nathano14
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Hello everyone,

The BUSS1 (14/5/12) and BUSS2 (21/5/12) exams are coming up and I was wondering if anyone has any tips for exam technique (i.e. Application, analysis, and evaluation). I think I especially need help on application and analysis the most.

Thanks guys
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Substitute
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Hey,

I'm just going to share some things that I've been taught about the exam technique for BUSS1 and BUSS2.

When doing analysis, I've been taught to structure the answer like this:
(this example is from a past paper that was marked by my teacher)

1. Make your point 'A benefit of Kate's qualitative market research is that she found out more people preferred vegetarian options' (Application mark)

2.This means that... 'This means that she can produce more vegetarian dishes, so customers are more likely to be satisfied with the product range.'(Analysis mark 1)


3.Therefore... 'Therefore, she is likely to get a good brand reputation.' (Analysis mark 2)

I just follow this formula for everything on the paper really; point, this means that, therefore...

Two easy points of application and analysis to look for:

Seasonality - A seasonal business will be likely to have cash flow problems.

Price Elasticity of Demand - If they include this in the paper, they want you to use it! Although this will only appear in Unit 2 case studies, you can bring the concept into the Unit 1 exam. Saying that [insert point] may depend on the elasticity is still a valid line of analysis.

Hope this helps.
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TheBeautyInTheGeek
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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 ! :thumbsup:

Revision Materials: http://thebeautyinthegeek.blogspot.co.uk/
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HP348
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With regards to answering questions do you always look for a problem? Then turn it on its head.

Sorry meant to say thankyou
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nathano14
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Do you always have to give a counter argument, or can you just give one advantage/disadvantage then move on to the next point?
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homousandfalafel
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For the longer questions like 'To what extent do you agree or disagree' we've been told to do:

Define
3 arguements for
3 arguements against
evaluation (which one you choose and justify why)

So for example: to what extent do you agree with bobs decision on buying a franchise?

-define franchise

-3 arguements for his decision- ('well known business - so customers will be familiar with it' 'doesnt have to spend money on advertising' 'gets support from franchisor etc....)

-3 arguements against (' has to stick to the procedure given by franchisor' 'loss of control over business' 'expensive to buy' etc....)

-Evaluation ( Good idea because... ) or ( Not a good idea because....) and state the reasons you havent chosen the alternative argument.

So e.g. i think bobs idea to become a franchise will benefit him because he will have the support of the franchisor and this can help with decisions such as pricing, choosing suppliers and planning ahead. This should reduce the risk of the business failing as the franchisor has a greater experience, their is joint power and support in contrast to if bob had to set it up alone. Despite the fact this costs money, there is no evidence for bob having any financial difficulties and therefore buying a franchise would be the best option to him.

^ Just a rough example.

Remember to link everything you talk about to the case study for application marks - including the evaluation!!


I've got the re-take monday !!! ahhhhh
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humziie
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helo, i was wondering if someone could help me if i put up an answer to one of the questions and tell me how to improve it and what mark it is?
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humziie
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JAN 2009
Q 2(C)
Franchise is when a frachisee buys the rights from a franchisor to use/sell its products.

I believe this was the right decision because according to the case-study, figures in table one show that with option 2 Youssef needs to sell 8000 units in order to break even, whereas with option 1 he would only need to sell 5714 units which is much less. This means that there is much more scope for making profit with option 1 and can generate more sales revenue.
Also according to the case-study, option 1 has greater scope for growth because it can add value and attract more customers which cannot be done with option 1. This means that he can attract customers to pay higher prices because his product of fair trade creates a USP which allows the business to be differentiated from his competitors hence can make more profit.

However, I do no believe this was the right choice because according to the table 2 , the cash-flow for option 1 shows that Youssef would be running in a negative cash-flow. This means that Youssef might be forced into taking further loans therefore it would add onto long-term cash problems and can be a reason for failure.
Also according to the case-study, option 2 would provide services such as training which means that it would be really helpful for Youssef because he is inexperienced which can lead him to make wrong decisions hence another potential reason for failure.

