Assessment Report

Level 2 Classical Studies 2016

Standards 91200  91201  91203

 

Part A: Commentary

Candidates were expected to respond to one of four questions in each achievement standard. They were instructed to answer using short and/or extended paragraphs and where appropriate, to support their answers with bullet points and/or annotated sketches. Most importantly, it was highlighted in the examination paper that candidates must support their answers with relevant primary source evidence.

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

Excellence candidates, wrote concise and detailed answers and their paragraphs usually included 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.

These standards do not require responses to be in the form of an essay, thus essay-style introductions and conclusions are not required. Introductions and conclusions were used more successfully when short and to the point and outline the candidate’s argument.Many candidates continue to write lengthy introductions, art work or building profiles and essay-style conclusions that did not support them demonstrating understanding in the context of their chosen question.  Candidates should base their response on a series of structured extended paragraphs that address the question.

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.

Candidates are reminded that this examination is assessing their knowledge at Level 2 of NCEA. 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)
  • responded to one part of the question more fully than the other, or answered one part well, or both parts superficially
  • 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)
  • did not respond to the question
  • composed a 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 than explanation in their response
  • inaccurately re-told what happened in the text
  • responded using evidence from movie adaptations of their chosen text(s)
  • 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)
  • responded to both parts of the question, although this lacked balance
  • 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
  • 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
  • gave equal consideration to both parts of the question, and often blended their responses together to answer both at once
  • used relevant examples from the text to respond directly to the question
  • used relevant primary source material to support points made
  • 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.  
  • included links to other authors or works by the same person, such as referencing the Odyssey when talking about the Iliad
  • 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 answer it, and avoid using 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 who used evidence from a movie did not earn credit. For example, some candidates used The Odyssey mini-series and confused events between the text and the mini-series in their responses.  They must adhere to the classical text. 



 

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

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • attempted to answer the question, although often one part was addressed only briefly or minimally
  • 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
  • included evidence or material that was irrelevant to the question
  • wrote a response that lacked detail and 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
  • drew conclusions but these were often generalised
  • 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.

Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • 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
  • composed a pre-prepared or rote-learned response which did not address any elements of the question
  • misinterpreted the question
  • 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:

  • responded to both parts of the question, although treatment may have been unbalanced
  • 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)
  • responded to the key words within the question
  • drew conclusions that were sound and supported with relevant evidence
  • based their response on one or 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:

  • responded thoroughly to both parts of the question with consistent detail
  • 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 buildings 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 appropriate art work or building 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. 

The use of drawings and diagrams added very little substance to most responses that contained them. Typically, they detracted rather than added to candidate answers as they were used as a substitute for written explanations. Candidates are reminded that diagrams or drawings can only be used in support of written material in extended paragraphs -- they cannot be a substitute for them.

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).

Good answers typically showed in-depth knowledge of one art work or building. Candidates attempting to use more than one art work or building often did not go into sufficient detail on any given one, compromising their over-all grade score. Responding to more than one art work or building was not enough in itself to attain a high grade if the treatment in the response lacked depth throughout.



 

91203:  Examine sociopolitical life in the classical world

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • attempted to answer the question, although often one part was addressed only briefly or minimally
  • 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 excessive narrative that 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 brief or irrelevant responses to the questions
  • misinterpreted the question or did not respond to the question
  • composed a pre-prepared or rote-learned response that did not address any elements of the question
  • struggled to use primary source evidence. This was either absent from responses or inaccurate
  • chose the wrong question to suit their knowledge
  • used Greek/Latin/technical 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
  • responded to both parts of the question, although this lacked balance
  • 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 both parts of the question equally, in detail, providing developed conclusions that showed insight
  • linked their answers to a wider context of long term causes or consequences.
  • wrote responses that were focused, providing depth and breadth to their answers, devoid of unnecessary narrative.

Standard-specific comments

Candidates who met the standard tended to be precise in their responses. They included names, date, specific places and/or events to explain the context to which they were responding.

Some candidates became bogged down in irrelevant narrative, often precluding the important event (background) or when transitioning from conflict to resolution.

Popular contexts were the political reforms of Cleisthenes and Solon, and the conflicts of the later Roman Republic.

Candidates who used extra paper tended to do so to write down all that they knew rather than show the perception necessary for Excellence. 

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