GCSE

You are following the AQA new specification for Business Studies. It is hoped that teachers will have completed the delivery of the syllabus by spring half term. Lesson time after this holiday will be dedicated to revision of topics and practice of exam papers.

You will take 2 exam papers in the summer 2015:

  • Starting a Business
  • Growing as a Business

Year 11 Assessments

Use the links below to download Powerpoints to help with your revision:

Downloads

What we are doing at school to help you

After School Revision Sessions

We are currently running after school revision classes on a Wednesday in C231 at 3:20pm - 4:20pm. This is an opportunity to go over any topics you find tough, or to ask questions you might not get a chance to in class.

Exam day warm ups

We will organise sessions for you to attend just before your exams. These will focus on exam paper structure, key reminders for dealing with different types of questions and getting your minds focussed on business topics/issues.

If you require any other teacher support or have good ideas that help you in other subjects please discuss these with your teachers.

What should you be doing at home

In order to do well in business studies you need to master two key issues. Firstly you need to be secure on subject knowledge. Secondly you need to be able to show your knowledge in the way the examiner wants to see it.

Getting the knowledge secure

Key terms
Can you explain different business terms?, Go through glossaries, the key terms book and read through terms. You could use a traffic light system red, amber and green for terms you don’t know, sort of know and are OK with. See if you can describe the terms to a friend or parent. See if you can write your own definitions to terms. Check answers and update your traffic lights. If there are terms you don’t know use websites or ask teachers to explain.

Learning the maths bits!
You will be given the ratio formulae but you still need to be confident with working out cash flow and working out gross and net profit. Topic cue cards can be useful to make to help learn the concepts.

Showing your knowledge in the right way

Examination questions have key words that prompt you to answer in a certain way. In business studies they often ask you to describe or explain issues. This means you need to answer in sentences not in lists! You will be asked to analyse or consider advantages and disadvantages. In these questions you need to explain the good and bad points of an issue. Lastly you will be ask to make decisions and justify these or evaluate an issue. In these questions you need to consider the ‘best’ idea/alternative based on the advantages and disadvantages that you have presented.

To help practice these skills try the following:

  • Take an issue e.g. should firm A raise its prices? Identify why it might be a good or bad idea. Then try to identify things that will swing the decision one way or the other e.g. how many competitors are there? How will they react? Will people pay higher prices?
  • You can also draw mind maps. Put a key topic or question in the middle of a sheet of paper and then try to develop links or other questions in a diagram.
  • Try revising with a friend. This can help, but you need to have a plan of what you are going to do and stick to it! You can discuss issues, test each other, write answers and read each other’s work etc.

Good luck, and please seek help from staff when you need it.

Exam Board Links

The AQA website has detailed information about the specification, past papers, examiners reports. These are accessed by the following web link: http://web.aqa.org.uk/qual/newgcses/business/new/business_overview.

If you are unable to access the page from the above link please go to www.aqa.org.uk, then select qualifications on the left hand side. Then select GCSE from the drop down menu then business studies 4133.

We will be using past papers in lessons and for homework between now and the summer exams.

Revision Websites

A number of websites have good business studies revision materials:

  • www.businessstudiesonline.com: this site has a range of topic notes, activities and diagrams. The materials are very good and easy to follow. Select GCSE business studies and then either theory notes or online activities.
  • www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/: this link takes you to bite size homepage. Pick Business Studies and access notes and short tests.
  • www.tutor2u.net: Tutor2u have lots of good notes. If you investigate the site you will find other revision tools.
  • www.bized.co.uk: bized again has loads of good notes and materials. The resources are more geared up to A level students, but they are a good reference source.
  • www.revisionguru.co.uk: this site has an online text book with definitions and diagrams on key topics.

The web sites listed above are a sample of what is available. You need to be careful as all sites will cover different issues in different levels of depth. Some of the materials are not on our GCSE syllabus.

How should websites be used?

It depends on your needs. They are good to read through notes on a specific topic e.g. if you want an overview of balance sheets find a set of notes, read them through, make some summary key points.

Don't spend hours on end just skimming through website materials without doing anything else like summary cards, questions or mind maps etc.

Revision Guides

GCSE revision guides from BBC Bitesize are available from any bookstore at a cost of £5.99.
The text book that we use is AQA Business Studies By Peter Stimpson et al – Published by Nelson Thornes.

Answering exam questions

  • Tip 1: Read the question carefully and think about what it is asking you
  • Tip 2: Look at the number of marks allocated and answer the question accordingly
  • Tip 3: Give a full definition and an example if you can think of one
  • Tip 4: Nine mark questions should be structured as follows

(4 marks) ANALYSIS

Look for ‘Gifts’ and ‘Hooks’ in the case

START WITH A JUDGEMENT

  • Advantages and disadvantages

    State the advantage

    Link to the case with a quote or reference

    Impact it will have on the owner or business

    Use CONNECTIVES between ADV & DIS e.g. however, on the other hand…

    This can be done in a sentence or two for each advantage and disadvantage

    Remember;

    if two options just do one ADV and DIS, if one option do two ADV and DIS

    Example of SLI

    Advantage of changing ownership to a Public Limited Company is the ability to raise more capital (S) this will help business X fund their new product Y (L) the extra capital can help them develop product Y for buying faster efficient  technology needed to make the product (I)

5 (marks) EVALUATION

Decide the option the business should choose…I think they should

Objectives…..how would this help them meet objectives (in the case usually)

Stakeholders affected by your decision positively or negatively

It depends on…Question the Question???

  • The option would depend on cost
  • The option would depend market research
  • The option would depend on customer response
  • The option depends on if they want to succeed in short term or long term

 These ‘it depends’ could be anything but must be related to the case

Recommend another option maybe

The skill to evaluation is to understand that your decision depends on certain factors and views of stakeholders and don’t be afraid to explain information you would need further to make a better judgement

There’s rarely a straightforward ‘correct’ answer to these questions. Instead, you’re being tested on your ability to say “hmmmm ..... well the answer depends on this and this. But if such-and such were true, I might change my answer”.

  • Tip 5: Do not waste time in the exam at the end. Read through your answers and see whether you can add any more.
  • Tip 6: Feel free to use extra paper for longer answers if necessary.

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