Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
History 2019

Standard 93403


Part A: Commentary

Candidates are advised to effectively signal an argument in the introduction to their response to the question.

Candidates should present historical knowledge of topics they have studied to support their ideas and argument, but this needs to be tempered with the realisation that sometimes less is more in terms of how many historical contexts are referenced.

Candidates must be aware of all four categories assessed in the assessment schedule, and in particular, the need to demonstrate an ability to meet the criteria for Skill No. 3 and Skill No. 4.

Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Outstanding Scholarship commonly:

  • integrated consistently their own highly developed knowledge with evidence contained in the scholarship paper to construct a highly convincing, authentic, and persuasive response to the question posed
  • planned their response, using the planning pages provided, to signal the key idea(s) they intended to develop in each of their paragraphs; the sources they intended to refer to in these paragraphs; and the use of appropriate historical narrative(s); i.e. usually their planning demonstrated a higher level of understanding of the historical context, the question and a highly developed and logical argument
  • understood clearly the scope of the question posed and wrote a balanced response to the question rather than a pre-learned rote response to the context that had been outlined in the Assessment Specifications (evidenced by the original prose and convincing evidence provided in their responses)
  • communicated a very strong understanding of the historical context of the examination through their explanation of the historically significant ideas relevant to this context
  • argued a case in a sophisticated, convincing, and lucid manner
  • provided a logical, accurate, and sustained argument, evident in each paragraph
  • synthesised accurately the sources and their own detailed knowledge of historical content and contexts in a balanced and highly effective manner
  • wrote with perception, clarity, and flair
  • structured their response in a highly effective manner
  • understood the historical relationships by using detailed examples from their own relevant content knowledge or from the sources
  • evaluated historians' narratives in the sources and historians themselves, using their own knowledge of historical narratives rather than paraphrasing or repeating a pre-learned précis of the general historiography of the prescribed 2019 context
  • judged the validity, reliability, and usefulness of source material in relation to the question and their argument accurately and based on their informed knowledge of the topic.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • planned their answer using the planning pages provided to outline the main idea for each paragraph, the sources they intended to use in that paragraph, and the historical narrative that was appropriate; i.e. demonstrated an understanding of the context, the question, and an outline of a possible argument
  • understood the scope of the question and wrote a clear response to it, and in so doing communicated an understanding of the context of the examination, not a general or generic response about populism
  • made direct reference to the key words/phrases in the question
  • wrote with clarity including an introduction to their argument, evidence from the sources provided and their own knowledge to support their argument, and a conclusion
  • argued their case strongly throughout their response.

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • did not plan their answers, or at least provide any evidence of planning on the planning page provided
  • did not write a clear introduction that presented their own argument
  • addressed the context signalled in the Assessment Specifications in a very general manner without direct reference to the question posed and so did not answer the question
  • wrote a general or pre-learned narrative or descriptive response based on the source material, with little or no awareness of the need to present an argument in relation to the question
  • did not include knowledge from historical contexts they had studied
  • communicated a very simple and/or superficial argument and did not support this with evidence from the sources provided and/or their own knowledge
  • did not effectively balance their own content knowledge with content and ideas from the sources
  • used quotes and theories about populism in history that they appeared to have rote-learned and therefore had insufficient understanding of in order to integrate with the sources in the paper and/or their argument
  • did not integrate content knowledge from topic(s) they had actually studied and had a good understanding of
  • showed less ability to read sources and summarise key ideas accurately
  • showed fewer skills in unpacking sources, especially basic analysis such as source details, and were therefore unable to use these effectively in their discussion/argument
  • demonstrated little genuine understanding of the nature of history and the role of a historian as opposed to a journalist or a novelist
  • were unable to explain and develop key ideas related to the historical contexts they had studied
  • did not comment on the usefulness and reliability of sources in the paper
  • did not utilise the titles and references of the sources to inform the judgements they made about the source
  • relied on pre-prepared judgements of evidence such as “posters are unreliable”; or “primary sources are better than secondary sources”; or "this source is from a reputable publishing house so is reliable"; or “the Guardian is a left-wing newspaper so this source is biased”.

Subject page


Previous years' reports
2018 (PDF, 100KB) 2017 (PDF, 46KB) 2016 (PDF, 192KB)

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