Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Media Studies 2018

Standard 93303

Part A: Commentary

The candidates’ responses that demonstrated a broad range of texts and examples showing the benefits of their own investigations, and a genuine understanding of the question, were rewarded. Candidates who exhibited the courage to explore and analyse at least one text, media event, medium, research component, etc. outside of a typical Level 3 experience, were also rewarded.

Candidates who achieved Scholarship and Outstanding Scholarship managed to not only juxtapose their productions with contemporary and / or historical productions, but were able to demonstrate comprehensive learnings from their experiences, and articulate their experiences through thoughtful reflection. Successful candidates were critically reflective, asking ‘so what’ questions and providing answers synthesised from their own production experiences, and the critical insights of others.

Responses that conveyed informed critical thinking and personal insight were rewarded.

Many candidates demonstrated good subject knowledge by referencing industry and academic experts to support an argument. Where this was integrated and synthesiSed with the statement, candidates did very well. Some candidates reproduced evidence and arguments typically associated with Level 3. These candidates failed to demonstrate either original thinking, personal insight, and/or perceptive analysis.

Candidates presenting the same texts as used by many other Scholarship candidates often presented the same conclusions and insights, making it difficult to demonstrate original thinking and insight.

A large number of candidates presented the same source and content material with similar responses, examples, and analysis. This lack of diversity hindered candidates from gaining Scholarship and Outstanding Scholarship. Where large numbers of responses were similar, the responses often lacked personal insight, independence, originality of thought, and flexibility. Many similar responses offered slight variations of arguments that only began to answer the question. The conclusions reached were also often similar.

Where integration and synthesis were not evident, the impact of evidence was often lost within similar unauthentic conclusions. Where this was the case, candidates generally did not engage with the question and demonstrated a lack of genuine independent thought, which limited access to Scholarship.

Many candidates cited texts that, whilst good examples of the genre, were not essential texts to the genre’s development or representation. Some responses completely lacked reference to any works considered canon. This led to many extreme claims and assumptions of the relevance of presented texts, e.g. the 2017 horror film Get Out was represented in many candidates’ responses as being overly influential within the genre, as well as being a civil rights commentary based largely on one scene.

Candidates struggled to demonstrate how historical occurrences have created, shaped, and developed current situations and trends in the media. Many unsuccessful candidates simply recorded a chronology of historical events, e.g. candidates writing about the recorded music industry often recounted the history of recorded mediums such as the album, cassette, and CD, failing to identify or analyse the impact of the medium on society, the industry, and consumer trends.

Candidates’ responses relating to a media industry often reflected a poor understanding of this essential aspect of the Media Studies curriculum. Answers were often were often ill-focused, broad, and lacking relevance. The limited breadth of responses often meant it was difficult for candidates to provide a focused and succinct response. There was a clear move by candidates away from media industries such as the global music industry, film and TV industries, radio, and advertising industries. It was disappointing to see candidates avoid writing on ‘media mergers’, a media issue that has impacted many New Zealand media companies over the past two years.

Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • developed a clear, convincing argument that addressed the quote or statement
  • included well considered, thoughtful analysis with considerable insight and/or originality
  • had a strong understanding of historical context and could make connections between past and current trends/events
  • “unpacked” the quote / statement and argued from a range of positions
  • demonstrated considerable understanding of ambiguity and subtlety in their argument
  • applied their considerable subject knowledge in a convincing argument
  • used media theory in a knowledgeable and appropriate way
  • stated personal opinions and questioned both historical and contemporary decisions and trends appropriately
  • analysed, in depth, their production experience with convincing reference to other texts.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • included well-considered analysis, with some insight
  • responded effectively to the quote/statement and developed an argument using their subject knowledge
  • used evidence from a range of sources in support of their argument
  • demonstrated some understanding of ambiguity and subtlety in their argument
  • demonstrated an understanding of historical context in relation to the quote/statement and how it fitted within the context of the question
  • showed broad and/or deep subject knowledge through their argument
  • used media theory where appropriate
  • analysed their production experience with some reference to other texts.

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • failed to address the quote/statement in a convincing way
  • developed simplistic arguments
  • applied pre-learned answers to questions that were not reflective of the question
  • made general claims without clear supporting evidence
  • used inappropriate or insufficient evidence
  • did not attempt or complete all three essays
  • spoke from one narrow point of view
  • described their production experience with limited analysis or reflection.  

Subject page


Previous years' reports
2017 (PDF, 47KB) 2016 (PDF, 192KB)

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