Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Latin 2020

Standard 93008

Part A: Commentary

The examination produced a very wide range of responses and those candidates who were at the top produced very impressive papers indeed. A great many candidates, even though they were not successful in gaining a scholarship award, nevertheless showed that they had impressive skills and can be well-pleased with their performance. Often it seemed that they were unable to sustain their high quality performances across all four questions. The very best candidates were able to tread a fine path between a translation that showed their complete understanding of the grammar, and a translation that read fluently and was in an appropriate register of natural English. In the commentary questions there were some particularly insightful and perceptive comments that showed a deep critical appreciation of both authors and their respective styles. In their commentaries, the best candidates ensured that everything that they wrote pertained directly to the question being asked. The best candidates once again wrote in coherent, cogent paragraphs without introductions and conclusions.


Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • understood that according to Manlius, it was only at their first meeting that the Romans were defeated by the Gauls, and that Manlius explains that after that time, victories were exacted FROM the Gauls, not BY the Gauls
  • correctly identified cantus (Passage One, line 4) and tumultus (Passage One, line 6) as plurals
  • coped well with the translation pecorum in modum consternatos as well as ut ferrum non admoveas both in Passage One
  • showed sophisticated interpretation of Livy’s use of language including in-depth analysis of the use of both polysyndeton and asyndeton
  • showed a real sense of the aural impact that Livy would have intended this speech to have, especially in paragraph 2
  • in the poetry passage, translated with sensitivity and accuracy
  • gave an accurate translation of lines 1–3, which proved unexpectedly challenging since few candidates recognized that ramum was described in two ways (madentem and soporatum)
  • showed sophistication in the way that they were able to craft a translation using natural English word order, especially in the direct speech at the end of the poetry passage
  • in the poetry commentary, were able to look more broadly beyond the passage and note where certain stylistic features present here (such as a declining number of syllables in successive words to indicate approaching sleep) had been echoed elsewhere in their reading of Virgil
  • discussed with clarity and relevance how Aeneas’ description as pater linked to pietas as a feature of the Aeneid.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • recognized when an adjective or participle was being used in place of a noun (e.g. consternatos in Passage One and cunctanti(que) and multorum(que) in the poetry passage
  • correctly linked nouns and adjectives (e.g. patrium and modum in the prose passage and tenues and auras line 8 in the poetry)
  • were able to distinguish between verbs in the passive voice and deponent verbs
  • deftly added words in their English translations which had been omitted in Latin (e.g. adding a verb such as ‘they have’ before the list of attributes of the Gauls in lines 3–4 of Passage One)
  • realised in Passage One, that classis (line 9) was the subject of currit at the start of that line
  • in their commentary, picked up on a lack of control and discipline as a feature of the Gallic forces, as well as identifying both verbal and sound devices working together to reinforce this
  • were able to articulate Aeneas’ character as multi-faceted – on the one hand a powerful figure showing initiative, but on the other, a man desperately sad for the loss of his companion.

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • often struggled to realise which nouns and adjectives agreed
  • mixed up verb tenses (especially the present tenses towards the end of paragraph 2 in Passage One)
  • struggled with an accurate translation of sedem in line 3 of Passage One because they did not realise it was in apposition to orbem terrarum
  • made very good points about the use of linguistic and literary devices, but the points made were not about either reputation and reality of the Gallic forces (Passage One) or the atmosphere in Passage Two
  • did not make good use of the provided vocabulary list, and so did not recognize that Gallici (line 6 of Passage One) was an adjective, not a noun
  • did not recognise in the poetry passage that in line 7 of the poetry, socios and vocantem do not agree.
  • made errors in scansion, such as omitting the caesura.


Subject page

Previous years' reports

2019 (PDF, 94KB) (PDF, 94KB), 2018 (PDF, 82KB), 2017 (PDF, 43KB)

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