Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
History 2017

Standard 93403

 

Part A: Commentary

Candidates appeared to have found the structure of the paper accessible. The range of sources allowed the majority of candidates the opportunity to demonstrate Scholarship-level critical analysis in their responses.


Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • planned their response using the planning pages provided to signal the key idea[s] they intended to develop in each of their paragraphs, the sources they intended to refer to in these paragraphs and the historical narrative[s] that were most appropriate. Usually their planning demonstrated a higher-level understanding of the historical context, the possibilities of the question, and a highly-developed and lucid argument
  • clearly understood the scope of the question and wrote a balanced response to the question rather than a pre-learned response to the context of ‘history as progress’that was outlined in the Assessment Specifications
  • communicated a very strong understanding of the historical context of the examination i.e. ‘history as progress’through their explanation of the historically significant ideas relevant to this context
  • argued a case in a sophisticated, convincing and coherent way
  • presented a clear, accurate and sustained argument, evident in each paragraph
  • synthesised the sources and their own detailed knowledge of historical content and contexts in a balanced and highly effective manner
  • wrote with perception, originality and flair
  • structured their response in a highly effective manner
  • demonstrated their understanding of the historical relationships by using detailed examples from their own content knowledge or from the sources
  • evaluated historians' narratives in the sources within the paper and historians from their own knowledge
  • judged the validity, reliability and usefulness of source material in relation to the question and their argument. These judgements were accurate and based on their informed knowledge of the topic.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • planned their response using the planning pages provided to outline the main idea for each paragraph, the sources they intended to use in that paragraph and the historical narrative that was appropriate. Their plan demonstrated a clear understanding of the context, the question and a considered argument
  • understood the scope of the question they selected and wrote a clear response to the question and not a learned response to the context of ‘history as progress’ as outlined in the Assessment Specifications
  • communicated a clear understanding of the context of the examination, ie ‘history as progress’,through their explanation of key ideas relevant to this context
  • made direct reference to the key words/phrases in the question
  • wrote clearly, including an introduction to their argument, a sustained argument, and a succinctly appropriate conclusion
  • argued their case strongly throughout their response
  • developed an argument that was supported by accurate, detailed content knowledge and accurate, highly-relevant evidence from at least six of the sources provided, demonstrating a clear understanding of the topic(s) they had studied and an ability to unpack the sources provided in an effective manner
  • effectively balanced their use of own content knowledge and sources
  • structured their argument logically ie chronologically or thematically
  • effectively critiqued historians’ interpretations as presented in the sources and from their own knowledge, in relation to the argument they were developing
  • demonstrated a strong understanding of the historical arguments related to the topic(s) they had studied
  • judged the validity, reliability and usefulness of source material in relation to the question and their argument. These judgements were invariably accurate and based on their informed and detailed knowledge of the topic.

Other candidates

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • failed to plan their answers, or at least provide any evidence of planning on the planning page
  • failed to write a clear introduction that presented their own argument
  • addressed the context signalled in the Assessment Specifications in a very general manner without direct reference to the question posed in the question booklet
  • wrote a narrative or descriptive response based on the source material with little or no awareness of the need to present an argument in relation to the question asked or to include knowledge from historical contexts they had studied
  • communicated a very simple and/or superficial argument and did not support this with evidence from the sources provided and/or their own knowledge
  • did not effectively balance their own content knowledge with content and ideas from the sources
  • used quotes and theories about progress in history that they appeared to have rote learned and therefore had insufficient understanding of and an inability to integrate with the sources in the paper and/or their argument 
  • tended not to integrate content knowledge from topic(s) they had actually studied and possibly had a good understanding of
  • showed less ability to read sources and summarise key ideas accurately
  • demonstrated fewer skills in unpacking sources, especially basic analysis such as source details, and to use these in their discussion/argument
  • demonstrated little genuine understanding of the nature of history and the role of a historian as opposed to a journalist or a novelist
  • demonstrated an inability to explain and develop key ideas related to the historical contexts they had studied
  • did not have a good understanding of the key historical arguments related to their topic and were unable to apply the necessary historical arguments to their own argument
  • did not comment on the usefulness and reliability of sources in the paper
  • did not utilise the titles and references of the sources in the Resource Booklet to inform the judgements they made about the source
  • relied on pre-prepared judgements of evidence such as “photos are unreliable” or “primary sources are better than secondary sources”.

Standard specific comments

Candidates should present their argument in the introduction to their response.

Candidates are strongly advised to plan their response using the two pages provided.

Candidates should present historical knowledge of topics they have studied to support their ideas and argument.

Candidates must be aware of all five categories assessed in the mark schedule, and in particular, must demonstrate evidence of meeting the performance standards for Skill No. 4 and Skill No. 5.


Subject page

 

Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 192KB)

 
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