The homework cycle comes in three steps, and after completing the 3rd, you simply go back to step one and repeat.
- Attempt the Question
- Use your notes/hints,
- ask a friend,
- ask your teacher for help.
- 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.
- 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!
This page compiles all past exam questions from 2012-2020. The exam comes in a very reliable format - three long answer questions.
- Volcano + Hazards
- Earthquakes + Fault Lines
- Tsunamis + Energy
The usual cut scores for an entire exam are:
- 0-6: Not Achieved
- 7-12: Achieved
- 13-18: Merit
- 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.
- Write a paragraph for each heading
- Include the heading at the top of the paragraph
- Cross off what the question suggests you write about, as you go.
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.
- displayed a lack of understanding of the language required by the standard such as transform fault and magma compared to lava
- did not define or accurately use key terms such as landslide in their answers
- provided rote learned answers that were not relevant to the question being asked.
- used diagrams to reinforce ideas
- understood the key language of the topics such as stratovolcano, submarine landslide and transform fault
- understood the different types and locations of plate boundaries in New Zealand
- described tsunamis, volcanoes and earthquakes in basic terms.
- annotated diagrams and used the annotations to support their answers
- linked concepts to the question being asked
- used the bullet points in the question to fully answer the question
- provided definitions for key words and then used them accurately in the context of the question
- linked concepts in their answers such as magma formation to type of volcano, depth of focus to amount of damage in an earthquake, and submarine landslides and plate movement to formation of a tsunami.
- integrated their well labelled diagrams into their answers
- expanded upon key ideas in a question
- compared and contrasted ideas
- provided correct explanations that linked back to the question context.
Auckland Volcanic Field (2019 Q1) [Permalink]
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) [Permalink]
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) [Permalink]
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.