Assessment Report

Level 2 Classical Studies 2017

Standards 91200  91201  91203

 

Part A: Commentary

Successful candidates chose their questions carefully, planned their response, and integrated the wording from the questions throughout their response.   

Candidates achieving Excellence wrote concise and detailed answers, including a key idea, a wide range of relevant evidence and thorough explanations which were linked to their key idea. In addition, their answers showed insightful understanding of the classical world.

Candidates should base their response on a series of structured paragraphs that address the question, and to support their answers with bullet points and/or annotated sketches. Candidates are expected to support their responses with relevant primary source evidence.

These standards do not require responses to be in the form of an essay, thus introductions and conclusions are not required. Where introductions and conclusions were used they were more successful when they were short and to the point, and outlined the candidate’s argument. 

Unfortunately, there were a significant number of responses where pre-prepared or rote-learned answers, either to anticipated questions or previous examination questions, were presented. These are rarely successful in demonstrating the candidate’s ability.

Candidates are reminded that this examination is assessing their knowledge and understanding at Level 2 of NCEA ie Level 7 of the New Zealand Curriculum. Sufficiency was an issue where extremely brief or minimal responses compromised the ability of candidates to attain higher grades.

 

Part B: Report on standards

91200:  Examine ideas and values of the classical world

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • demonstrated some understanding of classical ideas and values inherent in their chosen text(s)
  • understood the plot of their chosen text
  • provided some primary source evidence to support their response, although this was often explained in general terms or not well-linked to the points made
  • used Greek terms and/or other primary evidence. References to the text were often paraphrased as description of plot
  • attempted to explain their ideas and refer to the societal beliefs of the time
  • provided responses that were pre-prepared and not suited to the question that they chose
  • wrote in clear sentences and paragraphs that were succinct.

Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • showed limited understanding of classical ideas and values inherent in their chosen text(s)
  • demonstrated some knowledge of the classical world but could not connect this to their chosen text.
  • did not respond to the question asked
  • wrote an apparently pre-prepared or rote-learned response which did not address any elements of the question
  • struggled to use primary source evidence. This was either absent from responses or inaccurate
  • misinterpreted the question
  • wrote plot summary rather than explanation in their response
  • inaccurately re-told what happened in the text
  • wrote extremely brief responses, or conversely long-winded responses, that did not make any specific point.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • showed an informed understanding of classical ideas and values inherent in their chosen text(s)
  • established a connection between the plot or key features of their chosen text and the classical ideas and values
  • used primary evidence to support assertions and to prove the accuracy or legitimacy of their response
  • used the words from the question within their answer
  • provided detailed examples that were well explained
  • provided depth of explanation to examples used  
  • used relevant primary source material to support points made
  • showed a good knowledge of the text, with minimal errors or misunderstandings
  • explained the cultural importance of actions
  • formed conclusions by demonstrating an awareness of the nature of the classical society
  • selected relevant evidence from more than one episode from their chosen text and applied this in their response
  • provided in-depth answers and provided several relevant examples. 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • showed an insightful understanding of classical ideas and values inherent in their chosen text(s)
  • responded to the question with perception; this means that they showed real insight into the ideas and values of the classical world relevant to the literary text they were writing about
  • used relevant examples from the text to respond directly to the points made in their response
  • provided a well-detailed and thoroughly explained response
  • consistently used keywords from the question throughout their response
  • connected the ideas and values of the text to the social, political, economic, and/or historic context in which they were created
  • went beyond their chosen text to draw on other examples from literary works or historical events to support the ideas and values discussed
  • made consistent connections between events and explained their significance
  • wrote well-constructed, extended paragraphs that were directly linked to the question.

Standard specific comments

Candidates need to think about the question given in the examination paper and how to respond to it and avoid using pre-prepared answers, or modified pre-prepared answers, that do not address the question.

It is not necessary to quote from the text. Evidence may be in the form of a quote or paraphrasing but it must be accurate, well-explained and appropriately used.

Candidates responses drew on a range of literary works: Sophocles’ Antigone and King Oedipus, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Euripides’ Medea. Some candidates responded using Virgil’s Aeneid, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, and Plato’s Last Days of Socrates.

 



 

91201: Examine the significance of features of work(s) of art in the classical world

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • demonstrated some understanding of the art work(s) or building(s) in the context of the question
  • had well-developed answers to a part(s) of the question but lacked specific detail and / or evidence
  • used relevant evidence, often general rather than specific, from the art work(s) or building(s) to support their answer
  • used appropriate Greek or Roman terminology in the context of the art work(s) or building(s)
  • wrote in clear sentences and paragraphs that were succinct
  • included some evidence or material that was irrelevant to the question
  • wrote a response that lacked sufficient detail or specifics as their selected art work(s) or building(s) were inappropriate to the question they had chosen to answer
  • responded to the question with too many art works or buildings, diluting the substance of their response
  • included detailed diagrams or drawings of their chosen art work(s) but did not connect these to the points they were making
  • retold mythological or historical narratives which were only loosely connected to the significance of the features of the art work they were discussing
  • drew conclusions but these were often generalised.

Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not answer the question 
  • wrote responses that were too generalised in the context of the question
  • included little or no evidence from an art work(s) or building(s) in their response
  • wrote a pre-prepared or rote-learned response which did not address any elements of the question
  • misinterpreted the question
  • recalled mythological or historical contexts with little or no reference to their chosen art work
  • demonstrated little or inaccurate understanding and knowledge of the art work(s) or building(s) by providing limited information or evidence in the answer
  • selected an art work(s) or building(s) which was inappropriate to the question
  • bullet-pointed information about an art work(s) or building(s) with little or no attempt to answer the question
  • relied too heavily on using diagrams and / or illustrations to convey meaning in their answer, with no or minimal accompanying written explanation
  • wrote extremely brief responses, or conversely long-winded responses, that did not make any specific point.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • demonstrated familiarity with their chosen art work(s) by referring to specific features as primary source evidence
  • wrote responses that successfully linked specific relevant evidence from their art work(s) or building(s) to support points being made
  • explored a range of features, using an appropriate art work(s) or building(s)ds 
  • responded to the key words within the question
  • drew conclusions that were sound and supported with relevant evidence
  • used primary source evidence from one or at most two art work(s) or building(s)
  • used appropriate Greek or Roman terminology in the context of the art work(s) or building(s)
  • used appropriate terminology such as composition, drapery or illusion of depth
  • wrote clearly structured paragraphs which included detailed explanation.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • showed familiarity with their selected art work(s) or building(s) in the context of the question
  • explained and gave examples for a range of features
  • commented on the relevance of the art work(s) or building(s) to the society that created or exhibited it, in the context of the question
  • used very specific examples throughout to support their discussion
  • explained an art work(s) or building(s) with depth and breadth, often explaining the nature of the evidence used
  • selected an appropriate art work(s) or building(s) on which to base their response in the context of their chosen question
  • developed conclusions that showed insight in the context of the question, typically making links to ideas and evidence raised in the answer
  • structured their response logically and maintained a focus on answering the question with little repetition or irrelevant material
  • used and understood appropriate art historical terms and / or vocabulary, such as depth, composition, drapery, narrative techniques, mood, etc.
  • wrote well-constructed, extended paragraphs that were directly linked to the question.

Standard specific comments

Selecting an art work or building appropriate to the question was critical. Candidates need to choose a question which enables them to demonstrate knowledge and relate this to an appropriate art work(s). Not all art works or buildings worked well for all questions, conversely not all questions suited particular works or buildings. 

Candidates are encouraged to focus on one or two works of art at most within a response. This will enable them to make comparisons between the features of each work and encourage them to respond in-depth about the works, rather than a surface overview of many works of art. 

Candidates who could use, and have a correct understanding of, appropriate art historical terminology and / or vocabulary, were significantly advantaged in responding to the questions over those that did not. This assisted candidates to demonstrate more thorough knowledge of their chosen art work(s) or building(s).

 

91203:  Examine sociopolitical life in the classical world

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • demonstrated some understanding of socio-political life in their response
  • used explanations which were simple and to the point
  • used the wording from the question
  • included relevant detail in their response
  • correctly used Greek/Latin terms
  • used primary source material that was relevant to the context in general rather than to the specific point being made
  • provided extensive background to a context rather than focusing on responding to the actual question
  • included lengthy narrative of irrelevant content which did not directly respond to the requirements of the question
  • wrote in clear sentences and paragraphs that were succinct.

Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • wrote responses that were too generalised in the context of the question
  • provided a brief or irrelevant response to the question
  • struggled to use primary source evidence. This was either absent from responses or inaccurate
  • under-developed their explanations
  • misinterpreted the question
  • chose the wrong question to suit their apparent knowledge
  • wrote in generalisations
  • wrote a pre-prepared or rote-learned response rather than responding to the specific requirements of the question
  • used Greek/Latin terms incorrectly
  • wrote extremely brief responses, or conversely long-winded responses, that did not make any specific point.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • showed a clear knowledge and understanding of socio-political life
  • addressed the question, often responding to one part of the question in greater depth than another
  • tailored their knowledge to the context of the question
  • provided a range of primary source material, but may not have been able to maintain a consistent use of evidence
  • showed a good deal of knowledge but did not link this to a wider context to enable perception
  • focused heavily on narrative, at the expense of depth, missing the opportunity to analyse the specifics of the question and, therefore, show perception
  • wrote clearly structured paragraphs which included detailed explanation.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • responded to both parts of the question equally, in detail,
  • showed excellent knowledge, understanding, and interpretation of the question and context
  • tailored their knowledge to the context of the question
  • incorporated primary source evidence consistently, and elaborated on its significance where appropriate
  • addressed limitations of sources of evidence
  • addressed all aspects of the question in detail, providing developed conclusions that showed insight
  • linked their answers to a wider socio-political context or long-term consequences.
  • wrote responses that were focused, providing depth and breadth to their answers, devoid of unnecessary narrative.

Standard specific comments

Candidates who outlined an argument in their short introductions and followed the development of this argument throughout their response were more able to successfully examine socio-political life of the classical world.

Candidates were often awarded high grades when their responses demonstrated discernment in selecting a question which would allow them to demonstrate the depth and breadth of their knowledge and demonstrate their knowledge of the time period without delving into overwhelming detail of the context. Conversely, candidate responses which were narratives of the timeline of events without commentary on the impact of these on socio-political life, resulted in lower grades.

Candidate responses drew on a range of contexts: the political reforms of Solon, the political reforms of Cleisthenes, conflict between Caesar and Pompey, other conflicts in the late Roman Republic. 

 

Classical Studies subject page

 

Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 226KB)

 
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