The fourth week ended up being a short week–only 3 days. I thought it was going to be 4, but apparently the final test (if you want some official determination of your level) was Thursday and Friday, not Friday/Saturday like I thought. Anyhow, my teacher gave up the workbook so we could cover the subjunctive. I would say that wrapped up the last big piece of grammar for me. Not that I’ve got it all down, by any means, but we at least covered the major points–verbs (past, future, subjunctive), adjectives, and prepositions (esp, the daran, davon, womit, etc. constructions which I didn’t ever understand before). So now it’s a matter of mastering the vocab and becoming more at easy with German style–stuff that just comes with reading, reading, and more reading.
I made it through the first three chapters of Romans in German. There are quite a few words that I had to look up, and in that process I think I’ve just about mastered the new vocabulary process for myself. One of the biggest challenges for vocab acquisition is not just picking up new words, but it’s the multiple synonyms that are used (just like in any language) that seems to be the next hurdle after learning the basic vocab. So as I look up each new word I come across, I also look up the English word to see what the possible German synonyms are besides the definition. (I use a sheet of notebook paper folded in half. That way I can get 4 columns of german words per sheet.) This seems to work really well, because I’m either learning two or three German words at once and/or reinforcing connections between the German.
Only one in my class (that I know of) took the final. It takes several hours over two days. It will give you some official confirmation of the level you achieved. They also offered a short (2 hr) assessment test on Tuesday. We all passed that up, too, because it was only offered during class time, and it would have interrupted our subjuntive discussion.