Junior Cert German Marking Scheme For Essay

Irish (Gaeilge) is a subject of the Junior Cycle examination in Secondary schools in Ireland. There are three levels: Higher (commonly known as Honours), Ordinary (commonly known as Pass) and Foundation.


The Irish syllabus at the Junior Cycle level is aimed at developing the student's aural, speech and written skills in Irish. The examination tests the students on aural, written, and literature skills. There is an optional oral at Junior Cert Level. Choosing this option aids with pronunciation and speaking Irish for the Leaving Certificate examination.

Higher level[edit]

The Higher level examination has three parts, two written papers, which last 3 hours (180 minutes) in total and are worth 240 marks, and an aural comprehension (Irish: Cluastuiscint) examination, which lasts 30 minutes, with a maximum of 40 marks available. There are certain rules which apply to all students. For example, a studied Novel can only be used in the novel section and students must write only one essay. Students are also required to answer all sections of the exam. Marks will be lost otherwise.


Written/Aural Paper 1 (2 hours) has two sections: Written Language, and Comprehension:

QuestionTypeMarkRecommended time to spend
Part 1Aural Comprehension40 marks15 minutes (average tape length)
Part 2Comprehensions (2)40 marks40 minutes
Part 3Contextual Language Tests (2)20 marks15 minutes
Part 4Composition50 marks50 minutes

Written Paper 2 ( 1 hour 30 mins ) has four sections: Prose, Poetry and Letter writing:

QuestionTypeMarkRecommended time to spend
Part 1, Question 1Unseen Prose15 marks15 minutes
Part 1, Question 2Studied Prose15 marks15 minutes
Part 2, Question 3Unseen Poetry15 marks15 minutes
Part 2, Question 4Studied Poetry15 marks15 minutes
Part 3Letter Writing30 marks25 minutes

For students taking the optional Oral (which is worth 160 marks) they are graded out of 400 marks over the 240 for students not taking the Oral examination. The Oral is worth 40% of the examination.

Ordinary level[edit]

The Ordinary level examination has three parts, a written examination, which lasts 1 hour 30 minutes (90 minutes) and is worth 220 marks, and an aural comprehension (Irish: Cluastuiscint) examination, which lasts 30 minutes, with a maximum of 100 marks availableamd an oral examination lasting about 10 minutes


This paper has two sections, Section 1 (Roinn 1), which is the comprehension (Léamhthuiscint) section, and Section 2, the written language (Scríobh na Teanga) section. Each carries 110 marks.

Section One: Comprehension

QuestionType (example)MarkRecommended time to spend
Question 1Pictures and Signs30 marks5 minutes
Question 2Notices/Poem(Answer 2 of 3)15 marks each10 minutes
Question 3Extracts (two parts)30 marks each20 minutes

Section Two: Written Language

QuestionType (example)MarkRecommended time to spend
Question 1Write Postcard20 marks10 minutes
Question 2Write a blag20 marks15 minutes
Question 3Short article,Diary entry (c. 15 lines)40 marks25 minutes

External links[edit]

What's on the Junior certificate German course

  • Listening Comprehension (Aural)
  • Reading comprehension
  • Written expression (Letters, postcards etc.)

What's the Junior certificate German exam like?

Both the higher and ordinary level papers are two and a half hour long with the first 30 minutes being the listening test (aural). Part two is reading comprehension where you will be given a series of notices,signs and articles that you must answer questions on. Finally part three is the written expression part of the paper where you write a letter and postcard.

Any tips for doing well in Junior certificate German  ?

Like all languages it is really important that you work on building your vocabulary as this will help you in the reading comprehension, listening and written part of the paper. Don't forget to prepare for your aural exam by practicing the listening comprehension questions as you listen to the streamed audio clips on Studyclix. Writing out a list of the most common verbs with their english meaning will also come in very handy for all sections of the paper. 

Download the Junior Cert German Syllabus

Download the Junior cert German Chief examiner's report (2008) 

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