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Maximizing Your German Oral Exam Preparation for the Leaving Certificate

Updated: Dec 11, 2023


German is one of the most popular foreign languages taken by students in the Irish Leaving Certificate. The German oral exam is an essential part of this evaluation and can be a deciding factor in achieving a higher grade. In this article, we’ll cover tips and tricks to help you prepare effectively and ace your German oral exam.

I. Understanding the German Oral Exam Format

The German oral exam is divided into three parts:

  1. A general conversation on everyday topics

  2. A discussion based on a picture prompt

  3. A conversation based on a choice of two topics

It is essential to understand the format of the exam so that you can prepare accordingly.

II. Building Vocabulary and Grammar Skills

One of the key components of the German oral exam is your ability to use German vocabulary and grammar accurately. Here are some tips for improving your language skills:

  • Regularly read German news articles and books

  • Watch German films and TV shows with English subtitles

  • Take online German courses or join a language exchange program

  • Keep a vocabulary notebook and practice using new words every day

  • Pay attention to grammar rules in your German classes

III. Practicing Conversation

Practice makes perfect, and this is especially true when it comes to the German oral exam. Here are some ways to improve your speaking skills:

  • Find a native German speaker to practice with

  • Participate in role-play activities in your German class

  • Record yourself speaking in German and listen to the playback

  • Take mock oral exams to simulate the real exam experience

IV. Preparing for the Picture Prompt and Topic Conversations

The second and third parts of the German oral exam are designed to test your ability to communicate effectively on given topics. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Familiarize yourself with common picture prompt themes

  • Study past exam topics and prepare responses

  • Practice speaking on these topics with a friend or teacher

  • Keep up-to-date with current events in German-speaking countries

V. Acing the Exam: Final Tips and Tricks

Here are some final tips and tricks to help you ace the German oral exam:

  • Be confident and speak clearly

  • Use appropriate body language

  • Show an interest in the examiners and their culture

  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – they are opportunities for improvement

  • Remain calm and relaxed, even under pressure


The German oral exam is an important component of the Irish Leaving Certificate evaluation. By understanding the exam format, building your vocabulary and grammar skills, practicing conversation, preparing for the picture prompt and topic conversations, and following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to acing your German oral exam. Good luck!

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