Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Earth & Space Science 2019

Standard 93104

Part A: Commentary

Successful Scholarship candidates showed methodical and careful examination technique especially regarding the careful reading and use of the resource material provided. A single piece of information from the resource, for example the high degree of uncertainty in the amount of carbon in frozen tundra, provoked effective responses. Integration of the resource into an answer was important and candidates synergized with their own ideas to form a final answer. Time management was required for a successful candidate to answer all questions to a high standard. 

Successful candidates had prepared by expanding their general understanding of Earth and Space Science including understanding of geological time and the current prevailing ideas in relation to anthropogenic climate change. Successful candidates had a broad understanding of Earth and Space science with some familiarity with Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Their answers had an Earth and Space focus without necessarily having in-depth information from other branches of Science, physics for example, when discussing the formation of aurora.

Convincing and clear writing was important for candidates to convey their answers fully.

Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • used critical thinking to link and reference the resource to its fullest capacity. For example, working through many of the planets and moons that did not have significant magnetic fields and aurora and how they differed to Ganymede
  • linked large ideas across whole questions. How having multiple positive feedback loops in the same area would have a much greater effect than a single loop
  • applied and extended their Earth and Space knowledge from levels 2 and 3 in the context of the question to enrich their answers rather than forcing any recalled concepts into the question
  • applied the nature of science to emphasise the importance of research on current global issues, such as the high degree of uncertainty in regard to how much methane may be trapped under the melting tundra
  •  consistently answered each point present in the questions and the resource in an integrated manner
  • wrote in a clear, logical progression without significant errors.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • read the resource carefully and noted key words and points, for example, cold climate species in Q2
  • linked evidence given in the resource to the scale of geological events, showing integration of multiple aspects of the resource and gained understanding of the question in a wider aspect
  • wrote clearly and linked answers into a single essay rather than several unconnected points
  • did not simply state points from the resource without further explanation and discussion
  • answered all questions to a sufficient depth and most often used the full time of the examination
  • wrote answers with minimal errors or key omissions
  • showed thorough understanding of the L2 and L3 Earth and Space Curriculum as well as thought beyond the curriculum.

Other candidates

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • did not answer all of the questions
  • re-wrote the resource without further explanation of their own
  • made errors when reading either the question or the resource booklet
  • did not use scientific language or focused on aspects related to but not covered by the question.

Subject page


Previous years' reports

2018 (PDF, 94KB)

2017 (PDF, 43KB)

2016 (PDF, 192KB)

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