Assessment Report

Level 2 German 2021

Standards 91123  91126


Part A: Commentary

These standards require candidates to show understanding of the texts and passages, and to display their understanding with information, ideas, and opinions from the text. Successful candidates read the question and then answered it comprehensively and directly with no unnecessary information and without going off on a tangent. They included more of the text examples and evidence in their answers, rather than merely make general statements.

Higher achieving candidates read their response through to ensure their answers made sense, that no crucial words were missing, and spelling and grammar were accurate.

Candidates should be reminded not to write in the margins of the examination booklets, as during the scanning process the margins will be cut off. In some examination scripts the ends of sentences had been cut off.

Part B: Report on standards

91123:  Demonstrate understanding of a variety of spoken German texts on familiar matters


The examination was made up of three passages with questions relating to each passage. The questions allowed for differentiation of candidate responses.

Question 1 was a conversation between friends discussing their families. The candidates were required to give their opinion on the ideal family situation.

Question 2 introduced two Syrian refugees to Germany and candidates had to demonstrate understanding of how the two young people are feeling about their new life in Germany.

Question 3 explained the lives of working animals and the candidates were required to decide on the bravest animal, based on the passage.


Candidates are reminded that listening notes do not provide evidence of their understanding of the text. For some candidates there was good evidence of their understanding in the listening notes, but it had not been used in the response to the questions.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • demonstrated basic knowledge of the Level 1 and 2 vocabulary lists and a basic understanding of relevant grammar points
  • provided some accurate but simple information from the passage
  • selected answers from narrow sections of the text
  • provided a mere translation of the text heard, relevant to the question
  • included irrelevant personal anecdotes in their responses, which had nothing to do with the text.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not attempt sections
  • showed little understanding beyond simple vocabulary, obvious cognates and loan words
  • provided inaccurate chunks of information
  • misinterpreted significant details of the text
  • answered the questions with minimal and superficial information.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • identified key information
  • connected ideas appropriately
  • produced answers that included significant amounts of accurate detail, e.g. describing what had happened to Mahdi and what he is doing in Germany, but omitted to answer the question, e.g. explaining the motivating factors for Cynthia or how exactly Mahdi felt about his new life
  • demonstrated good knowledge of the Level 1 and 2 vocabulary lists and a sound understanding of relevant grammar points.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • demonstrated comprehensive understanding of the text by writing very full answers with most or all details correct, e.g., in the question “In your opinion, which of these animals should be awarded the medal and why?” there were some very interesting answers that drew on their own experiences as well as the material from the texts
  • justified their ideas unambiguously using evidence from the passage
  • did not repeat information already written in a previous section but used new information understood from the text, e.g., in the question “Which family situation seems ideal to you? Give details from the passage to support your answer”, the best responses went beyond their answers in (a), bringing their own opinions as well as details from the passage that had not already been used
  • demonstrated excellent knowledge of the Level 1 and 2 vocabulary lists and an excellent understanding of relevant grammar points.

91126:  Demonstrate understanding of a variety of written and/or visual German texts on familiar matters


The assessment covered an interview and two articles. Question 1 introduced a singer, and candidates made a judgement regarding his shopping habits.

Question 2 described how old phone boxes can be recycled and the candidates decided what they would use an old phone box for, based on the details described in the text.

Question 3 told the story of the Brothers Grimm and their interest in literature. The candidates described the activities that commemorate the Grimms’ achievements.


The standard requires candidates to carefully read the resource material to select only the relevant text evidence as part of their answer, rather than giving direct translations.

Successful candidates paraphrased the German text references and quotations and incorporated these into their answers in English, not in German. They were able to break down compound nouns to gain the correct meaning. For example, candidates used “hören” = to listen to and the cognate “Stationen” to understand the whole word as ‘listening posts/booths’ in the museum context.

Candidates displayed understanding of vocabulary and structures by not quoting directly from the text and not leaving some of the words in German, such as “Märchenreich”.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • demonstrated they had understood the gist of the texts
  • made some general points based on the text with some textual reference in their answers
  • understood the text well and were able to make very good assumptions and come to some very astute conclusions, however, their responses lacked the text evidence to back up their ideas
  • showed understanding of the vocabulary and structures in the texts, e.g., they translated the majority of the Brothers Grimm text but did not show that they were able to select relevant information, ideas and/or opinions from the texts by answering the question
  • arrived at great conclusions but did not include supporting evidence from the text, e.g., they mentioned that the phone box is heavy but did not take the next step to consider how they would transport such a heavy item.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not include enough supporting evidence or examples from the text to justify their answers
  • did not show understanding of the text(s) but made assumptions based on visual resources provided which were not mentioned in the text, e.g., stating that there were dragons as an activity available in Germany to keep the Grimm’s fairy tales alive
  • misunderstood the vocabulary or did not know enough of the language in the text to understand the general meaning, e.g., “Schneewittchen” was often mis-translated as the “Snow Witch museum”, “Berühmte Professoren” was also often misunderstood as “popular professors” which was a confusion with the German word ‘beliebt’, “Hörstationen” was incorrectly translated as “horse stations”, “Dusche” was either not mentioned in their answers or translated as “shade”
  • left responses incomplete or provided incorrect information.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • presented clever and creative ideas for possible uses of the phone boxes to give them a second life, such as modifying/re-purposing them as a bird cage, gaming box, a shower for swimmers/surfers at the beach, mini drinks kitchen, mini café, personalised movie theatre
  • understood the text well and were able to read between the lines, but lacked text examples to justify their answers to go that one step further to show thorough understanding of the text
  • referred to specific details and examples from the texts to justify their answers, e.g., were able to translate most of the fairy tale titles into English correctly
  • did not repeat information from part (a) in their part (b) answer
  • displayed a thorough understanding of the text but wrote about their own personal childhood memories of fairy tales without including enough evidence from the text to justify their response about the brothers’ achievements. Candidates wrote about things such as the moral of the fairy stories which was not actually mentioned at all in the text.

Candidates who were assessed as Achieved with Excellence commonly

  • displayed a thorough knowledge of the NCEA vocabulary and structures
  • expressed themselves eloquently and insightfully with an excellent command of English, e.g., it is too formal in English to use the impersonal ‘one’ when writing an answer to a question. When in the text it was written, for example “Du kannst diese Orte auf der “Deutschen Märchenstraße” besuchen”, it should be translated as “You can visit …” not “One can visit …”
  • mentioned that they would have to consider the cost involved in revamping the phone box or the place where they would put the phone box
  • provided multiple uses for the phone boxes maximising multiple features mentioned in the text, e.g., a Wi-Fi hotspot with folding desk and mini study space with books and with blinds to shade/provide privacy
  • gave multiple reasons in their answers and showed comprehensive understanding of the content and underlying meaning of the text
  • were able to infer and understand nuance and meaning not obviously stated in the text.

German subject page

Previous years' reports

2020 (PDF, 146KB)

2019 (PDF, 294KB)

2018 (PDF, 95KB)

2017 (PDF, 42KB)

2016 (PDF, 212KB)

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