Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Latin 2021

Standard 93008

Part A: Commentary

The exam provided opportunities for candidates to score at all levels. It was challenging for time, but the best candidates rose to that challenge and produced exceptional work under great pressure. There were really no sections of the translation that at least one candidate did not get correct. The commentary questions gave candidates a chance to show off their literary criticism skills and their broader knowledge of Latin and the Roman world: the top commentaries were exceptional under time constraints and with no access to reference material except a vocabulary list. There were some very good comments made on the effect of metre in the poetry commentaries, but it is important that candidates write out the line(s) and scan them (correctly) in order to gain credit for them.


Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • had an impressive grasp of a wide use of cases, such as the use of the dative of the person judging in the prose passage
  • were consistent in the translation of verb tenses, easily translating the prose in a narrative tense
  • coped with the condensed style of Livy, such as uno alteroque subinde, and produced a fluent, accurate translation that reflected the style of the original
  • in the poetry passage, translated ablative phrases into natural English and made good choices of preposition to suit the context
  • wrote a translation of the poetry that reflected the horror of the attack on Camilla, carefully phrasing their renditions in English
  • in their commentaries, were able to go well beyond the particular example that was being discussed – such as, in the prose, noticing the emphatic placement of verbs at the beginning of both paragraphs – and developing that point extensively
  • were able to identify and quote specific linguistic echoes of other tragic deaths in the Aeneid, specifically Dido, and even more impressively, Euryalus. While not required, this was an impressive feature of some Outstanding Scholarship candidates.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • recognised and correctly translated nouns in cases that might have been challenging, such as alteri as a genitive
  • correctly identified pluperfect tense in the prose translation
  • identified and translated present participles effectively – for example. translating advenientis as a clause in natural English in the prose passage
  • understood most of the elements of the simile that likened Arruns to a wolf, and coped with the placement of its tail
  • in both the prose and poetry, kept all comments relevant to the specific questions asked
  • provided clear evidence of a wide range of techniques, and linked those techniques specifically to the points that were being made, such as the identification of the use of the vivid historic present in the poetry, and explained how that, combined with present participles, gave a sense of action and immediacy to Camilla’s demise
  • made impressive comments on the polyptoton of scutum scuto in the prose passage, noting how it reflected how the shields had become interlinked as they were being used both as offensive and defensive weapons.

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • did not complete the paper
  • made general comments about Virgil, the Aeneid, Livy, and Roman literature and history without tying them to the passage or the specific commentary question
  • struggled to get noun and adjective agreement correct, such as wrongly linking armati and spectaculi in the prose passage
  • did not identify cases correctly, such as corpus in the prose passage, which was incorrectly identified as nominative
  • did not recognise the construction ante omnes in the poetry passage
  • did not make good use of the vocabulary list
  • did not realise that the simile in the poetry passage started in line 9 and that ille agreed with lupus.


Subject page

Previous years' reports

2020 (PDF, 123KB)

2019 (PDF, 94KB)

2018 (PDF, 82KB)

2017 (PDF, 43KB)

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