Exam technique classes. AS Business Studies

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1 Exam technique classes Exam technique classes are aimed at helping students when answering questions in external, periodicand final exams. Certain skills are required in order to gain full marks especially in external exams. Exam technique classes will help students achieve these skills and improve their grades. This document contains a guide on the skills required and how to go about mastering them in order to achieve a grade A in the external exams taken at level N.There are also past paper questions at the end of this documentwhich teachers will use in class to practice with students. AS Business Studies To get a good grade in the AS Business studies, you need a good understanding of the subject matter, an up to date awareness of current business issues, good communication skills and good exam technique. The Edexcel AS level Business exam consists of two papers/units Unit 1: Developing New Business Ideas. (examiner is Jim Byng) This is an introduction to business and business ideas. Usually based on material you have been covering in your homework exams. Content summary: This unit covers the characteristics students would need to develop to be successful in business and how new or existing businesses generate their product or service ideas and test them through market research. Students should also consider the competition in the market; the economic climate; how the business might be financed and how much revenue the idea might generate. Assessment: Section A: supported multiple choice questions, where students write a short justification of why they chose that answer and/or why the other answers are incorrect, worth 32 marks out of 70 marks (8 multiple choice questions). Section B: questions based on data, worth 38 marks out of total of 70 marks. Note: This unit is based on your basic knowledge. Homework questions help improve your basic knowledge for this exam.

2 Unit 2b: Managing the Business (Examiner: KerieWelhan) Content summary: This unit covers key activities which students may be involved in if they were to set up and/or manage a business whether small, medium sized or large. It also introduces students to some basic management tools and models which will be developed in the A2 qualifications if they continue this subject at grade 13 level. Assessment: Examination of 1 hour 15 minutes in two sections.total of 70 marks. Section A: supported multiple choice questions where students write a short justification of why they chose that answer and/or why the other answers are incorrect, worth 24 marks out of 70 marks (6 multiple choice questions). Section B: questions based on data, worth 46 marks out of total of 70 marks. The four basic skills for this exam are as follows: A01: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the specified content. 30% of the total AS exam. A02: Apply knowledge and understanding(in context) of the specified content to problems and issues arising from both familiar and unfamiliar situations. 30% of the total AS exam. A03: Analyse problems, issues and situations. 20% of the total AS exam. A04: Evaluate, distinguish between and assess appropriateness of fact and opinion, and judge information from a variety of sources. 20% of the total AS exam.

3 Understanding these skills in more detail: 1. Knowledge: This is an accurate understanding of what business concepts mean. E.g. a definition shows knowledge. Command words used in exams questions: Identify Outline State 2. Application: your knowledge must be applied (linked) to the example business in the question/ case or use your own example to illustrate what you are trying to explain. There will always be data in the case that you can relate to in order to gain your applications marks. You must pick out this information and mention it. Command words used in exams questions: How might business X? Suggest how business X.. 3. Analysis: Identify Causes Costs Consequences If then statements to explore possibilities. Link chain of ideas. When you comment or explain a result based on knowledge and theory of the subject. Command words used in exams questions:

4 Analyse Explain Examine Why? 4. Evaluation:These will be the highest mark questions How would you justify your decision, or do you think it was a wise decision? Discuss your decision. This is like being in a court case, where you look at both sides of the argument and then make a decision at the end based on certain points that you felt were vital in helping you make your decision. Evaluation is essentially pros / cons, advantages / disadvantages or costs / benefits or whatever the question is. Reliability of material in the case is always a good way of evaluating your decision. Short run/long run effects might come under either analysis, but can also be used to evaluate. Command words used in exams questions that want you to evaluate: Examine Discuss Asses Evaluate Recommend To what extent Justify

5 Follow the template in appendix 1 to help you plan your answer. This is used by examiners themselves in their own classrooms. How are marks distributed towards the different skills in the exam: How to deal with Supported Multiple choice Here students need to choose the correct answer and support it with a written explanation. 1 mark is given for correct answer and 3 marks for the explanation. Examples on how to score the 3 marks in the explanation? A definition of a concept in the question will always give you 1 mark A calculation will give you 1 mark

6 Working out gives you 1 mark, but you must show your working clearly An explanation of why this is the correct answer gives you 1 2 marks An annotation on a diagram gives you 1 mark, e.g. shading in the area of profit gives you 1 mark There is a cap of 2 marks out of 3 marks for explaining why the others are not correct (known as knock outs). For example, a definition and two knock outs gets you full marks. How to deal with Case studies The AS exam will consist of a total of 2 case studies, which are an in depth business scenario. Here you will need to show your ability to analyse and evaluate a situation whilst being in context with the case. Case studies are usually used to integrate the assessment of various topics. In order to score a high mark in cases studies, you must always relate your answers to the scenario and the situation given to you. This involves placing your answers in a realistic context and how the firm in the case is likely to react in that situation. Each question will have a command word (we will look at these later on in more detail); this will direct you to answer the question in a way that will enable you to score full marks. Marks allocation in each question will help you formulate the answer needed and the amount of time you should be spending on each question. Examiners like it when students understand how to write in order to get full marks. It makes marking for them far easier. You always start the exam by defining key business terminology that has been used in the question. Analyse the question, using theory when necessary, and with reference to the case. Make a judgement when you re asked to do so and justify it. How to understand the marks beside the question: The following is not a rule set in stone, but can be a useful tool when answering questions.

