Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Latin 2018

Standard 93008


Part A: Commentary

The scholarship examination provides a challenge for the very best candidates.

The stylistic commentary questions (2 and 4) provided freedom for candidates to show their skills and knowledge without being unnecessarily constrained by narrow questions. Even though there is no minimum number of stylistic elements to be covered, successful scholarship candidates realised that both breadth and depth of coverage are required.

This year there was an increase in the number of candidates who did not complete the paper. Since all questions are of equal weight, failure to do so meant that more candidates than usual did not give themselves a chance at a scholarship award. Almost all candidates who made points about scansion wrote out and correctly scanned the line they were referencing.

Often candidates did better by critically and accurately analysing some of the more obvious language devices. Attempts to use more sophisticated devices were sometimes inaccurate and led candidates to over-analyse the texts. A small number of candidates provided their responses in bullet point format which often meant that their answers lacked development and depth. The best responses were written in paragraphs.

Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • translated the prose passage fluently, recognising the present and past participles (cogente, excitatus, missi, elatum)
  • identified correctly that Tullia was a woman
  • translated the poetry fluently, recognising cases and making correct agreement (postera … dies, ignoti … viri, supplex … tendit, quascumque … terras, Iliacos … penates)
  • showed original thought, made relevant comments in the literary responses, and though not a requirement, accurately scanned lines to enhance the points they made
  • provided relevant Latin evidence and were able to explain how that evidence supported their point in a sophisticated and perceptive way.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • translated the prose fluently recognising such details, as singular or plural nouns, person endings, mood, voice and tenses of verbs
  • were able to recognise pronouns and translate them appropriately or appropriately add them to their translation if they were not given
  • identified constructions and cases correctly in the prose passage (in + accusative, me vivo, qua … audacia)
  • understood there was ellipsis in line 6 of the poetry passage
  • had less difficulty with the sense of the poetry, identifying correctly who was being beseeched
  • did not write descriptive recounts of the passages for literary responses, but gave full answers supported consistently with evidence from the Latin.
  • answered one commentary question more strongly than the other, and so were not able to sustain perceptive analysis at an outstanding level.

Other candidates

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • gave alternatives in brackets for their translations, and/or set out one line of poetry at a time so that it did not read continuously or fluently
  • experienced difficulties with phrasing and word patterns, translating words out of their correct order in English, leading to translations which were not strong enough to receive the higher grades
  • did not make nouns and adjectives agree correctly, particularly in the poetry passage
  • wrote descriptions of what happened in the literary responses without identifying the literary and/or linguistic devices used
  • missed details in translations such as singular and plural nouns and did not identify common Latin constructions
  • translated Latin names with a variety of case endings, rather than in the form provided in the glossary.


Subject page


Previous years' reports
2017 (PDF, 43KB) 2016 (PDF, 184KB)

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