Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Agricultural & Horticultural Science 2016

Standard 93105


Part A: Commentary

Candidates interpreted all three questions well – the length of responses was appropriate and the balance of depth and breadth of information / analysis that the questions required was appropriate. In question 1 the main issue was that candidates did not discuss the impact of the issue on the primary production system, but rather discussed the impact of the system on the issue – a subtle, but significantly different perspective.  It was disappointing in question 2 that more candidates did not succeed as it was directly linked to Achievement Standards 91529 (3.2) and 91530 (3.3). Sustainability was often only considered in an environmental context, possibly due to the biodiversity topic in Achievement Standard 91532 (3.5).  In question 3, some well-considered perspectives were discussed. Some candidates had difficulties with the difference between “natural” and “organic”.

Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly: 

  • discussed the questions effectively with a high level of perception and critical understanding of what was being asked
  • showed evidence of careful planning that resulted in an answer that was well structured, articulate, and contained evidence of a highly developed level of knowledge of the chosen primary production system or contemporary issue.   

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly demonstrated the following skills and/or knowledge:

  • planned their response for each question to assist the construction of an answer that contained accurate, relevant and appropriate information
  • chose nationally significant primary products that are typically exported and that related well to the selected contemporary issue / question
  • provided a well-structured series of paragraphs within their answer
  • used clear, correct statements and appropriate data to back up their statements / discussion
  • demonstrated a depth of understanding of their chosen product(s) and contemporary issues.

Other candidates commonly lacked the following skills and/or knowledge:

  • provided vague, shallow answers that lacked detail in either the information provided or the discussion of that information
  • had not used the guidance given in the assessment specifications when preparing for the examination
  • did not fully apply knowledge and understanding that would be expected from a candidate who had fully engaged in the level 3 Agricultural and Horticulture Science course – especially in terms of the factors that impact on the price the grower receives for their product. This fundamental concept was often lacking
  • relied on or gave rote-learnt answers that were out of date, incorrect or not relevant to the question, and that did not allow the criteria of the Scholarship standard to be demonstrated
  • wrote answers that indicated a poor awareness of the entire production systems that were chosen, and the issues, implications, challenges and opportunities relevant to that production system
  • did not understand the wider meaning of “sustainability” as identified in the Scholarship performance standard
  • failed to differentiate between general information / facts and those that are “critical” or highly significant within the context of the product / issue / question.

Further comments

While the rote-learned essays did not feature as prominently as in the past, responses varied greatly, indicating that candidates may be uncertain as to the expectations of this Scholarship examination.

While there were some very good scripts from obviously well-prepared, able candidates, it was evident that some candidates had spent little time on Scholarship-specific preparation.

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