Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Geography 2018

Standard 93401


Part A: Commentary

In 2018, the standard of responses from candidates was overall satisfactory, and in some instances, exceptional. It was pleasing to see candidates integrating their conceptual understanding of geography with the unfamiliar context provided in the resource materials.

Candidates need to write their responses concisely. Questions needed to be interpreted with care and approached in a systematic way. Underlining, highlighting keywords and/or phrases indicated an awareness of the need for careful planning required at this level.

Structured essay writing is essential in scholarship answers. The sophistication and integration of ideas, and insightful commentary were apparent in responses with strong essay structure. The introduction should engage the reader and establish a clear focus for discussion of the topic. Too often conclusions were rushed or incomplete. Essay structuring is an on-going teaching and learning goal and requires focused attention for success at this level.

Diagrams must be used effectively and be referred to. The better essays had diagrams that added to the discussions or arguments. The best ones had specific evidence as annotations. Top scripts included several diagrams. They were relevant and contributed well to the essays; meeting the requirements of explanatory note 2 – ‘logical development, precision and clarity of ideas’. Written answers were enhanced by relevant, original and effective visuals.

Question 1 gave candidates the opportunity to critically evaluate and justify their decision by integrating geographic processes in the responses.

Question 2 provided an opportunity for candidates to show critical thinking by integrating, synthesising and applying their understanding to complex situations. This question also required candidates to incorporate a range of different ideas and perspectives to support an argument which encompasses broader world viewpoints.

Question 3 needed debate and well-structured responses including global examples. Candidates showed independent reflection and extrapolation and made judgements that were convincing. Ideas were well-developed with fully integrated and fluent discussions.


Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • knew how to structure a clear and sophisticated argument
  • planned their responses logically and systematically
  • evaluated the degree of significance for the impacts in Question Two, which showed critical analysis
  • applied a high level of geographic knowledge and skills in their responses
  • wrote with clarity and sophistication demonstrating convincing communication
  • demonstrated sophisticated integration of extensive specific evidence both from within and outside the provided resources
  • demonstrated perception and insight by critically evaluating and justifying throughout their discussions
  • offered alternatives that were thoughtful and well-considered demonstrating deliberate integration
  • wrote concisely and perceptively, including a range of ideas with detail
  • used clever transitions between ideas within their essay(s)
  • understood what was meant by perspective/point-of-view/value and the differences between these ideas
  • wrote concise introductions which clearly set the argument for the reader
  • integrated quality visuals into their writing seamlessly and referred explicitly to them
  • used information from the resources well by developing it further into their answers
  • demonstrated insightful and critical thinking consistently throughout their responses
  • wrote essays that were logical, and included both depth and breadth
  • clearly showed flair for writing under pressure.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • wrote introductions that allowed for interpretation of the question with ease
  • integrated visuals into their responses
  • demonstrated an understanding of the difference between point of view and perspective
  • integrated evidence throughout, both from within and beyond the resource
  • included a balanced perspective
  • demonstrated logical development of ideas with clarity in their responses
  • used correct and relevant geographic language
  • demonstrated critical analytical and evaluative skills
  • applied a high level of geographic knowledge and skills in their responses
  • understood key command words of the question, such as evaluation, justification, discussion and critical analysis
  • wrote well with mostly good paragraphing skills
  • demonstrated the ability to present their argument
  • wrote brief, convincing introductions
  • planned their responses which showed logical development of ideas
  • wrote answers that included detail and breadth
  • demonstrated the ability to write logical answers with clarity.

Other candidates

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • did not include visuals or the visuals were weak
  • gave no evidence of planning
  • did not develop a clear argument within their responses
  • did not know how to present a discussion
  • used data from the resources, yet didn’t show thoughtfulness of integration
  • spent too much time defining what the theme was instead of creating an argument
  • were unable to discuss, critically analyse or evaluate
  • did not show prior research on the theme
  • could not debate, nor demonstrate an appreciation of perspectives
  • did not write fluently or convincingly
  • copied the resources and the visuals without applying any thought. 

Geography subject page


Previous years' reports
2017 (PDF, 54KB)2016 (PDF, 188KB)

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