Changes for 2021

Following Ofqual’s announcement about changes to assessment in summer 2021, here's what you need to know for GCSE German.

Please note: these changes only apply to assessments being completed this academic year.

Speaking

The spoken language assessment in summer 2021 will be an endorsement reported on a 3-point scale (pass, merit and distinction) against common assessment criteria. Students’ speaking skills will be assessed by teachers during the course of study and the endorsement level of pass, merit or distinction will be reported alongside the 9-1 grade.

The common assessment criteria for the 2021 series have been published by Ofqual. We’ve also provided additional guidance on range of language to help teachers in their assessments.

Writing

There will be more optionality in the writing components, so the 2021 Writing papers will include an additional optional question for the overlap question at both tiers (Question 4/Question 1) and for Higher tier Question 2. This is so students can answer on their preferred theme. For each optional question, the theme will be given in the introduction to the question in the question paper.

Foundation tier

There will be an additional option for Question 4 and this will be numbered in the question paper as Question 4.3. Students will need to answer one question from a choice of three.

Higher tier

  • There will be an additional option for Question 1 and this will be numbered in the question paper as Question 1.3. Students will need to answer one question from a choice of three.
  • There will be an additional option for Question 2 and this will be numbered in the question paper as Question 2.3. Students will need to answer one question from a choice of three.

We’ll be adding an extra five minutes to the scheduled exam time at both tiers for the Writing paper in 2021.

This means that:

  • the Foundation tier Writing exam will last for one hour and five minutes
  • the Higher tier Writing exam will last for one hour and 20 minutes.

Vocabulary

We’ve reviewed all of our draft Listening and Reading papers for the 2021 exams. We wi’ll be making some changes at both tiers to reflect this.

We may still include, in Listening and Reading papers, a small number of basic vocabulary items (eg primary colours, cognates/near cognates) not listed in the specification which will not be glossed and which students may need to understand in order to answer the questions. This is because excluding such items from the assessments is likely to increase the demand of the tasks.

We know that you’ll want to know more about the changes for next summer. We’ll be publishing further guidance about the summer 2021 exams over the coming months.

Help and support

If you require further guidance or support, please contact us.