice question.

We have checked the themes used in the exam, and we are familiar with almost all of them. We are currently checking through the word list (all 650 or so words) to see how many we already know. So far, we know 50-66% of the words, and can guess another 10% from context. Once we’ve gone through the list, we’ll go back again and learn the words we don’t know. Finally, we have gone through the grammar concepts and understand 80% of them. The rest shouldn’t take too long to go over, and I think they are covered by the A+ German computer program that we are one third of the way through.

So, the plan for the next few days is to practice for the written section, go through the word list and learn a few more grammar concepts. We’ll also finish a few more A+ German lessons, until they become too advanced for this exam.

I probably won’t post another update before the exam, so wish us luck!

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