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

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, that explains the significance of the chosen extract, and how it has informed interpretive choices and performative intentions.

The introductory analysis is to be recorded immediately before the performance. No written prompt may be used. Candidates will be 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 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 will be based on the candidate’s individual exploration of something of relevance to them. They will apply devising processes they have discovered through their 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 performance of the self-devised piece 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 demonstrate the ability to control and discuss the elements of drama in a new context. 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 should focus on how drama elements have been integrated into the performance to create dramatic interest. It should include an analysis of their intentions, as well as a reflection on their performance. Candidates might choose to reflect on challenges they identified and solutions they found. They might 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 and authenticity requirements

Please refer to the Digital External Assessment Submission Instructions for NZ Scholarship Drama (PDF, 204KB) for more information relating to the upload of candidate recordings.

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.)

2021 exam materials (ZIP, 234KB)

2020 exam materials (ZIP, 102KB)

2019 exam materials (ZIP, 20MB)

2018 exam materials (ZIP, 23MB)

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