Assessment Report

Level 3 Spanish 2016

Standards 91568  91571


Part A: Commentary

Candidates had the choice of answering questions in English, te reo Māori, and / or Spanish. Some candidates who responded completely in Spanish produced answers which showed understanding of the general idea of the texts, but failed to include specific details from the texts. These candidates either copied entire segments from the text or summarised information, but did not integrate the detail from the text into a coherent response.

Some candidates failed to explore a range of perspectives from the texts. It is advisable that those who respond in Spanish select relevant information from all parts of the texts and include a wide range of supporting arguments to their responses. Candidates who offered an exact transcription of the texts and passages in Spanish also failed to demonstrate understanding.

The purpose of this examination is to show understanding of the texts. Therefore, all inferences and arguments need to be backed-up by specific evidence from the texts rather than the general ideas or their own understanding of the subject matter.

Candidates who achieved at Merit and Excellence level often made good use of the listening boxes for the listening examination, and a tracking system for the reading examination. The tracking system used colour coding or underlining, which helped them ensure they had included all the relevant details from the text to support their answers.

Successful candidates read the questions carefully and planned their answers to address the question directly. They organised their arguments logically and supported them with information from throughout the texts.

Part B: Report on Standards

91568:  Demonstrate understanding of a variety of extended spoken Spanish texts

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • understood the main ideas of the passages but were unable to give appropriate supporting detail
  • interpreted the questions correctly and gave correct, or at least partially correct answers, but were unable to provide sufficient supporting detail
  • selected basic details about the events
  • made a link between the events and environmental issues of today’s society, although this link was not well explained
  • identified the main reason why Spanish people lived at home for so long, although they were unable to give much supporting detail
  • Identified basic consequences, such as having children later in life
  • identified the speakers’ attitude to living overseas, and provided basic detail about the experience.

Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not attempt some questions or parts of some questions
  • failed to understand the main points of the texts and / or misinterpreted the texts and basic details
  • did not properly address questions and merely listed details, which were generally only partially correct at best
  • misinterpreted or failed to select basic details about the different events on Easter Island. Also, candidates at this level generally did not attempt the second part of the question or failed to make a correct link between the events on Easter Island and lessons for today’s society
  • identified that the main reason why Spanish people lived at home for so long, however, were unable to justify this with any correct detail
  • did not attempt or gave incorrect information from the text when answering the second part of the question
  • failed to identify that the speaker had a positive attitude and gave very little basic information from the text
  • listed information from the text that did not address the question.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • selected and linked information, messages and key points from throughout the text
  • developed their answers by adding some correct specific detail to justify their answers
  • addressed all parts of each question correctly
  • identified many important events that occurred on the island with some detail
  • made a clear link between the events on Easter Island and the damage humans are causing to the environment today, with justification
  • selected detail around why it was hard for Spanish people still living at home to find a job
  • clearly identified possible consequences that were stated in the text
  • compared and contrasted the challenges and the benefits of living overseas by giving clear examples from the text with some detail. 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • justified fully their ideas with specific, detailed evidence from the texts
  • developed well-articulated answers that were comprehensive, with comparisons, opinions and conclusions that clearly showed knowledge of the implied meanings within the texts
  • rearranged evidence from the texts to fit with their answer so that their answers flowed well and directly addressed all parts of the question
  • provided detailed descriptions of the events that took place on Easter Island
  • made links with lessons for today’s society that went beyond caring for the environment, such as being less materialistic and / or greedy
  • selected almost all details relating to why Spanish people stay at home for so long
  • inferred consequences, such as starting a family later and therefore Spain’s population is decreasing
  • justified the speaker's positive opinion towards travelling overseas by inferring that the challenges encountered were valuable life lessons that would change the traveller for the better.

Standard-specific comments

Candidates who were more successful made extensive listening notes. Furthermore, they made sure to address the question in a structured manner and incorporated all relevant supporting detail from the passages in a meaningful way instead of merely listing them.


91571:  Demonstrate understanding of a variety of extended written and/or visual Spanish texts

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • showed understanding of some or most of the key ideas in the texts
  • provided an answer that in general terms was logically consistent with the main idea of the text
  • omitted or misunderstood detail when attempting to develop their answers
  • failed to draw conclusions or make inferences, or did so based on very superficial understanding of the texts or on their own personal experience
  • included words or extracts from the text in Spanish when they did not understand them
  • repeated and rephrased the same idea within their answer without adding any extra detail
  • based their answer on one of the texts but did not mention the other, thus failing to show understanding of all the main ideas. This was common in question 1.

Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • produced answers which were logically inconsistent with the main ideas of the texts
  • contradicted themselves within their answers thus showing a lack of general understanding
  • based their answers on the recognition of single lexical items or cognates
  • provided some valid information that failed to encapsulate the main ideas of the texts.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • identified the main ideas of the texts and developed these with some specific detail extracted from the texts
  • attempted to refer to, but misinterpreted some of, the complex information in the text and were therefore unable to show thorough understanding
  • drew some conclusions and made some inferences, but didn’t consider all relevant points from the texts, thus providing an unbalanced argument
  • failed to connect the information within the texts meaningfully. This was particularly relevant for questions 1 and 2, which both referred to texts 1 and 2.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • understood a range of detail, including complex structures and nuances, and communicated this unambiguously
  • made good use of connectives to explicitly articulate their ideas
  • made meaningful connections within the text (and between text 1 and text 2)
  • explored the implications, inferences and possible conclusions of the information contained in the texts
  • based their conclusions on all possible factors mentioned in the text that were of relevance
  • produced responses that evidenced careful and thoughtful planning

Standard-specific comments

The questions could not be directly addressed by merely translating sections from the text. Candidates needed to process the information, group it in a logical way and draw conclusions.

Some candidates produced very coherent responses and made some valid inferences but failed to gain Excellence as they omitted detailed and specific information from texts.

Candidates should be encouraged to always make explicit and clear links with the text. Careful and accurate translation of sentences or short sections is appropriate when used purposefully as part of an argument.

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