What is the subject about? 

German as a Leaving Certificate subject aims to bring students closer to fluency in the German language, as well as developing a good knowledge of literature, culture, geography, and national history to provide a context for communication. As Germany starts to play a major role in the wider European context, German as a language is becoming ever more important in the lives of young Europeans in offering career opportunities that will be available in the years ahead. Modern languages require students to be proficient in the following skills: 

– Oral/speaking 

– Written 

– Aural/listening 

– Reading 

How is the subject assessed? 

Assessment is by means of a written examination, an aural and oral examination at two levels, Ordinary Level and Higher Level. Course Content for Higher and Ordinary Levels is similar. However, oral and written skills are particularly important at Higher Level. 

Higher Level: 

I. Oral Examination (25%) 

II. Aural Examination (20%) 

III. Written Examination (55%) 


Ordinary Level: 

I. Oral Examination (20%) 

II. Aural Examination (25%) 

III. Written Examination (55%) 


The German oral examination consists of a fifteen minute interview where students are examined in three different sections. German Interview with examiner, presentation of project or picture sequence and role play. At higher level the exam is worth 25% and at ordinary 20%. The secret for success is in your preparation. Criteria used to assess oral competence include: 

– range of vocabulary 

– range of expression 

– awareness and use of grammar 

– independence from examiner support 

– appropriateness 

– fluency 

– pronunciation 


The aural examination is 40 minutes in duration and takes place after the written examination in June. It involves listening to a variety of dialogues and news items in the target language and then answering in English. One section on the German paper requires answers in German. 

The written examination is 2 ½ hours in duration. At Higher Level Reading Comprehension involves a literary and a journalistic reading text, followed by questions testing comprehension, language awareness, applied grammar and the student’s ability to give an opinion on a topic raised. The written section consists of a formal or informal letter or an essay-type response to a picture. At Ordinary Level students do one literary and two journalistic comprehensions with similar exercises to Higher Level. Written exercises include letters, telling a story from a given series of pictures, writing a dialogue. 


Career Opportunities 

– Tourism 

– Hospitality 

– Food and Wine 

– Sales and Marketing 

– Teaching 

– Careers in the European Union 

– Translator 

– Interpreter 

– Journalist 

– Broadcaster 

– Customer Services 

– Client Management for Multinational Corporations