Overall, option 1 is better because it has a larger scope for growth which means Youssef can expect to make much more profit in the long term. However, start-up costs for option 1 are much higher compared to option 2 which can lead Youssef to take further loans, which can result in long-term problems.
I would recommend Youssef to stay with option one because he can break-even with less units and make more profit. Youssef has taken a risk by choosing option 1 which is one of the characteristics of a successful entrepreneurs therefore his business can be successful.
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MaryMary234
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(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 ! :thumbsup:
Hey, i'm resitting this exam AGAIN!! could you share more exam technique tips plssss I have poor technique.
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homousandfalafel
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(Original post by humziie)
JAN 2009
Q 2(C)
Franchise is when a frachisee buys the rights from a franchisor to use/sell its products.

I believe this was the right decision because according to the case-study, figures in table one show that with option 2 Youssef needs to sell 8000 units in order to break even, whereas with option 1 he would only need to sell 5714 units which is much less. This means that there is much more scope for making profit with option 1 and can generate more sales revenue.
Also according to the case-study, option 1 has greater scope for growth because it can add value and attract more customers which cannot be done with option 1. This means that he can attract customers to pay higher prices because his product of fair trade creates a USP which allows the business to be differentiated from his competitors hence can make more profit.

However, I do no believe this was the right choice because according to the table 2 , the cash-flow for option 1 shows that Youssef would be running in a negative cash-flow. This means that Youssef might be forced into taking further loans therefore it would add onto long-term cash problems and can be a reason for failure.
Also according to the case-study, option 2 would provide services such as training which means that it would be really helpful for Youssef because he is inexperienced which can lead him to make wrong decisions hence another potential reason for failure.

Overall, option 1 is better because it has a larger scope for growth which means Youssef can expect to make much more profit in the long term. However, start-up costs for option 1 are much higher compared to option 2 which can lead Youssef to take further loans, which can result in long-term problems.
I would recommend Youssef to stay with option one because he can break-even with less units and make more profit. Youssef has taken a risk by choosing option 1 which is one of the characteristics of a successful entrepreneurs therefore his business can be successful.
Just a tip, don't ever start with 'I beleive this was the right decision'or 'I beleive this was the wrong decision' ... leave that to the evaluation, because at the beggining of the question you want to analyse the reasons and then come to the conclusion of 'what you beleive' So you dont give the examiner the impression you have already made your mind up, before you have even analysed why. Thats what we were told, but other than that its a good answer as you've defined, stated arguements for, arguements against and evaluated.
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TheBeautyInTheGeek
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(Original post by MaryMary234)
Hey, i'm resitting this exam AGAIN!! could you share more exam technique tips plssss I have poor technique.
Sure, but there's a lot to know, which you generally just pick up as you go along.
What exactly do you need help with ?
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TheBeautyInTheGeek
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(Original post by HP348)
With regards to answering questions do you always look for a problem? Then turn it on its head.

Sorry meant to say thankyou
Your Welcome

What I meant was to look for the problem, give a solution that could be beneficial, but also give a drawback/disadvantage to show that you have thought about all sides of the argument. You then finalise whatever advantage you think will be most beneficial in the evaluation/conclusion.

You don't have to completely turn it on it's head. Just make sure you show that you are thinking of long term implications that may occur etc

Hope that answers your question
Just message me again if you need further explanation etc
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MaryMary234
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(Original post by TheBeautyInTheGeek)
Sure, but there's a lot to know, which you generally just pick up as you go along.
What exactly do you need help with ?
I tend to drift off topic when answering a question, I also struggle with evaluation and application.
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nathano14
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Well...that exam was moderately hard...
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ossR
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(Original post by nathano14)
Well...that exam was moderately hard...
Do you think? I'm doing a levels as a 'mature student' and a private candidate teaching myself, 21 years old (I ****ed around at school) and this is one of the first I've done in a while and I found it not too bad. Which makes me worry that I underestimated what was asked of me lol. What did you find hard?
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nathano14
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The break even chart got me by surprise. It didn't say on the front of the exam paper that we needed a pencil, ruler etc, so I didn't expect it to come up. Damn AQA and they're mischievous ways. I just hope my Maths exam goes a lot better tomorrow...
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humziie
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can anyone explain how to actually do that breakeven chart question?
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Genius434
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(Original post by Substitute)
Hey,

I'm just going to share some things that I've been taught about the exam technique for BUSS1 and BUSS2.

