3 Merit (high) This is a high Merit stream community study. The report provides a high level of explanation and hence is at the upper end of Merit. To meet the requirements for Excellence, however, the report would need show evidence of discussion of similarities or differences in at least one ecological characteristic linked to environmental factors and the adaptive features or way of life of at least one organism.
8 Merit (low) This is a low Merit stream community study. To achieve the standard students must describe at least two ecological characteristics (EN 5) found in two communities (see Achievement Criteria). The report easily meets the criteria for Achieved. There is, however, also some evidence of explanation (as required for Merit - see EN 7) of the diversity and abundance of species found in the two stream communities which is also linked to environmental factors. Because this level of explanation is weak the report is just at the lower end of Merit.
13 Merit (low) This is a low Merit beach community study. To achieve the standard students must describe at least two ecological characteristics found in two communities. This student has provided sufficient evidence of description and explanation of the distribution and diversity in comparing the two communities to just meet the criteria at Merit.
23 Achieved (high) This report is a high Achieved. The description compares the pattern of diversity (variety of different types of bugs) between the two streams, and even though the calculations of the PTI (Pollution Tolerance Index) are incorrect, the student compared the range of tolerance levels of the bugs found in each stream and linked these to the health of each stream. Therefore an account of at least two ecological characteristics of the two communities has been given. Refer to EN 7. The explanation of the differences in the diversity as either average numbers or 'steam quality rating' is very weak - this is only linked to one environmental factor by, "less waste that goes into waterways" in the country stream compared to the city one. The standard has a requirement that an explanation is linked to environmental factors (i.e. at least 2) - see EN 6 and the clarifications documents. The student could have used other data, for example stream speed, water clarity or substrate to support an explanation of the differences in diversity between the two streams to achieve at Merit. To achieve at Excellence, a discussion would be required that links similarities or differences to at least two environmental factors (EN 6) and then links these factors to the biology of at least one organism i.e. in the way the organism is adapted to these environmental factors.
30 Achieved (low) This is a low Achieved shore community study. This student has described the diversity or organisms found in two shore communities, and loosely described species dominance in both by indicating the relative numbers of each species on the graph. Because of the weak description, particularly of the second ecological characteristic (see EN 5), the report is at the lower end of A.
39 Not Achieved (high) This is almost Achieved. The student has collected data from the two streams as evidence (not included in this exemplar). This description came at the end of the report. Although it does not meet all of the requirements of the achievement criteria it does provide some appropriate evidence, for example a summary comparison of the environmental data. However it does not make reference to any of the ecological characteristics of each stream. For example, the student could have compared the pattern of diversity (variety of different types of bugs), average numbers, distribution pattern, or species dominance. Refer to EN (explanatory note) 5 of the standard. For these reasons the report is at the upper end of Not Achieved.
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