Exam Review: Business Studies

Review of the Business paper by Shauna Mujic & Mary Kelly

Overall, a challenging but fair paper. The well-prepared student was granted the opportunity to excel. This paper had good choice, with questions suited to all students, and did not veer too drastically away from the syllabus and textbook knowledge. It was a current and modern exam, and it was nice to see questions made relatable to students, with reference to businesses such as 4th Arc, IKEA, Rolex watches and Prime drinks.

Short questions: A mix of questions from all units, some requiring quite a lot of detail. Students will have welcomed the variety of question styles, including lots of multiple choice, business abbreviations and a calculation of the average clause. There were a couple of terms that have not previously featured in short questions- such as a Joint Labour Committee from Unit 1- however, given that students were required to answer just 8 out of 12 questions, most will have found this section still manageable.

Applied Business Question: a challenging but fair ABQ, allowing well-prepared students the opportunity to shine. As with all ABQ questions, the points lie within the case study. The ABQ examined the well-practiced skills/characteristics of an entrepreneur, elements of a contract, and management skills. All three parts of this ABQ have featured before in recent years, so most students would have had these topics prepared for and managed it well.

Long Questions:

Students were required to answer 4 out of 8 long questions. In line with the last three years, the additional long question in part one was on Unit 1- which will have been welcomed by most.
Questions 1 & 4 were both based on Unit 1, which were some of the more challenging questions on the paper as they required a very in-depth knowledge of Unit 1’s laws and state agencies. Question 2 on unit 6 was approachable, as was question 3 on unit 7. Question 5 was a manageable question on unit 3, with the appearance of technology for the first time in a lot of years.

A balanced blend of topics from units 4 & 5 were examined within questions 6 & 7, and it was great to see an appearance of the long-awaited cashflow forecast question, which most students will have hoped for and practiced well. Ratios did make an appearance, but not as a calculation – rather that students understood some of the common terms used in ratio analysis.

Question 8; an entire question on Marketing from unit 5. Students will have welcomed the appearance of pricing and sales promotion here, which were very manageable for the practiced student. Part B on advertising was the more challenging part of this question- with the appearance of the abbreviation ASAI (Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland)- although this will only be worth a few marks, it may have put some students off attempting this otherwise very straightforward question (again, serving as a reminder to not cut oneself short in terms of units when preparing for the higher-level business exam).