When doing analysis, I've been taught to structure the answer like this:
(this example is from a past paper that was marked by my teacher)

1. Make your point 'A benefit of Kate's qualitative market research is that she found out more people preferred vegetarian options' (Application mark)

2.This means that... 'This means that she can produce more vegetarian dishes, so customers are more likely to be satisfied with the product range.'(Analysis mark 1)


3.Therefore... 'Therefore, she is likely to get a good brand reputation.' (Analysis mark 2)

I just follow this formula for everything on the paper really; point, this means that, therefore...

Two easy points of application and analysis to look for:

Seasonality - A seasonal business will be likely to have cash flow problems.

Price Elasticity of Demand - If they include this in the paper, they want you to use it! Although this will only appear in Unit 2 case studies, you can bring the concept into the Unit 1 exam. Saying that [insert point] may depend on the elasticity is still a valid line of analysis.

Hope this helps.

For the application: "The case study says"... Boosts your application alot!
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TheBeautyInTheGeek
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(Original post by MaryMary234)
I tend to drift off topic when answering a question, I also struggle with evaluation and application.
The main thing to remember is NOT to over complicate things and just to simply ANSWER the question.

If you look at BUSS2 Mark Schemes, the answers are about one line long, with very little allowance and/or marks for other business knowledge.

Therefore, in terms of keeping on topic, there is no point bringing in all your business knowledge (to show how much you know) if it doesn't relate directly to the question because it either gains you no marks or gets you graded down.

Simply state what the question is asking you. For example: When writing about benefits give the advantage, and stick to EVIDENCE that is clear in the case study, not what you already know.

A lot of people write well, but do badly in their evaluation for this simple fact:
They evaluate a new advantage or disadvantage which they have not mentioned previously in their argument.

Evaluate means to take every solution you have said (taking into account pros and cons) and pick one which will benefit the business the most.

Application is literally making every reason personal to the business in the case study.

This is something that can not really be taught efficiently because the case study changes every time, thus the application changes.

A way that you can teach yourself is to read answers (like the example above) and highlight where you think they have made the advantage/disadvantage personal to the business.

Example Question: Give two advantages of lowering production costs for so and so business.

For Example a C/D answer without application will say:
An advantage to so and so business is cutting costs. This will increase profit because of lower expenditure on production.

On the other hand, an A/B answer with application will say:
By cutting costs so and so business may benefit from a higher profit than shown in their current cash flow forecast (or budget), because the net profit margin will be widened, due to reduced production costs which lowers expenditure. This increase in profit will be beneficial to so and so business by making their current adverse profit variance (show in their budget) favourable. Thus showing them as profitable on their finance statements, allowing them to borrow the money for a loan which they need from the bank for new machinery to improve and increase productivity.

(Not perfectly accurate - I just made this up ... but you get the picture)

Do you see the difference ?
Good Application can make the difference between a whole grade, maybe even two. :/

Application isn't just adding the name of the business into your sentence...

It's not just that it is more detailed, and there are more technical terms (okay, that's a part of it...); But it is mainly because the advantage (which is the same in both answers) is logically intertwined.

The second answers uses the forecasts from the case study to prove that the business is making a loss (adverse) in profit and therefore needs a solution to this. The solution is well explained, which is enough for a B/C grade. But to really push it up and gain those application marks the second answers looks for a reason why this particular business needs an in increase profit. (Not just that it is shown in their forecasts). The reason is because they need a new machine to improve and increase productivity. Banks always look at a businesses statements to see if they are profitable and able to pay the loan back. This is application, looking for the reason why this business in particular benefits from the advantage.

One more thing to remember is not to go over board when comparing advantages and disadvantages. 2 advantages, faced with 2 disadvantages that are well explained and analysed is enough.

Hope That Helps

Good Luck :yy:

Revision Materials: http://thebeautyinthegeek.blogspot.co.uk/
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aisha 56
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hey.. actually ur explanation is helping... can you please give me some more examples or tips of how to structure unit 1 exam questions which are 15 markers.
thank you
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