Business and management exam discussion - share revision tips in preparation for GCSE, A Level and other business and management exams and discuss how they went afterwards.

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So currently doing unit 2 past papers and preparing myself for the exam.
I've done unit 1 and managed to achieve an A grade.
I'm also aware unit 2 is much more difficult however my problem comes when answering the questions.
I use the same format as unit 1:
Define
Apply it to case study
Pros and Cons
Evaluate

Evaluation is my weakest part but I'm not worried about this at all, what Im worried about are my answers. Most of my answers are not in the mark scheme. Does this mean that my answer is wrong? or is it 'general answers'. I'm worried my whole 4-5 month preparation is messed up just because I don't know the exam technique. What are your thoughts and how are you guys preparing.
Also doing AQA Accounting, Maths, F-Maths and Economic.
Cheers
Good luck to all!
Hey,

I'm also doing unit 2 as well and I got an A for unit 1. Unit 2 is definitely a step up in my opinion, and upon looking at past papers I think my approach will be similiar to unit 1.

For the basic 5 - 8 mark questions I usually include an explanation with an example for each of what they are asking, or if they are asking for calculations I will state the formula and then sub in the numbers. If I were to answer anything more than 10 marks (generally the last questions), I will try to introduce the topic with a brief definition, or some views from both sides of the argument. I will then give reasons for one side of the argument in general and link these in with the relevant case, with a little bit of analysis thrown in. I then do the other side of the argument, and produce a full blown analysis in the conclusion.

Overall I think the exams are too similiar to change style, and with the evaluation, make sure you give a strong reason for your conclusion while providing evidence or examples for your final decision.

Best of luck to you on your exam day!
(Original post by Owniee)
Hey,

I'm also doing unit 2 as well and I got an A for unit 1. Unit 2 is definitely a step up in my opinion, and upon looking at past papers I think my approach will be similiar to unit 1.

For the basic 5 - 8 mark questions I usually include an explanation with an example for each of what they are asking, or if they are asking for calculations I will state the formula and then sub in the numbers. If I were to answer anything more than 10 marks (generally the last questions), I will try to introduce the topic with a brief definition, or some views from both sides of the argument. I will then give reasons for one side of the argument in general and link these in with the relevant case, with a little bit of analysis thrown in. I then do the other side of the argument, and produce a full blown analysis in the conclusion.

Overall I think the exams are too similiar to change style, and with the evaluation, make sure you give a strong reason for your conclusion while providing evidence or examples for your final decision.

Best of luck to you on your exam day!
Yh unit 2 is defiantly a step up from unit 1. I think the problem is there is the volume of unit 2 and the links you have to make between topics. Im really struggling on application. I know my analysis are right but they don't seem to apply the business in the case study at all.
How is your time management by the way. At the end I only get a few minutes to check my answers. Not enough time to go through all of them.
So currently doing unit 2 past papers and preparing myself for the exam.
I've done unit 1 and managed to achieve an A grade.
I'm also aware unit 2 is much more difficult however my problem comes when answering the questions.
I use the same format as unit 1:
Define
Apply it to case study
Pros and Cons
Evaluate

Evaluation is my weakest part but I'm not worried about this at all, what Im worried about are my answers. Most of my answers are not in the mark scheme. Does this mean that my answer is wrong? or is it 'general answers'. I'm worried my whole 4-5 month preparation is messed up just because I don't know the exam technique. What are your thoughts and how are you guys preparing.
Also doing AQA Accounting, Maths, F-Maths and Economic.
Cheers
Good luck to all!
I'm also doing unit 2, and unit 1. First year of studying business.

The answers given in the mark scheme are just examples, you're not obliged to refer to them at all. The examiners marking will know what to look for within an answer and if your answer is relevant to the question, will the appropriate technique you will gain credit
(Original post by Hugh*)
I'm also doing unit 2, and unit 1. First year of studying business.

The answers given in the mark scheme are just examples, you're not obliged to refer to them at all. The examiners marking will know what to look for within an answer and if your answer is relevant to the question, will the appropriate technique you will gain credit
Cheers dude. I was really getting worried. Just need to do a final revision and focus a bit on marketing mix questions. They seem to catch me out a little.
Good luck.
Cheers dude. I was really getting worried. Just need to do a final revision and focus a bit on marketing mix questions. They seem to catch me out a little.
Good luck.
Yeah I'm not a fan of the marketing mix either really. Just make sure you understand the differences of the mix and I'm sure you'll be fine. Thanks, good luck to you also!
Hi,

I just answered something similar to this, and I think this may be useful to you

For application, analysis, evaluation, I'm not an expert, but I did get an A in BUSS1 and I've been working on my BUSS2 technique with my teachers so I'll share what I know ...

Whenever answering a question there are 5 Key Concepts which link in to application, analysis and evaluation.

5 Key Concepts for BUSS2
- Quality
- PED (Price Elasticity of Demand)
- Motivation
- Profit and Profitability
- Capacity Utilisation

Whenever you get a question (mostly 13-15 mark questions) these are the key ares you need to include. This doesn't mean use all of them. Two well explained is enough. Just make sure that they link directly to the case study.

