Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Biology 2018

Standard 93101

Part A: Commentary

Successful candidates were able to integrate their biological knowledge with information provided in unfamiliar contexts. There were a significant number of candidates, however, who would have benefited from understanding basic ecological principles. Successful candidates also analysed data and used it in conjunction with biological knowledge in formulating their answers. This allowed their answers to be specific rather than broad generalisations.

Some candidates did not show evidence of effective planning. Questions needed to be unpacked and biological ideas organised to show logical development and clarity of these ideas.

Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • showed evidence of detailed planning
  • provided in-depth responses to all parts of each question
  • correctly used an extensive range of biological terminology
  • demonstrated highly developed knowledge of biological concepts by making inferences that were not immediately apparent from the information provided, such as forest clearance creating a hybrid zone
  • identified opportunities to add depth to their response, such as naming likely resources involved in intraspecific competition
  • integrated information from the resource such as the material contained within the graphs to provide further support of their response
  • demonstrated convincing communication by discussing in turn multiple species that the Jebel Irhoud evidence supported or did not support before reaching a justified conclusion based on the balance of evidence.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • showed evidence of clear planning
  • addressed one aspect of question one and three in-depth or both aspects of two questions in-depth
  • correctly used biological terminology such as habitat and niche, gene and allele
  • justified ideas and linked ideas together
  • applied prior knowledge to unfamiliar concepts in a coherent manner
  • analysed and interpreted data correctly to elaborate on the findings
  • demonstrated clear understanding of fundamental ecological and evolutionary concepts.

Other candidates

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • showed limited planning
  • did not answer one or more questions
  • incorrectly used biological terminology such as niche rather than habitat or gene rather than allele and used very little specialised biology vocabulary in their answer
  • wrote without linking or justifying ideas
  • repeated the resource material without incorporating relevant biological concepts
  • attempted to use material from the previous year’s assessment schedule even though it was not relevant to the question
  • attempted to explain the phylogeny of Forbes’ kākāriki and Chatham Island red-crowned kākāriki rather than formation of the hybrid
  • focused on general ecological processes rather than the evolutionary processes and patterns asked for in question two
  • considered percussion notches to be related to making musical instruments
  • considered the age of a fossil to be the only time period that species existed in.




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Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 192KB)

2017 (PDF, 42KB)

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