Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Classical Studies 2017

Standard 93404


Part A: Commentary

In both sections of the paper, successful candidates answered questions directly. They avoided general responses that drew on rehearsed content and were able to develop a cogent argument in essay format. No single interpretation of any question was mandatory, but well-informed supporting evidence, drawn from primary sources, was expected. 

Commonly selected topics continued to be Roman topics and Alexander the Great, but all questions elicited responses of scholarship standard.

The two options in Section B – Death and the Afterlife and Attitudes to War were equally popular, but twice as many candidates chose Ancient Rome as their context. The addition of Homer’s Iliad to Section A in 2018 may encourage renewed interest in Greek topics. 


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 pre-prepared 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 all parts of each question.

Other candidates

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 pre-prepared material
  • did not sustain an analytical approach, drifting into narrative.
  • in Section B, did not set analysis of the resources provided at the heart of their discussion
  • did not provide sufficient evidence across three questions.



Subject page


Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 187KB)

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