Here is an example - It's just a plan, but when I wrote it out fully my teacher graded it an A grade answer so it should be of some use.

You've probably been through all the online practice papers already, so I'm going to use one which my teacher gave me. It's by AQA, but you won't get it online unless you pay for it.

The concept is two business partners who have opened up a sandwich bar which has been doing well, due to their USP of high quality and people being able to pick breads and fillings (like subway). Problems arise when a large retail outlet starts to sell packs of sandwiches and a well known brand opens up quite close. Both give them more competitors, but 60% of their customers are loyal. Unfortunately, they still make adverse income, profit and expenditure. Something also happens with suppliers and their total costs go up. They also employ more people to cater to the lunch time rush - both also increasing expenditure.

Question : Evaluate ways in which Mary and Brenda might restore net profits to their former 2008 level.

PLAN:

- Define Net Profit (for content marks)

- Reason 1 -

- Problem = High Expenditure
- Solution = Lower fixed and/or variable costs by changing to cheaper suppliers
- Counter Argument/Disadvantage = Cheaper suppliers are most likely to supply lower quality products. Because quality is their USP they risk tarnishing it and decreasing customer satisfaction. This in turn, reduces sales volume and revenue, decreasing profits.

- Reason 2 -

- Problem = Selling price is not high enough to cover expenditure and make a decent profit.
- Solution = Increase selling price. This will cover costs and may even give the image of luxury to help improve brand image and put them in league with their large brand name competitors.
- Counter Argument/Disadvantage = Handmade luxury sandwiches are an elastic product. A higher price may deter price sensitive customers, and they may switch to M&B's competitors. This leads to lower demand, sales volume, revenue and eventually lower profit.

The question asks you to 'evaluate ways', not 'to which extent do you agree' so you do not need to write a conclusion. But I'll give you tips on how to write one anyway, below :

Tips:
- A good evaluation comes down on one side, taking into account everything you have said DO NOT bring in a new point, only evaluate the pros and cons of what you have said and say which one would be most beneficial to the business, and anything which they may have to watch out for r.g. high costs etc.

- Good Application uses information DIRECTLY from the case study. This does not mean copy everything word for word, but they give you the case study for a reason, use every once of information they give you and tie in your subject knowledge.
Bad Application usually just means that you're being too general.

- Analysis consists of TWO sides. That's what most people forget. You must state the advantage and the disadvantage/counter argument. Remember, it should be specific to the case study. For Example: Yes, raising selling price is likely to bring in more money - But it is important for M&B to bring in more money because of their high expenditure due to the increase in variable costs from suppliers.

- Remember to use the key concepts, but don't go over board. In this question you can see that I only used two. Quality and Price Elasticity of Demand. What fills out the bulk of the answer is you application and analysis, saying the advantages and disadvantages of your chosen key concepts.

- When talking about profit (as the question asks) there are 7 ways to increase this, but AQA mostly uses these 3 in it's case studies: (not to say that you shouldn't study the other ones)
- Decreasing costs like wages (fixed costs) or materials (variable costs) to widen the profit margin.
- Increasing the selling price if the product is inelastic (this just means that it is a necessity like milk and bread, therefore there will be very little change in demand which normally decreases when prices go up, because we need them to live - in a sense.) this also widens the profit margin.
- Increasing sales volume (mainly through marketing to create a higher demand). The more you sell, the more you earn.

- There are 3 steps for good application and analysis.
A little like English, But it's PEA(E) instead of PEE or PEACE.

- Present the problem from the case study as a point.
- Give evidence from the case study to back up that point/enhance their problem.
- Analyse how they can solve their problem, but also talk about the drawbacks of the solution.

- When applying and using analysis , go in depth. Don't just say that this will decrease revenue, which is bad. Talk why the company can not handle a decease in revenue, it may be due to them needing to pay a bank loan off to avoid liquidation etc.

- Evaluate when needed. Talk about the pros and cons of the arguments which you mentioned in your answer (do not bring in any new points) and say which one is most likely to benefit them. If they say 'advise' or 'to what extent' you can suggest a solution and give a one sentence warning on the disadvantage if it applies to the company. E.g. changing suppliers may help in the short term, but if their USP of quality is affected this may decrease customer satisfaction.

There is loads more I could tell you, but I'm not exactly sure what you already know and what you don't, so I think I'll leave it here...

If you're still finding it difficult, I'm here to offer more help.

GOOD LUCK !
(Original post by TheBeautyInTheGeek)
Hi,

I just answered something similar to this, and I think this may be useful to you

For application, analysis, evaluation, I'm not an expert, but I did get an A in BUSS1 and I've been working on my BUSS2 technique with my teachers so I'll share what I know ...

Whenever answering a question there are 5 Key Concepts which link in to application, analysis and evaluation.

