Assessment Report

Level 1 Agricultural and Horticultural Science 2021

Standards 90919  90921  90924

Part A: Commentary

Candidates who attempted all, or most parts of the examination, had a better opportunity of achieving well at this level. Those who obtained higher grades made clear connections between the processes and management practices, and how those improved production. Candidates who achieved at higher levels tended to present well-structured responses and used the bullet points in the questions to help scaffold, and provide, a more comprehensive and justified answer that was more relevant to the context.

Subject specific terminology and vocabulary appears to be an area for improvement. Through improvement in this area, it will allow candidates to access and comprehend what the question is asking of them. It will further allow them to incorporate the vocabulary into their answer in a relevant context.

Some basic principles behind management practices seemed to be poorly understood, for example artificial insemination, germination, cultivation. There was also a tendency to make incorrect statements, such as ‘will drown’, or extremes such as ‘will die’, or using generic statements such as ‘good’, ‘will impact it’, ‘will benefit’ and ‘makes better’, which limited the candidate’s ability to answer questions in-depth. 

Part B: Report on standards


90919: Demonstrate knowledge of soil management practices

Examinations

The examination included three questions with parts a, b, and c, and covered a range of soil management practices. The questions allowed candidates to apply their knowledge to the context provided and to be able to make clear links between the management practices and the impact on the soil properties, while demonstrating understanding of soil components.

Observations

As this is both an agricultural and horticultural science examination, candidates needed to be aware of the scale, or context, that the question is based on. For example, when digging large paddocks, it is impractical to be doing that by hand. Also, more details are required when naming specific equipment such as ‘a spreader attached to the back of tractor’, instead of ‘using a tractor’.

Some candidates struggled to use correct terminology, for example, excess water would drown plants, rather than stating that excess water reduces oxygen uptake and therefore reduces the rate of respiration.

Candidates also need to be more specific around how a soil property can impact on photosynthesis and respiration.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • described soil properties and soil management properties at a basic level
  • engaged with why management practices were carried out but did not include enough details.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not attempt all parts of the examination, particularly leaving out part (c)
  • showed limited understanding of soil management practices and soil properties
  • were unable to describe how the management practices were carried out.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • linked management practices to the impact on soil properties, and how that affected the named plant processes
  • explained how it impacted overall on plant growth.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • successfully engaged with all parts of the examination
  • made clear links between soil management and soil properties to reinforce their ideas
  • showed a thorough understanding of management practices in the given context and went on to justify or compare the management practices that farmers/growers carry out, consistently through the rest of the questions. 


 

90921: Demonstrate knowledge of livestock management practices

Examinations

The examination included three questions with parts a, b, and c, and covered a range of livestock management practices relating to feed management, breeding management, and health management. The questions required candidates to apply their knowledge to the context provided and allowed them opportunity to make clear links between the management practices and how those impact on livestock production.

Observations

Candidates often lacked the understanding of the specific terminology and contexts related to livestock production, and therefore found it hard to answer the questions. This was particularly evident with common management practices for example, drenching, vaccinating and artificial insemination, with how and why these practices are done.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • attempted most parts of the examination
  • accurately described at least one or two ideas in each question
  • described how management practices were carried out and attempted to link the impact on livestock production.

Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • wrote answers that were not related to the question or reworded the questions
  • left most of the exam unanswered.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • attempted most, if not all, parts of the examination
  • demonstrated in-depth knowledge of at least one management practice
  • showed high level of understanding in at least one of the questions, and added more detail in their answers by explaining why a management practice was carried out. 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • engaged with all parts of the exam
  • made a good argument when comparing or justifying their chosen method for feeding or breeding
  • demonstrated thorough knowledge of the management practices when discussing why they were carried out, and how they improved livestock production overall.  


90924:  Demonstrate knowledge of horticultural plant management practices

Examinations

The examination included three questions with parts a, b, and c, and covered a range of management practices and plant processes. The questions required candidates to apply their knowledge to the context provided and gave opportunity to make clear links between the management practices and the impact on the plant processes, demonstrating understanding of the plant structure.

Observations

Candidates need to be familiar with subject specific terminology. It is expected that candidates link respiration to limited or slower growth in their responses, rather than respond with phrases such as ‘plants drown or breathe’.

Candidates who obtained higher grades showed a wider understanding of pests and their impact on plant growth. For example, aphids are sap suckers, so they reduce the nutrients available to the plant. A common misconception was that is light is required for germination. The impacts of humidity were also not well understood with many struggling to link humidity to transpiration. However, candidates had a good understanding of the differences in fertilisers and organic mulch.

For excellence, candidates needed to compare the impact that management practices have on plant growth by referring to plant growing processes – photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • attempted most parts of the examination
  • accurately described at least one or two ideas in each question
  • described how management practices were carried out and attempted to link these to plant growing processes.

Candidates who were assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • made insufficient attempt at the questions, mostly leaving out part (c)
  • did not describe how the management practices were carried out and showed limited knowledge of plant processes.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • made a good attempt at most, if not all, parts of the examination
  • showed in-depth knowledge of at least one management practice, and were able to explain how the management practice impacted plant growing processes
  • attempted to refer to plant structures and used specific examples in some questions.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly

  • generally completed all aspects of the examination
  • understood and used subject specific terminology in the correct context
  • accurately applied their knowledge to the question, made clear links, and provided a well-structured discussion
  • justified and compared management practices and linked them to plant processes and plant growth.

Agricultural and Horticultural Science subject page

Previous years' reports

2020 (PDF, 122KB)

2019 (PDF, 205KB)

2018 (PDF, 96KB)

2017 (PDF, 46KB)

2016 (PDF, 46KB)

 
Skip to main page content Accessibility page with list of access keys Home Page Site Map Contact Us newzealand.govt.nz