Assessment Report

Level 2 History 2020

Standards 91231  91233  91234

 

Part A: Commentary

Candidates were generally well rewarded for their answers. However, for two out of the three standards, candidates did not engage with or possibly misunderstood, the information signposted in the Assessment Specifications. Candidates are advised to read the Assessment Specifications in order to better prepare for the nature of the questions asked. This will help increase achievement levels across all three standards.

Candidates would also benefit by finding a better balance between providing comprehensive detail and being concise, particularly in 91233 and 91234.

 

Part B: Report on standards

91231:  Examine sources of an historical event that is of significance to New Zealanders

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • responded to the questions using some material from the sources
  • attempted to examine either continuity and/or change
  • responded to all three questions.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • extracted source material without explaining it in their own words
  • failed to address the question asked
  • struggled to understand the historical relationship of continuity and change
  • did not attempt all three questions

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • responded to the questions in their own words, using a range of source material to support their responses
  • examined in some depth an understanding of continuity and change
  • addressed all three questions using accurate information and specific, valid source material

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • responded to the questions in a perceptive manner, explaining in their own words, and using extensive evidence from the sources to support their responses
  • showed insight that went outside the parameters of the source material
  • examined comprehensively a clear understanding and specific relationship of how the source material showed continuity and change
  • demonstrated limitations of source material and how historians may need to look further into the historical event.

Standard specific comments

Many candidates struggled with the definitions of change and continuity (despite these terms being specifically mentioned in the 91231 Achievement Standard). Some struggled to relate these definitions to the historical evidence, while others chose to supplement them with the concepts of usefulness and reliability.

A significant number of responses began extremely well, but candidates were unable to capitalise on their positive start because they did not complete the examination.


 

 

91233:  Examine causes and consequences of a significant historical event

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • examined at least two causes and two impacts of their chosen event by providing and demonstrating understanding of at least three historically valid points that supported the main idea of each cause or impact in a recognisable essay structure
  • identified the cause or impact as important, often without explaining how or why

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not examine at least two causes and two impacts with sufficient supporting evidence and explanation. 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • examined in depth at least two causes and two impacts of their chosen event by providing detailed supporting evidence and explanation to show depth of understanding
  • presented evidence in a sequenced series with each piece being used to make a point in support of a main idea
  • demonstrated in-depth understanding by explaining how or why their causes led to the event and how or why their impacts were consequential to it
  • chose an event that allowed for analysis and demonstration of in-depth understanding.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • examined comprehensively at least two causes and two impacts of their chosen event with insight by providing detailed supporting evidence and perceptive explanation
  • provided reflective analysis often based on contrasting opinions or evidence, or with links to other historical developments.

Standard specific comments

Some candidates chose quantity over depth of explanation and comprehensive examination of their topic, despite the guidelines provided (expressly noticeable in the digital responses).


 

91234:  Examine how a significant historical event affected New Zealand society

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • examined an appropriate historical event that linked to the essay task
  • provided relevant ideas and generalisations but used limited evidence to support their discussion
  • demonstrated a sound factual understanding of the impact(s) of their event
  • applied an essay structure.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • provided limited discussion related to the impact(s) on New Zealanders or the essay question itself
  • provided a narrative of an event, discussing causes and consequences
  • did not provide accurate historical evidence to support their discussion
  • made major historical errors that detracted from the validity of the essay
  • wrote on a topic that was problematic to reflect impacts ‘over time’
  • did not apply an essay structure.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • planned their response
  • examined a well-defined topic that allowed an in-depth response that reflected impacts over time
  • provided a concise background to the event and an in-depth examination of the effects on New Zealanders over time
  • made direct links to more than one impact
  • supported their ideas with detailed, accurate, and relevant historical evidence
  • applied an effective essay structure, writing in a logical and well-organised manner.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • chose to write on an event that had a significant and lasting impact on New Zealand society
  • provided a response indicative of the weighting/focus of the essay question
  • explained clearly and comprehensively the links between their event and effects on New Zealanders
  • used a range of factors to demonstrate a comprehensive and insightful understanding of the effects that the historical event had on New Zealand society
  • discussed specific named examples of effects related to a factor, indicative of comprehensive understanding
  • employed historical evidence effectively (often beyond the obvious), reflecting insight
  • reflected links beyond the immediately obvious overtly, showing insight
  • evaluated the effects and the significance of these links
  • wrote with clarity, cogency, and purpose.

Standard specific comments

Popular historical events affecting New Zealand society that worked well for candidates included: New Zealand’s involvement in the Vietnam War; the impact of the Spanish flu on New Zealand society/New Zealand’s involvement in the Gallipoli Campaign/New Zealand’s involvement in the Battle of Passchendaele; the invasion of Parihaka/Waikato; the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi; Te Kīngitanga; the second wave of feminism in New Zealand; and homosexual law reform.

Some able candidates successfully unpacked less common historical events, drawing conclusions that the learning could be related to individual research, and possibly linked to the 91229 internal standard.

Historical events where candidates struggled to apply their understanding to the essay task included: disaster-based events, e.g. Erebus and the Wāhine; broad events, e.g. World War I; and narrow events, e.g. the 1978 Southland Farmers’ Protest.

 

History subject page

 

Previous years' reports

2019 (PDF, 255KB)

2018 (PDF, 126KB)

2017 (PDF, 49KB)

2016 (PDF, 222KB)

 
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