Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Classical Studies 2018

Standard 93404


Part A: Commentary

The evaluative component of each question rewarded those who avoided synopsis and who engaged clearly and directly with the question set. 

The phrasing / vocabulary used in the examination was understood by most, although weaker candidates sometimes misinterpreted words such as ‘spin’ (Q2) or were confused by subject-specific vocabulary such as ‘functional’ (Q14).

The paper did not permit candidates to regurgitate preprepared essays on favoured themes (e.g. furor in the Aeneid), nor to reframe answers practised from previous papers. Some tried to do so — unsuccessfully.

Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly: 

  • wrote expressively with a degree of stylistic sophistication
  • demonstrated in-depth knowledge of content, based on wider reading
  • integrated relevant primary and secondary source evidence into their response
  • developed and sustained a cogent argument, discussed alternative viewpoints and reached balanced conclusions
  • showed an ability to think independently and make insightful observations
  • in Section B, focused on the context and subtext of the resources provided, avoiding formulaic insertions of preprepared background material
  • answered each question in full, engaging critically with its underlying implications and / or assumptions.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • wrote clearly and produced a structured response in essay format
  • demonstrated sound knowledge of content, based on wider reading
  • supported their argument with a range of relevant primary source evidence
  • showed some knowledge of secondary sources
  • answered the question set directly and reached valid conclusions, based on evidence
  • in Section B, focused on analysis of the resources provided, incorporating background detail when directly relevant to the discussion
  • answered three questions and all parts of each question.

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • failed to write clearly and / or structure their argument effectively
  • showed limited understanding of the question and / or a weak knowledge of content
  • did not provide evidence to justify their conclusions and failed to incorporate or reference primary sources
  • introduced irrelevant material, not related to the question
  • ignored the question and reused preprepared material
  • did not sustain an analytical approach, drifting into synopsis
  • did not set analysis of the resources provided at the heart of their discussion in Section B
  • did not answer three questions, either because they were unprepared or because they spent too long on their first two answers. 


Subject page


Previous years' reports
2017 (PDF, 41KB) 2016 (PDF, 187KB)

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