Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Drama 2017

Standard 93304


Part A: Commentary

Candidates mostly provided a varied portfolio of reasonable quality reflecting appropriate preparation. 

Nationally prescribed questions were well understood. The examination process, in general, was carried out efficiently, so that candidates presented purposeful material albeit at differing levels of skill and maturity. 

Candidates did not always make best use of the performance space or position themselves well for the justifications to camera, but overall response to the conditions was reasonable.   

Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • showed superior ability in applying detailed and perceptive drama techniques, while maintaining a very clear sense of purpose and control
  • evidenced imaginative solutions for their stated creative intentions. These frequently involved fresh and surprising perspectives as well as mature understanding of drama theory
  • justified choices and intentions through vigorous, precise, articulate, critical analysis and communication to the camera. 

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • showed consistently very good or excellent understanding and application of appropriate techniques and theory to drama material 
  • demonstrated sound understanding of drama theory
  • explained creative and performative choices well through accurate critical analysis.

Other candidates

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • presented ill-considered or ineffective performances, often superficially treated, which lacked authority or detail
  • reduced the quality of their performances and / or explanations by incompetent or inconsistent techniques or application of drama theory.

 Standard specific comments

The three-part examination offered a range of opportunities for candidates to show skill, understanding and a personal voice across three differing contexts. The most successful candidates were able to show both breadth and depth of ability with clear differentiation of purpose, taking into account the focus of the question as well as establishing overall a convincing personal presence.

Choice of extract for part 1 and an appropriate subject for part 2 were thus an important starting point for well-prepared candidates. Performances using Brecht or Artaud as the source theorist were often able to achieve emphatic devised work within the brief time allowance and to extend evidence of physical technique convincingly, where this was required for the thoroughness of the overall portfolio.  

Where extensive script annotation, signalling intentions, was not applied in practice, accuracy and conviction were compromised. Similarly, where in part 2, a theorist was named as the devising choice, failure to apply that theorist’s ideas clearly was regarded by markers as incomplete evidence of understanding. Candidates choosing to exemplify the influence of two theorists instead of the single one required by the question, consequently limited the clarity of their demonstration to some extent.

Best use of the performance time was often characterised by strong and well-paced work, with carefully managed transitions between stages of a piece which was shaped, developed and in some way resolved. 

Overall, energy and focus were clear determinants of effective performance.      

Subject page


Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 186KB)

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