Assessment Report

Level 1 Business Studies 2021

Standards 90837  90838  90839

Part A: Commentary

Candidates who achieved at a higher level, understood the resource material provided, had knowledge of business concepts, content and specific terminology (for example, source of finance, SMART goals), read the questions thoroughly, used appropriate small businesses and were able to provide relevant business solutions to operational problems in a small business. These candidates recognised what a small business is and did not choose to write about a large business, and had in the learning kete the knowledge of a small business and their business operations. These candidates also used and applied relevant Māori business concepts to expand their answers to the business context provided.

Candidates who did not achieve misunderstood the resource material or resources provided, attempted only parts of each question and had limited business knowledge. These candidates repeated the resource material or the wording of the question.

The majority of candidates who did achieve, demonstrated that they understood the questions asked, answered most parts of each question and were able to apply business knowledge correctly. These candidates understood the business terminology used and were able to connect relevant business terminology and knowledge to the context provided.

 

Part B: Report on standards

90837:  Demonstrate an understanding of internal features of a small business

Examinations

The examination consisted of three questions, and candidates were required to respond to all three.

Question One required candidates to read the background information on Ski Explore and a recent change in business operations resulting in a change of business name to Explore More, and then discuss the impact of Ryan’s entrepreneurial characteristics on Ski Explore. Candidates were then required to identify a short-term-source of finance for purchasing new inventory and explain an advantage and disadvantage of the identified source of finance.

Question Two required candidates to explain and provide examples of effective employer-employee relationships by referring to the recent hiring of two new employees by Ski Explore – Holly and Dan. Candidates were then required to choose a small business that they had studied and explain TWO features of being a good employer, and how each feature affected or may affect employee attitudes towards the business that they had studied.

Question Three required candidates to define the term ‘business objective’ and explain why business objectives are important to Explore More. Candidates were then asked to choose a SMART business objective and describe one way (one action) in which Explore More could operate its business to meet the chosen SMART business objective.

All three questions required written answers and were scaffolded by breaking the question down into several parts, which covered the requirements of the assessment specifications. Candidates were expected to incorporate relevant business concepts / knowledge relating to the internal features of a small business and Māori business concepts into their written answer.

Observations

There were a number of candidates who did not appear to understand specific business terminology or how specific business terminology linked to the question being asked – for example, how the economic cycle impacts interest rates and consequently businesses.

Candidates who had thoroughly studied a small local business throughout their teaching and learning year were able to construct answers that were more relevant to the questions asked.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • understood what the question was asking in relation to the resource provided
  • answered most parts of each question
  • defined / identified business terms correctly
  • used some of the resource material to support answers
  • used relevant business terms rather than generic terminology in their answers
  • brought their kete of knowledge on a small business they had studied.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly: 

  • attempted only parts of questions, or failed to attempt questions
  • defined / identified business terms incorrectly
  • did not use the resource material to support answers
  • used generic terminology in their answers
  • misinterpreted some parts of the questions.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • understood the context and the questions asked
  • applied business concepts correctly to the resource material provided
  • explained most of their responses by applying business concepts to the resource material provided
  • understood specific business terminology, e.g. SMART business goals.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • integrated the resource material provided into their responses
  • used relevant business concepts throughout answers given
  • provided a comprehensive, detailed answer to all questions
  • integrated relevant Māori business concepts, enabling a comprehensive answer to be demonstrated.

 


 

90838: Demonstrate an understanding of external factors influencing a small business

Examinations

The examination consisted of three questions, and candidates were required to respond to all three.

Question One required candidates to read the context about River and Raft and explain one positive consequence for River and Raft of low interest rates, and then explain a strategy that the owners of the River and Raft could implement to take advantage of the low interest rates. Candidates were then required to explain the meaning of the term ‘external stakeholders’ and select an external stakeholder for River and Raft from a provided list, and then explain why the external stakeholder would be interested in the success of the business.

Question Two required candidates to explain one benefit and one negative impact of competition for River and Raft. Candidates were then required to choose a small business they had studied and discuss two possible responses using the business concepts of price and non-price competition, that the chosen business could implement to remain successful and ahead of their competitors.

Question Three required candidates to explore environmental influences, specifically weather patterns, and the short-term and long-term impact of changing weather patterns on River and Raft. Candidates were then required to select one environmental influence and describe a strategy River and Raft could implement to reduce the impact of an environmental influence and the consequences of implementing the chosen strategy.

All three questions required written answers and were scaffolded by breaking the question down into several parts, which covered the requirements of the assessment specifications. Candidates were expected to incorporate relevant business concepts / knowledge relating to the external factors influencing a small business and Māori business concepts into their written answers.

