New Zealand Scholarship Visual Arts

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Visual Arts assessment specification

Visual Arts resources

See also:

Assessment reports

Examination timetable and submission dates

Visual Arts subject page

Visual Arts assessment specification

Scholarship Performance Standards Visual Arts:
Design (93307)
Painting (93306)
Photography (93310)
Printmaking (93309)
Sculpture (93308)
Method of assessment Portfolio and workbook extracts
For year 2023

Format of the assessment

Each candidate presents a portfolio and workbook extracts for assessment. The portfolio can be EITHER a three-panel portfolio (folio board) OR a moving image portfolio, representing the requirements of the standard.

Three-panel portfolio specifications

Each three-panel portfolio (folio board) must be free-standing and consist of three 820 × 610 mm panels of cardboard joined down the long edge (portrait in orientation). The panels must be hinged with adhesive tape or a glued binding cloth, and fold inwards to ensure the artwork is not damaged.

Portfolios should weigh no more than 1 kg each and should be no more than 15 mm thick when folded. Three-dimensional work or large-scale work should be represented by good quality photographs and, where appropriate, accompanied by sketches, headings, descriptions, or diagrams.

Work that is not securely attached, or is bulky, wet, fragile, or that contains sharp objects or materials that might cause injury during handling, will not be assessed.

With photographs of artworks, candidates should provide typed labels with descriptive information about media and processes used, scale, and size, as well as durational and participatory aspects attached to performance, time-based, or social art practice. Photographs should be captioned as appropriate to the form of the artwork, concept, method, and context.

Moving image portfolio specifications

The body of work for a moving image portfolio should be equivalent to the body of work required for a three-panel portfolio. A moving image submission is NOT merely a digital representation of a three-panel portfolio. Moving image submissions should show evidence of actual time-based work and / or documentation of time-based art or design practice. Each moving image submission will be presented as a video file no more than 180 seconds in total length. A submission may comprise several individually edited video files or a combination of moving and still images.

Expected modes within moving image include:

  • performance
  • kinetic
  • animation
  • interactive design
  • motion graphics
  • documentation of durational work (video)
  • documentary
  • time-based.

Sound included in a moving image submission must be either original composition(s) or music for which copyright has been obtained. This must be referenced in credits at the end of the submission.

Note: Moving image submissions will NOT be returned to candidates.

Scholarship workbook specifications

A Scholarship workbook must accompany all Visual Arts Scholarship entries. 

  • The workbook and the submitted portfolio must be prepared together, in parallel, in the same year.
  • Workbook material must be submitted in an A3 clearfile folder and is limited to 8 single-sided A3 pages.
  • Workbook material may be displayed as either portrait or landscape orientation.
  • The workbook must start with a title page that references the portfolio as a whole. The title page is for the marker's reference and will NOT count in the candidate’s allocated 8 pages.
  • For a portfolio board submission, the title page should provide a series of photographs of the three panels, in the order in which they are presented.
  • For a moving image submission, the title page should include a series of screenshots of up to a maximum of 12 frames in the order in which they appear in the moving image submission.

Submission instructions and authenticity requirements

Submission instructions and authenticity requirements for NZ Scholarship Visual Arts will be available to schools in Term 3 on Visual Arts subject resources page.

Further information

Scholarships can be awarded in each field (Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture), and a candidate may make submissions in more than one field. A candidate who chooses to do this needs to submit a separate portfolio and a separate workbook for each field.

A candidate for New Zealand Scholarship may also enter the portfolio section of their submission for the appropriate Level 3 NCEA standard.

Visual Arts resources

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

Performance standards

Exemplars of students' work


2022 2020 2019


2022 2020 2019


2022 2020 2019


2022 2020 2019


2022 2020 2019

Top Scholars' portfolios

2022 2020 2019

Assessment materials

2022 assessment schedules (ZIP, 182KB)

2021 assessment schedules (ZIP, 184KB)

2020 assessment schedules (ZIP, 49MB)


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