New Zealand Scholarship Drama

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Drama assessment specification

Drama resources

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Assessment reports

Examination timetable and submission dates

Drama assessment specification

Scholarship Performance Standard (93304) Drama
Method of assessment Portfolio of recorded performances and oral justifications,
with supporting evidence
For year 2023

(Updated in March 2023)

Format of the assessment

PART 1: Text-based performance

An extract or speech written by an established playwright – for example, from the list of playwrights prescribed for AS91514 – is to be selected and prepared before the examination, when it is to be performed by the candidate.

‘Established’ = widely published or critically acclaimed.

The performance of the extract is to be preceded by an oral introductory analysis, presented to camera. This will include reference to genre and the significance of the chosen extract. Candidates will detail interpretive choices and performative intentions, supported by relevant drama theory.

The introductory analysis is to be recorded immediately before the performance. No written prompt may be used. Candidates are given a total of FIVE minutes to give their introductory analysis and perform their text-based performance. It is suggested that the candidate spend no more than 90 seconds on the oral introductory analysis.

Candidates are required to give an annotated script of the text-based piece to the supervisor at the start of the examination.

PART 2: Self-devised performance

The self-devised performance is based on the candidate’s individual exploration of something of relevance to them. They support their devising process with research into the work of at least one established drama theorist, practitioner, or company.

The self-devised performance must be significantly different to the selection made in Part 1.

The self-devised performance is to be preceded by a prepared oral introductory analysis that:

  • describes the purpose of the performance; what has been explored; connections to the candidate and the wider world
  • explains how research into the chosen theorist, practitioner, or theatre company has influenced / informed the development of the performance
  • details key moments in the devising process where dramatic material was selected or rejected to refine the performance.

The candidate’s oral introductory analysis will be recorded. The candidate will be given a total of SIX minutes to introduce their work and perform their self-devised performance. It is suggested that the candidate spends no more than TWO minutes on their introduction.

Candidates are to give an annotated script of the self-devised performance to the supervisor at the start of the examination.

PART 3: Impromptu performance

The nationally prescribed task for impromptu performance will require the candidate to use elements of drama to create a short sequence within a restricted time in response to a dramatic prompt. The task will be handed to the candidate and retained by the candidate until after the performance.

The candidate will be given a total of SIX minutes to plan, perform, and reflect on their performance to the camera.

After the impromptu performance, the candidate may refer back to the task while presenting to camera.

The reflection willfocus on how drama elements have been integrated into the performance to create dramatic interest. It will include an analysis of their intentions, as well as a reflection on their performance. Candidates may choose to reflect on challenges they identified and solutions they found. They may also reflect on the overall structure of their performance and specific techniques they used to create and shift between characters or to establish place and action effectively.

Submission instructions and authenticity requirements

Submission instructions and authenticity requirements for NZ Scholarship Drama will be available to schools in Term 3.

Drama resources

Examination requirements

Waiting-room rules

Information for candidates

The links listed below are for resources to help teachers and students understand what is required for success in New Zealand Scholarship.

Performance standard

Exam materials (impromptu performance task cards, schedules, etc.)

2022 exam materials (ZIP, 288KB)

2021 exam materials (ZIP, 234KB)

2020 exam materials (ZIP, 102KB)

2019 exam materials (ZIP, 20MB)

2018 exam materials (ZIP, 23MB)

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