Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Art History 2021

Standard 93301

Part A: Commentary

Candidates were offered the opportunity to address a wide range of content.  Candidates were required to answer one question from each of Sections A, B and C. Candidates found the questions accessible with question two and six the most popular.

Each question had two parts and candidates need to take care to read both parts carefully to ensure they are answering what is asked e.g. ‘support or refute…’ ‘Discuss the treatment of the human figure…’

Artworks selected to be discussed in detail should be chosen carefully so that they are strongly relevant to the question. It is also important that candidates demonstrate a wide range of knowledge and understanding. Those who analysed at least three works per answer rather than two were advantaged. Discussing a greater number of artists and works overall also ensures there is not a certain ‘’sameness’’ to each answer. Equally, emphasis on visual analysis rather than description is basic to a good answer. There is strong evidence that candidates are understanding the key concepts needed to support their answers.

Many candidates answered the Section C question first - a good indicator that they were able to relate to the ideas expressed here. Again, a key requirement was answering both parts of the question. Paying more attention to explaining the author’s ideas as well as relating these to art works would have improved grades awarded for several candidates.

Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • demonstrated originality and perception through highly developed visual analysis of well-chosen art works and critical responses to contexts and ideas
  • demonstrated originality in their approach to the questions and in their choice or treatment of art works
  • were sophisticated in their integration of argument and evidence
  • employed a wide range of art works which they could discuss in depth
  • in Section C they explored and critically responded to the ideas presented perceptively, supporting their argument with a repertoire of well-chosen and relevant art works.
  • demonstrated independent study through their approach to the text and their choice of supporting evidence
  • communicated their responses with maturity, confidence and cohesion
  • wrote with fluency and confidence, showing originality in their response and writing with “their own voice”.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • focused on the question asked in its entirety
  • selected a range of sufficient appropriate works to demonstrate at least broad knowledge
  • analysed those works in detail to support their responses
  • were knowledgeable and accurate in their critical response to contexts and ideas
  • explained key ideas of the author in the Section C text in their own words
  • explained how their selected works supported or challenged those ideas
  • demonstrated high-level communication through coherent and cohesive argument
  • demonstrated depth as well as breadth of knowledge in their answers
  • clearly established the point of view of their argument.

Other candidates

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • wrote generalized or descriptive responses which lacked visual analysis of specific works
  • used insufficient art works to demonstrate broad knowledge
  • did not answer the question fully
  • had a limited range of works to draw on (sometimes only one per answer or repeated examples) which were not always relevant to the question under discussion
  • paid little attention to the text and ideas in Section C.



Subject page


Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 193KB)

2017 (PDF, 43KB)

2018 (PDF, 98KB)

2019 (PDF, 197KB)

2020 (PDF, 115KB)

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