Assessment Report

Level 2 Digital Technologies 2019

Standards 91898 91899

Part A:  Commentary


Part B:  Report on standards

91898: Demonstrate understanding of a computer science concept

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • gave answers in sufficient depth and used a number of examples from current digital technologies
  • chose two mechanisms and demonstrated deeper understanding of their chosen Computer Science concept.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • gave similar answers to two or more questions, or gave answers that did not relate to the question
  • chose two similar mechanisms and gave similar answers to both 
  • did not understand what a mechanism was
  • used examples such as the Caesar cypher, parity trick, or Bob / Alice sharing keys and showed no relation to or understanding of current Computer Science concepts
  • left some of the answers blank. 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • chose an impact and clearly linked it to their chosen Computer Science concept
  • clearly explained one ethical issue, social impact, sustainability, human factor or future proofing and how it has been affected as a result of a specific example e.g. how public / private encryption has allowed online banking to occur
  • answered basic questions in full.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • gave their own opinion that demonstrated a deeper understanding
  • linked together previous answers and showed depth of knowledge and connections
  • introduced original related ideas not covered in the questions
  • provided high quality answers to the Achieved / Merit questions .

Standard specific comments

Candidates need to ensure they come to the assessment with an understanding of how ‘mechanisms work’ such as the Luhn algorithm, private/public encryption, Natural Language Processing, and be able to explain them in some detail.

Candidates choosing Artificial Intelligence should use real world examples, not references from science fiction. Many candidates failed to explain what is intelligent. Voice or facial recognition were often used as examples of AI without explaining what part of it makes them ‘intelligent’. 

Many candidates believe the check digit on a barcode is only utilised when the printed numbers are entered by the checkout operator.

Teachers and candidates are advised of the need to check the assessment specifications for 2020 on the NZQA website. 


91899: Present a summary of developing a digital outcome

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • presented a reflective analysis of developing a digital outcome
  • described their digital outcome briefly, if this was made as a component of a non-digital outcome, they described the digital component
  • explained why they chose or used tools, techniques and resources.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • submitted partial or incomplete reports
  • gave no reflective analysis
  • did not describe, with reasons, why they chose or used tools, techniques and resources
  • omitted ways to address implications
  • described the non-digital part of an outcome.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • stated what the requirements (two or more) were, and discussed how their digital outcome met these requirements
  • discussed how their digital outcome addressed relevant social, cultural and Intellectual property implications.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • evaluated by explaining the advantages and disadvantages of two or more decisions made during the development of the digital outcome.

Standard specific comments

This standard requires candidates to present a summary of developing a digital outcome. Physical outcomes by themselves are not within scope of this standard. 

Candidates need to understand and apply the terms describe, explain, discuss and evaluate.

Relevant implications, especially social and cultural were a common area of weakness.


Digital Technologies subject page

Previous years' reports


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