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Homework Booklet

Homework/Revision Cycle

The homework cycle comes in three steps, and after completing the 3rd, you simply go back to step one and repeat.

  1. Attempt the Question
    • Use your notes/hints,
    • ask a friend,
    • ask your teacher for help.
  2. Grade
    • Use the marking schedule to check your work,
    • give yourself a N/A/M/E grade,
    • underline correct responses, and circle incorrect ones that need improving.
  3. Corrections
    • Go back to your notes and correct the circled points,
    • make a list of key points to remember next time you do this type of question,
    • don’t just copy out the answer scheme!

Exam Format

This page compiles all past exam questions from 2012-2020. The exam comes in a very reliable format - three long answer questions.

  1. Volcano + Hazards
  2. Earthquakes + Fault Lines
  3. Tsunamis + Energy

The usual cut scores for an entire exam are:

  1. 0-6: Not Achieved
  2. 7-12: Achieved
  3. 13-18: Merit
  4. 19-24: Excellence


Most questions also indicate “[a] diagram may assist your answer”, and this is backed up by moderator comments. Diagrams help you get better marks!

“Candidates who created and annotated diagrams to support their answers showed a deeper understanding of the questions that those who did not” - 2015 Assessment Report

Laying out Answers

The most recent exam questions have been divided up into chunks, to allow for more scaffolded answers. However, you should not rely on this occurring. To write an answer, first read the question in depth and scribble a short list of topics that you need to write about.

Student Skills

The 2015 Assessment Report also indicates the skills that students had for each N/A/M/E grade. These skills can also be thought of as extra learning outcomes/whāinga ako in your revision.

Not Achieved

Exam Questions


  1. Volcanoes
  2. Earthquakes
  3. Tsunamis


Auckland Volcanic Field (2019 Q1)

Auckland sits over an active volcanic field, which includes more than 50 volcanoes. While scientists don’t expect any of these existing volcanoes to erupt again, they are almost certain that more eruptions are likely to take place at some time in the future. The type of eruption that occurs may depend upon whether the eruption meets water as it rises through the crust. Explain in detail how possible future eruptions in the Auckland Volcanic Field may be formed, and their likely characteristics.

In your answer, you should refer to:

  • the processes within the upper mantle and crust that may cause an eruption within the Auckland Volcanic Field
  • the type of magma that is likely to erupt in this area, and the characteristics of this type of magma
  • the likely phases of an eruption in this area, and the features that may form from this type of eruption.

A diagram may assist your explanation.

✍️ Video Answer
✅ Marking Schedule


Wairarapa Earthquake 1855 (2019 Q2)

In 1855, the most severe earthquake in New Zealand’s recent history occurred along the Wairarapa Fault. The depth was shallow, and it was recorded as a magnitude 8.2 – 8.3.

Explain in detail how a rupture along this fault could lead to a large-magnitude earthquake. In your answer, you should consider:

  • the types of faults represented by letters A and B on the block diagram opposite
  • the tectonic plate movements that may have resulted in this fault
  • the cause of this large magnitude earthquake
  • the effects seen on the land (do not include tsunami effects).
✍️ Video Answer
✅ Marking Schedule


Wellington Tsunami 1855 (2019 Q3)

The 1855 Wairarapa Fault rupture triggered uplift of the Australian Plate and a series of landslides into the Cook Strait Canyon. This resulted in a number of tsunami, up to 11 metres high, reaching Wellington.

Explain in detail how tsunami could have formed as a result of the sea floor uplift and landslides into the Cook Strait Canyon.

In your answer, you should:

  • annotate the diagrams below, showing how tsunami are produced
  • explain, in detail, how sea floor uplift in the Cook Strait AND underwater landslides into the Cook Strait Canyon can generate tsunami
  • explain, in detail, the energy transfers that occur in each type of tsunami formation
  • explain, in detail, the factors which may affect the size of the Wellington tsunami.
✍️ Video Answer
✅ Marking Schedule