Assessment Report

Level 2 Art History 2021

Standards 91180  91181  91182

 

Part A: Commentary

The examination provided a range of images and questions that covered the breadth of the three option areas. While some plates were clearly more popular than others, they were accessible and appropriate for the questions used in the examination. The ‘Towards Modernism’ option dominated candidate responses, carrying on from trends in previous years.

Overall, candidates needed to ensure they answered with relevance to three components: the question, selected plates, and the requirements of each standard. Candidates need to respond to all parts of the question, noting that there is a part A and B to each question. Taking time to carefully consider the selection of plates in relation to the question was important to provide scope, opportunity, and evidence in their responses.

 

Part B: Report on standards

91180: Examine the effects of formal elements of art works

Observations

It was common to see an unevenly balanced response, with one plate being more understood than the other. Providing a balanced response between each art work is necessary to fully address the question.

Some candidates misinterpreted the second part of the question and focused on context at the expense of linking back to the formal elements and including more evidence from the art works.

The selection of the art works and formal elements is a key part of the planning stage and candidates benefitted from taking time over this and distinctly organising their responses.

Some responses demonstrated over-reliance on, or confusion with, context or meaning, rather than sufficiently addressing formal elements and effects. At times, personal interpretations and responses overtook evidence-based explanations.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • made broad generalisations in their writing
  • described details of formal elements in a narrative manner
  • identified what they saw with accuracy
  • presented limited clear, direct evidence from the art work(s) and implied evidence
  • drew relevant key points from the art works in relation to formal elements.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • made technical errors in their selection of plates and/or formal elements
  • provided insufficient description of formal element(s) for art work(s)
  • delivered incomplete responses
  • wrote responses that confused formal elements with each other
  • selected inappropriate element(s) or plate(s) for their chosen questions.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • provided a strong level of in-depth detail from the art work and each element for at least one plate
  • utilised details from the art work(s) to support explanations of formal elements and effects
  • addressed one formal element or one plate in greater depth than the other
  • incorporated relevant vocabulary related to the formal elements to demonstrate convincing understanding
  • drew links back to the questions in parts of their response to develop explanations.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • responded directly to the specific exam questions and kept this focus
  • utilised contextual evidence to support explanations
  • integrated perceptive conclusions drawn from relevant evidence
  • drew astute connections between art work(s) and/or formal elements, supported by wide contextual knowledge
  • wrote with conviction using high-level terminology to provide a compelling argument, synthesised into their discussion. 

 

91181: Examine the meanings conveyed by art works

Observations

Most candidates continue to choose the ‘Towards Modernism’ option, with very few, less-secure responses from ‘Art in Aotearoa’ and the ‘Gothic’ option.

Some plates were more accurately responded to than others. Most candidates paired David’s Napoleon in his Study (plate 7) with Manet’s Bar at the Folies-Bergère, (plate 10), most suitably for question three. There was also an increase of same artist selection of plates in answering question three, for instance the pairing of plate 7 and David’s Death of Marat.

Coverage and revision from Neo Classical content was the strongest.

Overall, the standard of responses for those who sat the examination reflected good revision and knowledge for questions about contemporary figures and scenes from modern life.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • described some relevant meanings in one or both chosen art works
  • referenced one or more symbols/motifs and attempted to link them to meanings about art works
  • used some evidence from the plates to expand on points made
  • used some appropriate art terminology when describing symbols and meanings.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • attempted to identify some meanings of an art work(s)
  • described irrelevant content not pertaining to the question
  • recorded content and influences with little or no evidence from selected art work(s)
  • wrote an incomplete response with incorrect application of art terminology related to the standard.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • explained meanings in both chosen art works with appropriate symbol/motifs
  • used supporting evidence from art works to expand on points made. However, at the lower level of merit, evidence was often uneven.
  • understood art terminology and used it convincingly
  • structured responses to address both art works when explaining selected symbols/motifs and the wider implications of meaning in relation to the question parameter.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • demonstrated extensive knowledge and interpretation of meanings, often expanding on relevant influences with contextual significance
  • selected appropriate and complementary art works that allowed for a more insightful and original interpretation of meanings between art works and movements
  • constructed strong responses, effectively supported evenly at the higher level of excellence, while some evidence was less even at the lower level of excellence
  • expressed ideas about questions competently with a fluent grasp of art terminology.

 

91182:  Examine the influence of context(s) on art works

Observations

The small number of candidates sitting this standard overwhelmingly chose ‘Towards Modernism’. Some responses demonstrated insufficiency of knowledge and application of given contexts to selected art works, with limited evidence from art work(s) to support the contexts.

Question three, ‘political context’, was the most popular context selected, with some strong responses based on superior knowledge of the political circumstances, influences on selected art works, and insightful evidence. Responses to the context of ‘new artistic ideas’ were few, and less understood.

The selection of a known art work paired with a resource plate provided sustained discussion and convincing links to the context. There were a significant number of candidates who paired both works by David, using plate 7 Napoleon in his Study from the resource booklet and Death of Marat. While this could reflect an interrupted year and greater facility with the topics taught earlier in the year, choosing the same artist and movement can limit scope.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • described how related context influenced chosen art works
  • described a limited or generalised number of areas within art works to support context
  • had uneven understanding of contexts between art works at A3 achievement
  • used some appropriate art terminology when describing context.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • identified some aspect of a context with insufficient supporting evidence from art work(s)
  • wrote a response with no supporting evidence or understanding of context(s)
  • wrote an incomplete and insufficient response
  • used little application of art terminology.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • explained in depth context that influenced selected art works
  • used a range of relevant supporting areas from art work(s) to expand on points made
  • provided appropriate knowledge of context, however, lower merit achievement reflected uneven depth in supporting evidence from art works
  • understood art terminology and used it convincingly.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • demonstrated extensive knowledge and interpretation of context, often expanding on relevant influences with extra contextual importance
  • selected appropriate art works that provided insightful interpretations of context
  • constructed sound responses, effectively supported by evenly explained, key evidence from chosen art works
  • expressed ideas fluently and with competence, using accurate and well understood art terminology.

 

Art History subject page

 

Previous years' reports

2020 (PDF, 177KB)

2019 (PDF, 330KB)

2018 (PDF, 122KB)

2017 (PDF, 52KB)

2016 (PDF, 213KB)

 
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