Assessment Report

Level 3 Drama 2021

Standards 91514  91518

 

Part A: Commentary

Confident use of terminology, combined with applicable knowledge of the theatre form or period or live production and a selection of easily accessible examples as evidence, is the foundation for 91514 and 91518. A thorough understanding of the text or production ensures that candidates’ responses are supported with detailed evidence and can be clearly linked to a wider context, such as relevance to today’s society and global concepts for theatre form or period.

For the live production standard, the wider context refers to relevance to the performance as a whole, the playwright’s purpose, the nature and / or purpose of theatre as an art form, and the candidate’s own social, geographical, or historical context. Candidates need to read the entire paper before beginning their responses. Candidates who unpacked the requirements of the questions provided stronger answers. Planning the use of examples could avoid repetition. Candidates who cited relevant examples to support their answers achieved higher grades than those who cited indirect or loosely associated examples. Bullet points are prompts for possible responses and can assist with scaffolding of a concise comprehensive answer, but they are not, by themselves the entire question. Careful reading of the entire question can ensure the response fully addresses the question, rather than focusing on answering individual bullet points in isolation.
 

Part B: Report on standards

91514:  Interpret a text from a prescribed playwright to demonstrate knowledge of a theatre form or period

Examinations 

The examination included three questions, each with two parts; candidates were required to respond to all three questions. The questions covered the requirements of the 2021 Assessment Specifications, where candidates needed to be familiar with features of the form, which could include performance space, acting style, themes and ideas, use of conventions and technologies, and the historical and social context of the theatre form or period. The questions required the candidate to provide coherent and relevant examples from the text to make connections to the theatre form or period.

Observations 

Candidates should ensure their response demonstrates an understanding of the questions’ requirements. There were instances where candidate responses seemed to have little relation to the question and appeared to be from memorised study material that the candidate attempted to craft into their response. The selection of texts taught and studied reflected a growing appreciation and awareness of New Zealand theatre history. The traditionally used texts also featured heavily – Pinter, Shakespeare, Beckett, Miller, and Greek theatre.

Grade awarding 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • answered all questions in a simple manner with some suitable reference to the text they had identified
  • answered most of the questions in a simple manner
  • were not able to adequately describe the status of a character within the play
  • could describe in straightforward terms the influence(s) on the theatre form.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not answer all of the questions
  • were unable to identify a key idea or event
  • did not reference detail from the chosen text.

Candidates who were awarded Merit commonly:

  • supported answers with detailed reference to the chosen text
  • were able to support written work with sketches which sometimes added to their grade
  • were able to identify a key idea or event and link it to the chosen text, including details from the text
  • were able to identify a character’s status within the play
  • described the key influence(s) on the theatre form.

Candidates who were awarded Excellence commonly:

  • wrote detailed, descriptive answers and answered all questions fully
  • used the sketch page to further illustrate written answers
  • demonstrated perception in their understanding of the chosen text and ability to discuss this by demonstrating understanding of social issues relating to the theatre form and in a wider context, including influences on the form
  • supported discussion with reference to the chosen text
  • used well-chosen details to back up opinions and support the ideas being discussed
  • wrote well-structured responses and did not include opinions unrelated to the text.

 


 

91518:  Demonstrate understanding of live drama performance

Examinations 

The examination included three questions, each with two parts; candidates were required to respond to all three questions. The questions covered the requirements of the 2021 Assessment Specifications, which were that candidates need to be familiar with the use of elements such as role, focus, and symbol, the actors’ use of techniques, and the use of technologies and conventions. The questions required the candidate to make connections between the director’s / designer's concept(s) and the performance seen.

Observations 

Knowing the full names of the title of the play, the playwright, the theatre company or ensemble who put on the show, and the name of the director, all stand the candidate in good stead to appear knowledgeable about the live performance they have seen. Candidates who read the questions carefully directed their attention to the specific requirements and tended to give answers with more specificity and perception. Candidates are advised to use the opportunity to sketch for this standard. Detailed drawings with annotations can bolster the argument or response with supplementary evidence. Being able to discuss a variety of characters, key moments, and providing different quotes or examples reveals detailed knowledge of the production needed for Merit or Excellence.

It is important to avoid repetition of evidence. For example, responses are better served by two different examples for the explanation of the use of techniques to create focus and the techniques used to communicate an aspect of a character. Confident use of drama terminology, especially vocabulary associated with technology, is vital for achieving at Merit and Excellence level. It allows candidates to answer in a clear, detailed and thoughtful manner. Shows with strong thematic content, whether seen live or digitally, provided rich content for connections between the drama components used in the performance and the director’s and /or designer’s concept. Teachers and students made good use of Education packs to evoke informed and perceptive responses.

Grade awarding 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • explained moments where techniques, technology and focus were created
  • answered in a straightforward manner
  • used some drama terminology
  • provided a minimal explanation of the techniques
  • gave general evidence from the performance
  • provided answers that lacked detail
  • provided simple sketches
  • answered part (a) or part (b) in Questions One and Two, rather than providing clear answers for both (a) and (b)
  • neglected to speak about impact in Question Three.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • described rather than explained their answers
  • provided plot-driven responses, rather than answering the question
  • neglected the use of drama terminology
  • misread or did not answer the question
  • did not provide a sketch
  • did not complete whole questions, or wrote only brief descriptions
  • provided too little or vague information
  • confused the term 'technologies' with 'techniques'.

Candidates who were awarded Merit commonly:

  • explained in some detail what they saw on stage
  • provided evidence that supported their explanation or discussion
  • sketched, with labels
  • used drama terminology
  • wrote answers with clarity, creating a clear picture of what was happening on stage
  • wrote with some fluency, with good details but could not link to the wider context
  • sketched supplementary evidence which clarified their response or argument
  • described a symbol, focus, and impact
  • supported detailed explanations with clear evidence
  • included some repetition, but often used it to clarify their response.

Candidates who were awarded Excellence commonly:

  • wrote with fluency
  • wove drama terminology into their responses
  • sketched in a comprehensive manner, with detailed labels or clear annotations
  • used detailed discussions to link evidence that was specifically chosen to support their argument or response
  • linked with perception what they saw to theatrical ideas or wider context in part (b) of the questions
  • responded in clear, decisive and thoughtful ways
  • sketched with perceptive or insightful details added in the annotations, and wrote material that had a rich wider context
  • interpreted theatre with skill from their own perspective rather than “teacher speak”.

Drama subject page

Previous years' reports

2020 (PDF, 163KB)

2019 (PDF, 295KB)

2018 (PDF, 108KB)

2017 (PDF, 46KB)

2016 (PDF, 213KB)

 
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