7 6 mark questions: are usually for briefly analyse questions (2 for knowledge+2 for application + 2 for analysis) 8 mark questions: for analyse questions(2 for knowledge+2 for application + 4 for analysis) 8 marks questions: for asses questions (1 for knowledge+2 for application + 2 for analysis + 3 for evaluation) 9 mark questions: are usually for Assess questions (2 for knowledge + 2 for application + 2 for analysis + 2 for evaluation) 10 marks questions:for asses/evaluate questions ( 1 knowledge + 1 for application + 3 for analysis + 5 for evaluation) 12 mark questions: are usually for Evaluate questions (2 for knowledge + 2 for application + 3 for analysis + 5 for evaluation) 15 mark questions: are usually for Evaluation questions (2 for knowledge + 1 for application + 4 for analysis + 8 for evaluation) Questions with high marks have a balance, look from both points of view!even if you have a brilliant answer that is one sided, because you won t gain full marks. Always end the big mark question (12 marks or more) summing up and giving a conclusion. Note: If you successfully evaluate, then you must have knowledge and be in context so you will gain your knowledge and application marks automatically and get the first 2 skills A01 and A02. Evaluation in terms of MOPS To gain the highest marks students are using the acronym MOPS as a useful tool when evaluating questions. Each letter can be used as an aid on for how their conclusion can be contextualised. But MOPS is mostly used in the A2 part of the exam taken in grade 13, but can be used also as a useful tool in the AS too for the high mark questions with evaluation. MOPS: M: Market: How does the market effect the question?what are the characteristics of the market in which the business operates? How does this influence your conclusion? e.g., like if your outsourcing and the market in which the firms in operating is very competitive then it may be a good idea to get the cost advantage over other competitors.

8 O: Objectives: How do the firms objectives align to the situation in which they find themselves. What are the objectives of the business? How does this influence your conclusion? P:Product: What products or services does the business sell? How might this influence your thinking? How does the product that the firm produce lend itself to the situation, for example equipment that can easily be mass produced by unskilled labour is better to outsource than one that needs high tech capital and skilled human inputs. S: What is the current situation the business finds itself in? Does this affect your conclusion? Tips from the examiners: Use the one minute per mark rule when answering questions. The examiner unit 1(Jim Byng) tends to be very keen on students using context. He is also very fond of least and Not questions, the type used in your economics and Business AMS and H.W exams since grade 10. Use examples if you have any, they can boost dodgy definitions. If you put two letters as the answer in the multiple choice, that s an instant zero for that question. Look for command words in the question and answer accordingly. Always answer the question set by the examiner, not the question you would like to answer! Never use slang in the exam, like go bust. Avoid the word money, use profit or revenue.

9 Always write in space provided and do not draw/ write in pencil. Use supplementary sheets if need so. Do not use text book answers; be in context/theme with the case otherwise you will lose marks. Bullet point answers are not recommended Students make a mistake of writing too much on earlier(easier) questions and never reach the last questions. Move on and come back later if time is left. Do not re write evidence in your answers, just refer to tables or line numbers, this will save time. Read, read and then re read the question. Make sure your answer applies to the question. Some students mis read the question and write the wrong answer. Do not waffle,you will not get any extra marks. Do not use etc., principal examiners pet hate. Do not put long definitionsif they don t add anything. They will take space and won t gain you any marks. Make sure you spell properly, especially the word business. RememberEdexcel mark positively. Students don t assess or evaluate enough and that s where they lose marks. Words like however and but show your evaluating your response. These are where the top marks are. Don t spend too much time discussing alternatives not suggested by the question. Write a conclusion even if it s brief.

10 Work on your definitions, they are a way of boosting your marks on the lower mark questions. Use your common sense when suggesting possible strategies. Think if they are feasible and comment on their potential success if it is a longer point question. Witty and rude remarks earn you nothing and waste time. Do not repeat yourself. Appendix 1 Answer Frame work Introduction/concepts: you need to talk about business concepts that have been mentioned in the lesson. This divide iskey to teach students Advantages/ arguments for: Because this means that this is likely to Link these with however and but. Disadvantages/ arguments against: Because this means that this is likely to Link these with however and but. Your judgements:what do you think? There is no right or wrong answer for this; you just have to back up your decision with reasons. But you must come to a judgement.

11 Conclusion: Now that you have studied the exam format carefully and understood the skills needed to gain maximum marks, it s time to practice what you have learnt. The best way to practice for the exam is to do some past papers. Spend the next few weeks before the exam going over past papers with your teacherand then doing some on your own. But remember, the most important tool to doing past papers is comparing your answers to the marking scheme. This gives you an indication on how accurate and correct your answer is. How to conduct the Exam technique classes Please use the past exam papers attached to this document and the marking scheme during these sessions. Each student should have a copy of the exam paper. Each question will be read out a couple of times to the class by the teacher. Individually, students will then think about how they will answer the question and they will write their ideas in their copy books. Enough time should be given for students to think about their answers and discuss these within their groups members, led by the group leader/ subject prefect. As soon as everyone is ready, the teacher, in the form of a discussion, should go over everyone s answer and write on the board, in order, presenting how the answer should be. All students must then write, in their copy books, the correct answer to the question. Focus should be on understanding the correct order of answering a question. This is essential to scoring full marks in exams.

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