Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship History 2022

Standard 93403

Part A: Commentary

Many candidates demonstrated an insightful and perceptive acknowledgement of the complexity of the prescribed theme. The three-question essay format requires an ability to write with clarity and conciseness, and successful candidates were able to demonstrate these skills. It also demands an awareness of the importance of careful planning to ensure that each question can be answered as fully as possible. Candidates need to be aware that analysis of the source material is necessary for Question One but is not required for the other questions. Each essay question has a particular assessment focus: recognition of differing historical narratives and an ability to evaluate source material for Question One; an analysis of a range of historical relationships and how they add to an understanding of a historical event for Question Two; and an understanding of key issues / events in the history of this country for Question Three. Pertinent to all questions is an ability to respond directly to a question, construct a substantiated argument, and to write with focus and intent.

Question One allowed candidates to demonstrate an informed understanding of some of the differing interpretations of nationalism and race, and to recognise the role of a historian in determining the validity of source material. Candidates who demonstrated that they could construct a sustained, informed, and substantiated response to the essay question were rewarded. Demonstrating an awareness of how to analyse source material and the ability to think critically about historical narratives is a key element in the assessment of this question. It was pleasing to note that many candidates were able to go beyond the commonplace and make trenchant and thoughtful evaluations of various source material.

Question Two was an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their understanding of the importance of historical relationships and their role in allowing a fuller understanding of a particular context. Those candidates who did more than simply identify the historical relationship were rewarded. Identifying and explaining the causes of an event without analysing the resulting effects did not meet the rubric for this question. Candidates could improve their scores by qualifying each relationship – showing an awareness of the political, economic, social, and cultural elements inherent in these relationships would enrich any discussion and analysis. 

Question Three, with its particular focus on a specific period in our history, required a sound understanding and knowledge of key events and issues. Candidates who relied on only an interpretation of the source material were unable to demonstrate the level of knowledge required at this level. Candidates who enter AS91434 and/or AS91435 as part of their internal Level Three assessment might find it useful to use an event or issue within the prescribed Scholarship Assessment Specification as a focus. This would then allow for a greater understanding of the period and context, and enable candidates to write with some authority and confidence when responding to this question in the Scholarship examination.

Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Outstanding Scholarship commonly:

  • wrote with authority and confidence
  • integrated their knowledge and understanding seamlessly into the questions
  • wrote about complex contexts with clarity
  • demonstrated an excellent understanding/knowledge of the Aotearoa New Zealand context that was informed and sophisticated
  • demonstrated awareness of the scope of the questions and were able to respond coherently and convincingly
  • responded to the questions directly and concisely
  • demonstrated a high level of knowledge particular to the concept/theme
  • demonstrated a perceptive and critical analysis of source material
  • provided a logical, accurate, and sustained argument
  • responded to the question with a well-constructed argument in which each paragraph was substantiated with relevant and effective evidence
  • planned their essay, clearly using the planning pages.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • demonstrated a sound knowledge of the historical theme/concept and of the Aotearoa New Zealand context
  • wrote in a clear and concise manner in response to the questions
  • spent time planning a response to the questions
  • used the source material to support their argument
  • went beyond the source material in their response to the questions
  • addressed the scope of the questions and the specific skills that were being evaluated
  • demonstrated an understanding of historical relationships and the role they play in enhancing historical description and analysis
  • demonstrated a broad understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand history and some knowledge of the specific period identified in the Assessment Specifications
  • ensured that their response was pertinent and valid by making direct reference to the key words or phrases in the questions
  • constructed an argument that was developed through the use of connecting paragraphs.

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • did not demonstrate understanding of historical narratives in the context of the prescribed theme or concept
  • did not describe and analyse historical relationships
  • did not demonstrate knowledge of the prescribed Aotearoa / New Zealand context
  • did not present or develop an argument
  • relied too heavily on the source material or did not engage with it
  • did not critically examine source material
  • did not summarise key ideas accurately
  • did not write a clear introduction that responded to the questions and set out their argument.

Subject page


Previous years' reports

2021 (PDF, 150KB)

2020 (PDF, 127KB)

2019 (PDF, 201KB)

2018 (PDF, 100KB)

2017 (PDF, 46KB)

2016 (PDF, 192KB)

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