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2015 Notes from the Marking Centre – Classical Greek Extension


This document has been produced for the teachers and candidates of the Stage 6 Classical Greek Extension course. It contains comments on candidate responses to the 2015 Higher School Certificate examination, indicating the quality of the responses and highlighting their relative strengths and weaknesses.

This document should be read along with:

Section I – Prescribed Text – Homer, Odyssey VI, VII and VIII

Characteristics of better responses:

  • translations of the extract demonstrated a thorough understanding of the many Homeric forms and the most appropriate vocabulary for the context was selected (Q.1)
  • a thorough knowledge of the Greek text was demonstrated to explain the presentation of Odysseus and his characteristic cunning
  • a thorough knowledge of Books VI, VII and VIII was demonstrated in the extended response (Q.3).

Characteristics of weaker responses:

  • candidates made translation errors in the prescribed extract. For example, it was not always clear that the finely woven blankets were cast upon the chairs rather than just about the room, and the golden boys stood on altars rather than pedestals (Q.1)
  • candidates did not provide enough direct reference to the extracts, nor sufficient detail (Q.2)
  • responses were descriptive of Odysseus rather than explaining how the Phaeacians provided a link between the two worlds (Q.3).

Section II – Non-prescribed Text

Characteristics of better responses:

  • translations paid close attention to every word in the Greek text and demonstrated an excellent knowledge of both the vocabulary and the Homeric forms (Q.4).

Characteristics of weaker responses:

  • translations contained basic grammatical errors and were compounded by vocabulary mistakes: for example, ‘they all disappeared’ instead of ‘the whole ship has appeared in front of me’; ‘harmless processions’ or ‘festivals’ instead of ‘kindly escorts’ (Q.4).
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