Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Earth & Space Science 2018

Standard 93104

Part A: Commentary

Successful candidates showed higher level critical thinking and analysis in their answers. They used skills and information from both Earth and Space Science and the Nature of Science NZC Achievement Objectives.

Successful candidates had taken the time to understand the context and scope of each question and read the relevant resource material. Some drew accurate and correctly labelled diagrams to support their answers. They also attempted all aspects of all questions, used clear handwriting and managed their time well to be able to provide a full and comprehensive answer to all questions.

Candidates sitting ESS scholarship need a much broader background knowledge than is

required for Level Three NCEA. Candidates who had familiarised themselves with the ESS scholarship

specifications and read the requirements of the ESS scholarship standard were more successful. This was demonstrated by evidence of broader knowledge and understanding of ESS processes, and their ability to integrate that into the unique context of the questions.

Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • read carefully, understood and answered all parts of each question, making few to no errors
  • insightfully used the resources provided
  • exhibited a deep and broad understanding of Earth and Space Science
  • fully interacted with the unique context of each question
  • answered questions accurately in regard to scientific concepts where applicable
  • understood the importance of the Nature of Science skills in the expansion of their ideas
  • wrote in a comprehensive and literate manner, linking and developing key points.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • read carefully, understood and answered most parts of each question, making no significant errors
  • used the resources provided in conjunction with their own Earth and Space Science understanding
  • avoided generalisations in respect to the unique context of each question
  • demonstrated their Nature of Science skills
  • wrote in an understandable manner, linking key points.

Other candidates

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • only partially answered some or all of the questions
  • wrote answers which showed a lack of understanding of important and significant Earth and Space Science concepts
  • produced answers which did not relate to the unique context of the question and the resources provided
  • repeated or paraphrased the resources provided without adding significant insight of their own
  • wrote answers that exhibited poor literacy skills.

Standard specific comments

Earth and Space Science (ESS) Scholarship assesses the Planet Earth and Beyond and the Nature of Science Achievement Objectives (AOs) at Level 8 of the curriculum.

Candidates need to familiarise themselves with the ESS Scholarship specifications which help to clarify the knowledge required. 

Aspects of the Nature of Science AOs are assessed as part of a question only. For example, in 2017 Question Two assessed the importance and challenges of scientific research under potentially hazardous conditions. Other Nature of Science skills, such as effective communication, are implicit in the standard. 

Subject page


Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 192KB)

2017 (PDF, 43KB)

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