5 Key Concepts for BUSS2
- Quality
- PED (Price Elasticity of Demand)
- Motivation
- Profit and Profitability
- Capacity Utilisation

Whenever you get a question (mostly 13-15 mark questions) these are the key ares you need to include. This doesn't mean use all of them. Two well explained is enough. Just make sure that they link directly to the case study.

Here is an example - It's just a plan, but when I wrote it out fully my teacher graded it an A grade answer so it should be of some use.

You've probably been through all the online practice papers already, so I'm going to use one which my teacher gave me. It's by AQA, but you won't get it online unless you pay for it.

The concept is two business partners who have opened up a sandwich bar which has been doing well, due to their USP of high quality and people being able to pick breads and fillings (like subway). Problems arise when a large retail outlet starts to sell packs of sandwiches and a well known brand opens up quite close. Both give them more competitors, but 60% of their customers are loyal. Unfortunately, they still make adverse income, profit and expenditure. Something also happens with suppliers and their total costs go up. They also employ more people to cater to the lunch time rush - both also increasing expenditure.

Question : Evaluate ways in which Mary and Brenda might restore net profits to their former 2008 level.

PLAN:

- Define Net Profit (for content marks)

- Reason 1 -

- Problem = High Expenditure
- Solution = Lower fixed and/or variable costs by changing to cheaper suppliers
- Counter Argument/Disadvantage = Cheaper suppliers are most likely to supply lower quality products. Because quality is their USP they risk tarnishing it and decreasing customer satisfaction. This in turn, reduces sales volume and revenue, decreasing profits.

- Reason 2 -

- Problem = Selling price is not high enough to cover expenditure and make a decent profit.
- Solution = Increase selling price. This will cover costs and may even give the image of luxury to help improve brand image and put them in league with their large brand name competitors.
- Counter Argument/Disadvantage = Handmade luxury sandwiches are an elastic product. A higher price may deter price sensitive customers, and they may switch to M&B's competitors. This leads to lower demand, sales volume, revenue and eventually lower profit.

The question asks you to 'evaluate ways', not 'to which extent do you agree' so you do not need to write a conclusion. But I'll give you tips on how to write one anyway, below :

Tips:
- A good evaluation comes down on one side, taking into account everything you have said DO NOT bring in a new point, only evaluate the pros and cons of what you have said and say which one would be most beneficial to the business, and anything which they may have to watch out for r.g. high costs etc.

- Good Application uses information DIRECTLY from the case study. This does not mean copy everything word for word, but they give you the case study for a reason, use every once of information they give you and tie in your subject knowledge.
Bad Application usually just means that you're being too general.

- Analysis consists of TWO sides. That's what most people forget. You must state the advantage and the disadvantage/counter argument. Remember, it should be specific to the case study. For Example: Yes, raising selling price is likely to bring in more money - But it is important for M&B to bring in more money because of their high expenditure due to the increase in variable costs from suppliers.

- Remember to use the key concepts, but don't go over board. In this question you can see that I only used two. Quality and Price Elasticity of Demand. What fills out the bulk of the answer is you application and analysis, saying the advantages and disadvantages of your chosen key concepts.

- When talking about profit (as the question asks) there are 7 ways to increase this, but AQA mostly uses these 3 in it's case studies: (not to say that you shouldn't study the other ones)
- Decreasing costs like wages (fixed costs) or materials (variable costs) to widen the profit margin.
- Increasing the selling price if the product is inelastic (this just means that it is a necessity like milk and bread, therefore there will be very little change in demand which normally decreases when prices go up, because we need them to live - in a sense.) this also widens the profit margin.
- Increasing sales volume (mainly through marketing to create a higher demand). The more you sell, the more you earn.

- There are 3 steps for good application and analysis.
A little like English, But it's PEA(E) instead of PEE or PEACE.

- Present the problem from the case study as a point.
- Give evidence from the case study to back up that point/enhance their problem.
- Analyse how they can solve their problem, but also talk about the drawbacks of the solution.

- When applying and using analysis , go in depth. Don't just say that this will decrease revenue, which is bad. Talk why the company can not handle a decease in revenue, it may be due to them needing to pay a bank loan off to avoid liquidation etc.

- Evaluate when needed. Talk about the pros and cons of the arguments which you mentioned in your answer (do not bring in any new points) and say which one is most likely to benefit them. If they say 'advise' or 'to what extent' you can suggest a solution and give a one sentence warning on the disadvantage if it applies to the company. E.g. changing suppliers may help in the short term, but if their USP of quality is affected this may decrease customer satisfaction.

There is loads more I could tell you, but I'm not exactly sure what you already know and what you don't, so I think I'll leave it here...

If you're still finding it difficult, I'm here to offer more help.

GOOD LUCK !
Very nice mate. If I can write as half as good as that in the exam then I would say I have aced it. I will also have another look at the 5 key topics. Cheers for your help.
Very nice mate. If I can write as half as good as that in the exam then I would say I have aced it. I will also have another look at the 5 key topics. Cheers for your help.
haha Thanks
That's the spirit.
Last edited by TheBeautyInTheGeek; 13-05-2012 at 20:10. Reason: Spelling Mistake
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