Assessment Report

Level 1 Media Studies 2020

Standards 90991  90992


Part A: Commentary

Many candidates showed some engagement with their studied texts and applied their knowledge and understanding to respond to their chosen statement.

Candidates who used pre-prepared responses were unlikely to be successful as they did not address a specific question. 

Part B: Report on standards

90991:  Demonstrate understanding of the media coverage of a current issue or event

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • described the issue/event
  • provided at least two examples of how it was covered
  • attempted to explain how and/or why it was covered that way.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • presented their opinion of the event/issue rather than describing the way it was covered by the media
  • provided little in the way of supporting details, examples, evidence
  • presented a very brief/short response
  • made claims that were inaccurate/false.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • explained why the event/issue was covered, although not in much depth
  • provided some supporting details/examples
  • explained, in general terms, an implication/consequence of the coverage
  • used media theory but in a simplistic or vague way.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • provided convincing explanations for the way the event/issue was covered
  • supported their explanations with relevant evidence
  • focused on the chosen statement throughout their response
  • used media theory to support their comments
  • discussed the implications/possible consequences of the media coverage.

Standard specific comments

Many candidates demonstrated a good understanding of how and why a particular news event/issue was covered in the media.

The focus of this standard is on the way news events/issues are covered by the media, not on the candidates’ personal opinion about their studied event/issue.

Using pre-prepared responses limits the candidates’ ability to engage with and respond to a ‘new’ question.



90992:  Demonstrate understanding of characteristics of a media genre

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • referred to the genre in their introduction
  • described two characteristics of the genre
  • provided evidence of use of characteristics from two texts
  • explained the use of the characteristics simplistically (usually tacked on at the end of their description of the characteristics).

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • made little reference to the genre
  • did not provide evidence of characteristics from two texts
  • chose characteristics that were not genre specific, such as music, colour, angles
  • discussed films rather than the genre
  • did not discuss the nature of the genre first.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • discussed the implications of the use of two characteristics in relation to the genre
  • used theory to support critical thinking around the characteristic and its relationship with the genre, without necessarily showing control of that media theory
  • developed their response to show how or why (within the framing of their chosen statement), these characteristics were used
  • developed a coherent and structured response.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • created a good platform for their answer by overviewing the genre first
  • used relevant examples from a variety of texts to support their response
  • worked the effect of the characteristics into their discussion in a way that specifically answered the framing of the statement chosen
  • showed controlled use of media theory and how it pertained to their response.

Standard specific comments

Some poor choices of genre made it difficult for candidates to gain good marks.

Candidates tended to use excessive evidence from specific texts in their answers rather than giving a brief description of a characteristic in the texts that engaged the audience and discussed the genre.

Many candidates gave excessively long descriptions of the history of the genre in their introductions that had little or no connection to their response.

Candidates are advised to select evidence and examples that are relevant to the question.

Some candidates based their responses around feminist, narrative, and representation theory, rather than the significance of the characteristic to the genre.

Many responses were rote-learned.


Media Studies subject page


Previous years' reports
2019 (PDF, 288KB) 2018 (PDF, 109KB) 2017 (PDF, 43KB) 2016 (PDF, 211KB)

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