Assessment Report

Level 1 Japanese 2017

Standards 90893  90896


Part A: Commentary

Candidates who were committed to learning vocabulary and engaging with text to understand its meaning fully were successful. They needed to have a good knowledge of hiragana, katakana and kanji for the reading texts to be accessible. It was important that they did not rely on glossed vocabulary or illustrations to build with answers; these are only there to assist with a small part of the text. 

Answers needed to show that students could connect information well, and give good reasons for their answers based on information from the text itself. Understanding the gist of the text may be enough for Achieved but, for higher grades, some more detailed answers were required. 

The full use of the listening notes section was helpful to candidates, as well as giving themselves time to read and proof-read their own answers to questions. 


Part B: Report on standards

90893:  Demonstrate understanding of a variety of spoken Japanese texts on areas of most immediate relevance

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • gave simple snippets of information, often disconnected but giving some of the general meaning
  • used shorter rather than full sentences 
  • may have had some information incorrect but could show enough understanding. 

Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • could not link any ideas or give the gist of the passage
  • hedged their bets by putting two possible (and at times opposite) answers
  • demonstrated that they did not read the questions or the texts carefully
  • gave irrelevant, illogical or contradictory answers.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • gave reasonably accurate information from the text and then made connections
  • used their in-built cultural knowledge to help them with aspects of their answers –
  • attempted to provide explanations and justifications.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • gave fully justified answers, with reference to information in the text
  • usually gave more detailed answers, weaving information to give a fully connected story
  • could pick up on unstated ideas in the text
  • demonstrated comprehensive understanding of vocabulary and language features
  • took extensive listening notes, and then answered all parts of the question.

Standard specific comments

Some candidates did not make notes, and answered in very short, brief sentences, meaning that they skimmed the surface of the information. 

Those who appeared to write in haste in almost illegible Japanese script were less likely to be successful. 



90896:  Demonstrate understanding of a variety of Japanese texts on areas of most immediate relevance

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • were able to read hiragana, katakana and simple kanji
  • understood most basic vocabulary
  • gave answers based on correctly identifying some key ideas
  • may have used the pictures as a prompt to get to a correct answer.

Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • used the glossed words or pictures to try to spin an answer out of nothing
  • gave illogical or irrelevant answers
  • showed little or no understanding of the texts.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • showed a good understanding of the language in the texts, including some of the more complex language used
  • included some implied meanings in some answers
  • understood a wide range of vocabulary
  • provided more detailed answers or multiple details.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • gave detailed answers that showed full understanding of the texts
  • fully supported answers with accurate and relevant information from the texts
  • took time to read the texts thoroughly and proofread their answers to provide high quality responses
  • demonstrated an excellent understanding of complex language.

Standard specific comments

Candidates answering in Japanese often did not give enough evidence to achieve at Excellence level.

It is vital that candidates take time to read the texts and to proofread their answers. Candidates should use all the messages given in context and photos to decode unknown words, or simply leave written in katakana. The importance of vocabulary knowledge cannot be overstated.


Japanese subject page


Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 240KB)

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