Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
French 2018

Standard 93004

Part A

The examination appeared to be equally well managed by male and female candidates and clearly prompted candidates to both interpret and extend discussion beyond the text to show evidence of independent reflection. The language in both questions was easily accessible and candidates were quite successful using the connected nature of the topics between questions.

In the oral response, agile candidates, used to react to the unexpected, such as in genuine interactions, performed better.

In all three questions, although the schedule does not demand language beyond Curriculum Level 8, candidates do need to demonstrate a consistent degree of control of language and the ability to communicate meaning without significant hindrance. Candidates are expected to produce work with very few basic errors of pronunciation, spelling or structures. List of memorised set expressions, proverbs or overly complex vocabulary and structures can hinder performance if irrelevant or inadequate to the situation. This is especially true when candidates use words (in French and in English) whose meaning they clearly do not understand.

Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • engaged with the ideas in the texts, and showed understanding of both the main ideas, and the complexities and implied meaning of the texts
  • provided balanced discussion and analysis of the key points in the texts with a personal response (connected but not limited to their own experience) that demonstrated independent reflection and interpretation, and drew some form of conclusion
  • made points that demonstrated original thought (perception and insight), and justified their point of view coherently, using relevant examples from the text or elsewhere
  • often went beyond the obvious in their discussion
  • addressed all elements of the questions, and maintained focus on the question throughout their answers
  • demonstrated sustained, controlled use of written and spoken language at a high level
  • were confident in their use of French, but not necessarily much beyond Curriculum Level 8; language errors they made did not hinder communication of the message
  • performed at a very high level across all three questions.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • were able to analyse and evaluate most of the main points in the texts, and show some evidence they could make connections beyond the stimulus material
  • were often able to demonstrate perception and insight, as well as independent reflection, but not always consistently across all three questions (usually one question was less well done)
  • offered some discussion beyond the stimulus material that tended to be a little conventional in nature or relied on personal anecdotes and / or generalisations
  • addressed all parts of the questions, but sometimes handled one part less well than the others; overall, their answers were focused on the question, but sometimes moved into irrelevant discussion
  • demonstrated an ability to use written and spoken language at a generally high level, but possibly with some inconsistency across the three answers; however, the language errors they made did not interfere with communication of the message.

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • produced responses that were mainly descriptive rather than analytical or evaluative, often simply translating the text rather than interpreting it
  • focused sometimes on a very narrow section of the text, producing partial interpretations
  • showed they had misunderstood the text or the question in their answer
  • attempted to go beyond the stimulus material but generally stayed very much in the personal zone, recounting personal anecdotes connected with the topic, rather than discussing the ideas, or relying heavily on generalisations to support their points
  • used the topics of the texts as a springboard to write general essays about success / work / wellbeing, without connecting their essays in any way to the points in the texts (this was particularly true for Question 2, where some candidates produced a debating style of response, with highly emotive and persuasive language, coupled with sweeping generalisations and unsubstantiated claims)
  • did not answer all parts of the question (for example, students did not discuss how the notion of success had changed in Question 1 or, described the concept of Ikigai but did not really identify or discuss the French notion of wellbeing and compare the two concepts in Question 2)
  • struggled to express themselves to sustain their oral response once they had read their prepared material
  • were unable stay on task and justify their point of view, or even communicate information beyond simple phrases
  • were unable to produce a wide variety of language at the expected level (up to and including Curriculum level 8)
  • made errors in French that significantly hindered communication of the message throughout their responses to Questions 1 and 3
  • focused, sometimes, too much on using overly complex vocabulary and structures they did not fully understand and, as a result, failed to articulate their thoughts.


Subject page


Previous years' reports
2017 (PDF, 41KB) 2016 (PDF, 189KB)

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