Observations

Candidates need to be aware of linking business terminology and concepts to the impact on the business, for example the impact of banks charging interest rates on the operating expenses of the business. Candidates also need to be aware of the difference between stakeholders and shareholders, price and non-price competition, as it is only when candidates understand the specific business terminology used that they can graduate their responses from ‘describe’ to ‘explain’.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • described and identified key business concepts
  • made use of relevant business terminology – for example, income / revenue, profit, and sales
  • described their answer rather than explaining by linking to consequences.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • provided brief answers that showed little understanding of the business concepts being asked
  • showed little or no understanding of the business concepts – for example, economic cycle and the connection of this cycle to interest rates
  • attempted only parts of questions, or failed to attempt questions
  • misunderstood business terminology – for example, ‘external stakeholders’
  • did not use a small business for Question 3(b), but instead used the business context provided.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • understood the context and the questions asked
  • applied business concepts correctly to the resource material provided
  • explained most of their responses by linking to consequences affecting the business
  • understood the Māori business concept and included this concept to expand their answers.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • understood the impact of external events on the operations of the business and their flow-on effects
  • provided comprehensive explanations around the reasons for consequences / impacts affecting the business
  • related external factors to a small business comprehensively.

 


 

90839:  Apply business knowledge to an operational problem(s) in a given small business context

Examinations

The examination consisted of three questions, and candidates were required to respond to all three.

Students were provided with definitions and given a case study (Inspire Enterprises), a quantitative results table, and a recent news article in the resource material provided prior to attempting questions in the examination paper.

Question One required candidates to read resources and the recent context with regards to Inspire Enterprises and discuss the impact of workplace conflicts on Inspire Enterprises. Candidates were then asked to discuss the best way for the employees to resolve their differences, including discussing the advantages of the solution that was chosen and the likely impact of this solution on the employees in the future.

Question Two required candidates to interpret resource material provided about the COVID-19 outbreak and the NZ Ministry of Health Guidelines. Candidates were then asked to apply this resource material to the context of Inspire Enterprises, discussing an action that could be implemented in the workplace to keep employees safe during the pandemic. Candidates were asked to explain how the action could reduce the impact of the pandemic on the employees, and why the action that they chose would be the most appropriate action to take. Candidates were also required to discuss why, during a COVID-19 outbreak, a cash flow loan scheme could be a good solution for Inspire Enterprises, using the resource material about small business cash flow loans. Candidates were required to explain how taking a small business loan would reduce the cash flow problems in the short term.

Question Three required candidates to discuss how making full-time staff redundant could attract negative publicity and affect Inspire Enterprises in the long term. Candidates were asked to define negative publicity and explain how negative publicity could affect Inspire Enterprises in the short term and long term. Candidates were then required to outline how changing their business operations to incorporate the online business-to-consumer market would be beneficial for Inspire Enterprises, by outlining the advantages and disadvantages of Inspire Enterprises of entering into a different market.

All three questions required written answers and were scaffolded by breaking the question down into several parts, which covered the requirements of the assessment specifications. Candidates were expected to incorporate relevant business concepts / knowledge into the operational problems provided across the three questions for Inspire Enterprises and Māori business concepts in their written answers.

Observations

Candidates who misread the question or did not use the resource material produced answers which were not relevant to the question. Candidates gave answer that was a personal, emotional response rather than an action that they would take to an operational problem that the business had to respond to.

Grade awarding

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • described or identified problems and solutions
  • provided basic definitions of terms
  • applied some examples throughout their responses
  • stated resource material in answers
  • had knowledge of basic business concepts.

Candidates whose work was assessed as Not Achieved commonly:

  • attempted only parts of questions, or failed to attempt questions
  • misread or misunderstood the questions
  • were unable to identify the operational problems
  • did not describe appropriate solutions
  • lacked understanding of basic business concepts or terms
  • failed to apply resource material throughout answers.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • answered all parts of each question
  • explained problems and both short-term and long-term solutions in depth
  • included examples where relevant
  • explained specific business concepts in context
  • used evidence from the resource material to support their explanations.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:  

  • fully explained problems and both short-term and long-term solutions, expanding their explanations to include the impact on the business
  • included detailed examples where relevant
  • demonstrated fluency in business terminology and business knowledge
  • integrated evidence from the resource material into explanations.

 

Business Studies subject page

 

Previous years' reports
2020 (PDF, 175KB)

2019 (PDF, 253KB)

2018 (PDF, 114KB)

2017 (PDF, 61KB)

2016 (PDF, 214KB)

 
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