Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship Latin 2022

Standard 93008

Part A: Commentary

The examination provided candidates with a range of opportunities to show an understanding of the complex linguistic features of Latin, as well as a critical appreciation of the skills of Latin authors. This examination is a challenge as it requires a wide array of skills to be exercised in, and sustained across, just three hours. A great many candidates, even though they were not successful in gaining a scholarship award, nevertheless showed that they had impressive skills, and they can be well-pleased with their performance. The very best translations not only conveyed the Latin accurately and fluently, but were able to reproduce some elements of the style of the original as well. In the commentary responses, there was not only an appreciation of the text and the techniques used by the authors, but also an impressive understanding of how the particular text linked more broadly to the literature, history, and, indeed, Roman culture. Some of the comments were remarkably insightful and all the more so because of the time pressure under which candidates were working. The best candidates once again wrote in coherent, cogent paragraphs without introductions and conclusions. There were some very good comments made on the effect of metre in the poetry commentaries, but it is important that candidates write out the line(s) and scan them (correctly), with caesura, in order to gain credit for them. 

Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • had an impressive grasp of verb tenses, and in the prose were able to reflect that through their translations
  • coped with the use of quisque in the prose passage and were able to translate negabo in a way that was fluent and natural
  • coped with challenging sections such as ‘negavi … seni!’ in the prose passage and produced a fluent, accurate translation that reflected the style of the original
  • translated tightly condensed Latin in the poetry passage, such as terrete timentem, in a convincing, natural way
  • applied a wide knowledge of Roman history and literature in their commentaries, such as recognising the importance of the reference to Cataline in the prose passage
  • examined diction effectively in their commentaries, such as the contrast between defendi and deseram in the prose passage; and the force of foedans and obscenae in the poetry passage
  • showed a broad knowledge of Roman cultural practices, such as linking the actions of Iuturna to the actions of mourners at funerals.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • recognised and correctly translated comparative adverbs that might have been challenging, such as verius
  • identified the gerundive in the prose translation correctly, although did not always provide a translation into fluent English
  • recognised nihil was the subject of potest in the prose passage
  • recognised and correctly translated noun cases that might not have been easy to identify, such as pestis as a nominative not a genitive in the poetry passage
  • kept all comments, in both the prose and poetry, relevant to the specific questions asked
  • provided clear evidence of a wide range of techniques, and linked those techniques specifically to the points that were being made, such as the identification of alliteration of plosives in pectora pugnis to reflect the sound of striking breasts
  • made impressive comments on the repeated references to death and the polyptoton of moriens, mortem, morte, mors.

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • did not complete the paper
  • focused on the aspects of the passage that were not relevant to the specific questions
  • did not understand the idea of nouns in apposition in the prose passage, such as senex and adulescens
  • did not identify cases correctly, such as haec (line 9) in the prose passage, which was often not identified as neuter, accusative plural
  • did not always get agreement correct, such as failing to link qua and arte in the poetry passage
  • did not make good use of the vocabulary list
  • identified linguistic and / or literary techniques, but were not able to make any comment on how or why they were used by the authors.

Subject page

Previous years' reports

2021 (PDF, 130KB)

2020 (PDF, 123KB)

2019 (PDF, 94KB)

2018 (PDF, 82KB)

2017 (PDF, 43KB)

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