Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Drama 2019

Standard 93304


Part A: Commentary

The 2019 candidates overall reflected an enterprising approach to theatre-making and study.

A wide range of texts was used for Part 1, including serious contemporary works. The treatment of classical texts such as Shakespearean plays was often enlivened by increased physicality, though this was sometimes at the expense of finely detailed textual analysis.

Compilations put together from different parts of an original text allowed candidates to showcase their skills, but within the brief performance time frame, careful selection and justification was essential.

Clear oral introductions for Parts 1 and 2 contributed significant supporting evidence of understanding of both performance material and articulate analysis. Explanations, though prepared in advance, should be able to be convey freshness and conviction. For example, passing reference to personal experience as audience or participant may provide an authoritative tone. Rote delivery reduced the perceived sincerity of a candidate.

In self devised work, the oral introduction was sometimes not well developed. It is important that the viewing audience understands the full intention of the piece and can see the selected theory in action and as referenced earlier by the candidate. Where a practitioner or working theatre company is the selected influence, the explanation of what has been used and why it is appropriate on this occasion is very important.

Energy, precise vocal control, appropriate transitions between sequences and appropriate attention to pace as well as timing are also vital components for all parts of the examination.

Part 3 performances allowed quick thinking and instinctive candidates to show familiarity with the way effective drama can be created in the moment. Frequently, the best candidates were able to create surprise as well as sound dramatic construction, developing convincingly to a strong ending.

Candidates who used the performance space in the preparation minutes to briefly sketch the physical shape of the impromptu piece often scored well in the eventual presentation.

Inevitably, the complex timing and performance aspects of the examination were occasionally compromised, for example, by outside noise such as school bells. Candidates should be reassured that such complications are acknowledged in the marking process.   

Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • showed a breadth of familiarity with genres and understanding of effective theatre practice
  • delivered technically accomplished performances across all three questions
  • justified all choices and actions accurately and with articulate ease
  • used imaginative solutions to meet the challenges of space and time set by examination conditions.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • presented a varied portfolio of strong evidence, showing assured control of performance technique
  • explained and justified their choice of material and technique, referencing theory and practical components with articulate expression
  • analysed, selected and exemplified appropriate drama theory with confident authority
  • used the conditions of the examination, such as time allowances and performance space, well.

Other candidates

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • were unable to provide a satisfactory range of material required across three questions
  • used unconvincing technique in the performance of at least one question
  • lacked clarity or conviction in the oral explanations of their performances
  • showed little understanding of appropriate use of space and time in performance.      

Subject page


Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 186KB)

2017 (PDF, 41KB)

2018 (PDF, 91KB)

Skip to main page content Accessibility page with list of access keys Home Page Site Map Contact Us