Assessment Specifications

Level 3 Drama 2021

General information


Drama Studies

Method of assessment

Written examination


91514  91518

Information relating to both achievement standards

Candidates will be required to name and provide details of the drama / theatre form or the live performance.

Candidates may be required to respond in any combination of written response and illustration (sketches and / or diagrams).

Diagrams or sketches will be assessed on the quality of information conveyed and not their artistic merit (i.e. simple stick figures are satisfactory). Candidates should annotate their diagrams or sketches to provide specific detail and to explain their answers.

Specific information for individual achievement standards




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



Number of credits


The format of questions for this standard will be similar to those in previous years.

Candidates will be expected to make connections between the text studied and its theatre form or period.

Candidates should be familiar with features of the form, which may include the acting style, themes and ideas, use of conventions and technologies, and the historical and social context of the theatre form or period.

Questions may cover a combination of features of the theatre form or period.

Prescribed playwrights

The chosen text MUST be written by one of the playwrights listed below. Appropriate texts include, but are not limited to, those suggested. The text studied must enable in-depth exploration of the features of the theatre form or period.

Playwrights Suggested texts
Jean Anouilh The Lark Antigone
Aristophanes The Frogs Lysistrata
Samuel Beckett Waiting for Godot Endgame
Albert Belz Yours Truly Raising the Titanics
Jean Betts Revenge of the Amazons Ophelia Thinks Harder
Bertolt Brecht Mother Courage and Her Children The Caucasian Chalk Circle
Lynda Chanwai-Earle Foh Sarn Ka Shue
Anton Chekhov The Cherry Orchard The Three Sisters
Caryl Churchill Top Girls Softcops
Euripides The Trojan Women Medea
Michelanne Forster Daughters of Heaven  
Toa Fraser Bare Pure and Deep
Federico Garcia Lorca The House of Bernarda Alba Blood Wedding
Briar Grace-Smith Purapurawhetū When Sun and Moon Collide
Gary Henderson Peninsula An Unseasonable Fall of Snow
Oscar Kightley and
Dave Armstrong
Niu Sila Fresh off the Boat
Hone Kouka The Prophet Waiora
Greg McGee Foreskin's Lament  
Bruce Mason The End of the Golden Weather The Pōhutukawa Tree
Arthur Miller The Crucible Playing for Time
Vincent O'Sullivan Shuriken  
Harold Pinter The Birthday Party The Hothouse
Jacob Rajan and
Justin Lewis
Krishnan's Dairy The Pickle King
Renee Wednesday to Come Pass it On
Maurice Shadbolt Once on Chunuk Bair  
William Shakespeare Twelfth Night Macbeth
George Bernard Shaw Saint Joan Arms and the Man
Stephen Sinclair The Bellbird The Bach
Sophocles Antigone Oedipus Rex
Tom Stoppard Travesties Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Mervyn Thompson Children of the Poor Coaltown Blues
Timberlake Wertenbaker Our Country's Good The Love of the Nightingale
Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest Lady Windermere's Fan
Tennessee Williams The Glass Menagerie Cat on a Hot Tin Roof




Demonstrate understanding of live
drama performance



Number of credits


The format of questions for this standard will be similar to those in previous years. 

Candidates will be required to respond to questions on a drama performance they have viewed as a member of the audience in the 2021 calendar year. This may include watching a live drama performance that has been recorded with, or intended for, a live audience. Any viewed performances, whether live or recorded, should provide opportunities for candidates to meet the requirement of the standard at all grade levels.

Candidates will be expected to make connections between the director / designer's concept(s) and the performance seen.

Candidates should 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. 

For the purposes of this examination, “wider context”, as required by the criterion for Achievement with Excellence, could refer to:

  • the performance as a whole
  • the playwright’s purpose
  • the nature and / or purpose of theatre as an art form
  • the candidate’s own social, geographical, or historical context.

Questions may cover a combination of elements, techniques, conventions, and technologies.

Drama subject page

Examination timetable

Find information for...

Skip to main page content Accessibility page with list of access keys Home Page Site Map Contact Us