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2015 Notes from the Marking Centre – Japanese Extension


This document has been produced for the teachers and candidates of the Stage 6 Japanese 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:

Oral examination

Characteristics of better responses:

  • a point of view was clearly stated at the beginning as well as in the conclusion
  • a wide range of vocabulary and sentence structures was used
  • a logical, well-structured argument was presented and supported by sophisticated examples
  • excellent depth of ideas was evident
  • communication was confident with a high level of fluency and authentic intonation
  • ideas were linked back to the question throughout the presentation of the viewpoints.

Characteristics of weaker responses:

  • relevant information to fully address the topic was not included
  • the point of view presented was often unclear
  • grammatical structures were used repetitively
  • grammatical structures were used incorrectly, for example, iidatoomou, ooidakara, ooitomodachi
  • ideas were repetitive
  • there were inaccuracies with particles and tense
  • there was overuse of pre-learnt phrases that did not directly answer the question.

Written examination

Section I – Respond to Prescribed Text

Part A

Characteristics of better responses:

  • that the extract was carefully read and understood was evident
  • the quote was used in context (Q1a)
  • the order of events was referred to (Q1b)
  • a clear understanding of actions and words was demonstrated (Q1c)
  • explanations were sequenced and strategies used were clear and detailed (Q1d)
  • detailed analysis of the relationship between the two scenes was made (Q1e)
  • a detailed understanding of the extract and the film as a whole was demonstrated.

Characteristics of weaker responses:

  • a general statement was made but the question ‘Why?’ was not answered (Q1b)
  • the symbolism of cactus was emphasised instead of actions and words (Q1c)
  • a recount of the scene without supporting examples was given (Q1d)
  • reference was made to one scene only (Q1e)
  • examples from the extract/scene were not used to support ideas (Q1e).

Part B

Characteristics of better responses:

  • a thorough knowledge of the prescribed text was demonstrated by referencing Daigo’s relationship with his father and the circumstances mentioned in the extract
  • insightful and perceptive thoughts were demonstrated
  • ideas were structured and sequenced coherently with excellent use of conjunctions and without deviating from the focal point of the task
  • appropriate diary text-type conventions were applied
  • a wide range of vocabulary, sentence structures and prescribed kanji was used
  • tense and register were applied appropriately and consistently.

Characteristics of weaker responses:

  • a limited understanding of the text was demonstrated
  • irrelevant ideas and information that were not related to the extract or task were included
  • no specific reference to the extract was made
  • language was not manipulated
  • use of tense, register and diary text-type conventions was inconsistent.

Section II – Writing in Japanese

Characteristics of better response:

  • a clear introduction, individual points of view and a concluding statement were provided
  • breadth and depth of argument were provided
  • continuous links back to the question were made
  • points of view were supported by relevant and convincing examples
  • arguments were presented in a logical and sequential order
  • a wide range of accurate grammatical structures, vocabulary and kanji was used
  • text type conventions were fully observed.

Characteristics of weaker responses:

  • the question was only partially addressed
  • ideas were irrelevant or not linked to the question
  • examples or ideas were used repetitively to reach required word length
  • coherence between the introduction, paragraphs and conclusion was lacking
  • vocabulary from dictionaries was used in the wrong context
  • language structures were basic and there were errors related to passive form and transitive and intransitive verbs
  • there was limited use of prescribed kanji
  • text type conventions were not fully observed – a written monologue was given rather than the script of a speech.
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