Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship Art History 2022

Standard 93301

Part A: Commentary

Candidates appeared to have no difficulty with the examination and found the questions accessible. The exam format worked well with candidates able to see all the possibilities at the same time. Very few candidates failed to answer all three questions required and candidates had plenty to say in responses which were generally well-structured and cohesive. All of the questions were accessed, although in Section A, most candidates answered Question 1 – drawn possibly by the very familiar term ‘representation’. In Section B, responses were spread more widely, with Question 4 being the most popular. Again, this was the first question in the section, and, in common with Question 1 in Section A, had key words which were attractive to candidates. It is important that candidates read the paper thoroughly in order to avoid leaping at the first question they see at the cost of another that might serve them better.

A key requirement in Sections A and B is visual analysis. It is critical that candidates understand the difference between description and the visual analysis of the elements used in a work to achieve specific effects. In any discussion of content, it is necessary to discuss what elements/techniques the artist has used and how and why that had been done. The use of specific art terminology is required.

To demonstrate breadth of knowledge, it is important to illustrate answers by reference to more than two works. Works need to be selected carefully to enable candidates to demonstrate their knowledge. There was a wide range of art works referenced this year, rather than a set range of works which is an impediment to showing originality.

Candidates need to take care to read the questions carefully. When a question includes a qualifier such as ‘always’ (Question 1) or ‘must’ (Question 6), these need to be addressed in the response.

Question 7 in Section C required a shift of mindset as candidates were required to explain the ideas in the set text and then discuss the main ones, referencing specific works as evidence. It is important that candidates are practiced at working with text in terms of the requirements of Section C. It is essential to touch back on the text/ideas as a discussion is built.

Care must be taken to ensure handwriting is legible.

Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • demonstrated sophistication in mature, cohesive, and focused argument
  • demonstrated highly developed visual analysis of the stylistic features, process, and technical aspects of specific art works in their responses in Sections A and B
  • demonstrated a high level of critical response to contexts and ideas
  • showed perception and insight in their discussions
  • presented evidence of original/independent thought through choice of art works, analysis, and critical reflection.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • undertook close visual analysis of the works referenced as evidence in Sections A
    and B
  • demonstrated depth and breadth of knowledge in their discussion around contexts and ideas
  • addressed the question that was asked and responded with fluency, clarity, and relevance
  • in Section C, included some critical interpretation of the text presented and supported their responses with relevant discussion and evident.

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • wrote descriptive responses with little or no visual analysis
  • demonstrated little evidence of depth of understanding in generalised responses
  • did not answer the question asked
  • offered little relevant evidence
  • limited their responses to a description of symbols.


Subject page


Previous years' reports

2021 (PDF, 129KB)

2020 (PDF, 115KB)

2019 (PDF, 197KB)

2018 (PDF, 98KB)

2017 (PDF, 43KB)

2016 (PDF, 193KB)



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