top of page
  • Writer's picturetovahstutoringcomp

What does "annotate" mean in my NCEA exams?

A common issue NCEA students have with NCEA exams, is knowing terminology. Here is a breakdown of what "annotate" means.

Are you having issues with understanding how to answer your NCEA exam questions?

When it comes to NCEA exams, NCEA students will find a manner of things unfamiliar or difficult and that is because they are used to sitting internal NCEA assessments. These are different to NCEA external assessments, because they are assessed over a period of time in the classroom. NCEA external assessments have a time limit of up to 3 hours and must be completed without talking to other students nor exiting the room.

So, what happens when a NCEA student doesn't know what a word means or does not understand a question that is in their NCEA exam paper?

The safest thing to do is prepare for this and book in your NCEA tutorials with our NCEA teachers. We can help navigate through these issues, so when the time comes on the day, you can feel confident knowing the terminology and how to answer NCEA external assessment questions a.k.a NCEA exam questions.

This blog will explore the word "annotate".

boy sitting ncea exams
It is important to know what key words mean in your NCEA questions.

Let's define the word "annotate".

Very briefly, the word annotate means to add to something and then commenting and explaining your notes.

What does annotate mean within NCEA exams?

Within the NCEA English, NCEA Drama and NCEA Dance exam(s), I know you are required to either create your own image or respond to an image. You would then need to make notes on the picture by pointing arrows towards areas on the picture and identifying what you will discuss. After this, you will then refer to your notes more specifically in formal writing, discussing the meaning, purpose or your own interpretation.

How do you annotate something for NCEA exams?

Here is a list of ways you can explore through annotations for your NCEA exams:

  • Identify and describing details

  • Purpose and use

  • Compare with something else

  • Symbolism and what it represents beyond what you see and know

  • Intentions behind it through a writer or director's perspective

  • The impact on the viewer

  • Cause and effect

Hope this brings more clarity to you for your NCEA exams. Please remember that our qualified NCEA teachers are available for NCEA tutorials prior to your NCEA exams so you can feel more confident about your studies.

Tovah O'Neill
Tovah's Tutoring Company Ltd

Book your NCEA tutorials here:


bottom of page