I have a German examination in two weeks, which includes two comprehensions of about CEFR-B1 level. (An example of this exam from 2012 can be found here.)
I have worked up to over 2000 of the most frequent German words using a word frequency list, and I have also done over 2000 of the topic-related vocabulary that comes up in the exam. This includes infinitives of all the verbs that would come up in either list.
The problem is: I've just realised that there are a lot of irregular forms of the Präteritum that I don't recognise. This makes it difficult, since the Präteritum is used quite frequently in these comprehensions, and many of them are irregular. I haven't had much luck finding a list of the most common irregular verbs, and I want to use my time wisely. I have been given a list of over 100 irregular verbs and their Präteritum forms, but they are in alphabetical order and this is really unhelpful.
I am wondering if anyone has a list of the top thirty or so most-common irregular verbs, along with their Präteritum form? Or, does anyone have any other suggestions as to how to get around this problem? You may be able to gauge if you take a quick glance at the comprehensions in the example above.
Also: it occurred to me that the most common irregular verbs may not also have the most commonly used Präteritum forms.