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91106: Form developed personal responses to independently read texts, supported by evidence.

Updated May 2015. This document has been updated to address issues that have arisen from moderation.

Selection of texts

The standard requires students to read texts that are at curriculum level 7 in terms of complexity of language and ideas. This means that children’s texts, novels and short stories commonly taught in junior programmes are not suitable selections. Searches of major public library catalogues will frequently provide a reading age for texts. Those texts categorised as ‘children’s’ are not suitable.

Feature articles such as those from The Listener, North and South, Metro, National Geographic, meet the text level required for 91106. This should be used as guidance when students are selecting short written texts.

Students must select and read texts independently. Novels, short stories, poems, etc. that have been studied in class, cannot be included. This includes texts studied in previous years and in other subjects. Students may respond to a film shown, but not studied, in class.

Developing personal response

  • Responses need to demonstrate personal engagement rather than close reading of text.
  • Students must demonstrate their engagement with the text by, for example, expressing a point of view or discussing an issue in the text that has some personal relevance or meaning for them. Links need to be made between the text and the student him/herself and between the text and a wider social context.
  • The best responses tend to focus on one main aspect (purpose and audience, ideas, language features, structure) where this aspect has sufficient scope for depth and engagement with the text.
  • Plot summaries and lengthy description not linked to the response are not required and do not gain any credit.
  • Specific and relevant details from the text are needed to support the explanation of the response. Details can include quotations or specific description, and must be directly linked to the reaction and explanation.
  • Responses need to be text based. Students respond to aspect/s in a text, supported by evidence from the text. Identification of an issue in a text followed by the student’s opinion/viewpoint on the broad issue itself does not meet the standard.


Teachers must be confident that the student has independently read all 6 texts. Students must form personal responses to all 6 texts. Teachers must be confident that there is sufficient evidence across all responses that the grade is met. The majority of responses must be at the grade, and the other/s close to that grade boundary.

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