Assessment Report

Level 3 Business Studies 2021

Standards 91379  91380  91381

 

Part A: Commentary

Having a good understanding of the business knowledge required for each standard is essential for Achievement. Candidates who were able to incorporate correct business knowledge into their responses achieved higher grades than those who were unable to apply appropriate and correct business knowledge to their answers.

Candidates who structured their responses by fully explaining the answer to the question by expanding their response to include why the initial answer occurred and how this could affect business or stakeholder goals were able to achieve higher grades.

Candidates who achieved with Merit and Excellence were able to correctly use business terminology in their responses. Examples of correct use of terminology include using ‘revenue’ and ‘profit’ rather than ‘money’ and understanding the difference between ‘productivity’ and ‘production’.

To achieve with Excellence, candidates need to bring new information into their response. Candidates should endeavour to save new information for the justification part of the question rather than incorporating it into earlier responses.

 

Part B: Report on Standards

91379:  Demonstrate understanding of how internal factors interact within a business that operates in a global context

Examinations 

The examination consisted of one task with four parts; candidates were expected to complete all four parts of the task. The task covered the requirements of the 2021 Assessment Specifications, which were to demonstrate understanding of how internal factors interact within a given business context or by a business that candidates had studied. Part (b) of the task required candidates to refer to an actual business they had studied. The task required candidates to apply their business knowledge to fully explain and evaluate how internal factors interact within a business that operates in a global context.

Observations 

Attempting all questions will increase the likelihood of achieving the standard.

Following the what, why, how, impact structure when answering questions resulted in candidates achieving at higher levels.

Keeping new information for the justification part of the question and structuring their answers carefully and concisely, increases a candidate’s ability to achieve with Excellence.

It is important for candidates to expand their understanding of the key business concepts and to understand the clear differences between them – for example, in part (b) many candidates discussed quality control instead of quality assurance. Candidates also need to understand business terms such as revenue and how it is different from profit.

Grade awarding 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • stated the answer and explained it with reasons why, and linked their response to the business /stakeholders
  • used good economic terminology on most occasions; an exception, however, was using the word ‘money’ instead of ‘revenue’, ‘profit’, or ‘expense’
  • answered the ‘what’ and ‘why’ parts of the question well, but not the ‘how’.

Candidates who were awarded as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not demonstrate an understanding of business knowledge
  • did not explain the ‘why’, especially with follow-through to the impact / effect on the business /stakeholders
  • did not show understanding of the difference between revenue and profit.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • produced answers that were crafted and well structured
  • used good business terminology and application
  • explained the flow-on consequences to the business / stakeholders, and advantages and disadvantages.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • provided structured responses and articulated their arguments clearly
  • demonstrated sound business terminology and applied their answers well to the case / their chosen business
  • integrated information clearly into their responses
  • demonstrated an excellent understanding of all business concepts relevant to the paper and integrated them well into their responses.

 

91380: Demonstrate understanding of strategic response to external factors by a business that operates in a global context

Examinations 

The examination consisted of one task with four parts; candidates were expected to complete all four parts of the task. The task covered the requirements of the 2021 Assessment Specifications, which were to demonstrate understanding of a strategic response to external factors by the business context provided or by a business that candidates had studied.
Part (c) of the task required candidates to refer to an actual business they had studied. The task required candidates to identify appropriate strategic responses to external factors and to apply their business knowledge to fully explain and evaluate the strategic responses to external factors undertaken by a business that operates in a global context.

Observations 

The candidates who performed well used clear business terms appropriately and could identify an increase or decrease in profit / market share or production as a specific change in the business environment. Rather than simply identifying that a change had occurred, they were able to talk about the implications of the change in depth.

Those candidates who understood that cultural sustainability is not just language-based, and that economic sustainability is not just profit-related tended to achieve at higher levels. Many candidates incorrectly referred to an economically sustainable product in terms of the environment, and this limited their level of achievement.

Candidates who performed well were careful not to use 'sweeping' statements such as ‘astronomically’, ‘drastically’, ‘massively’, or ‘huge’. These candidates also used correct specific language in their responses and conveyed this effectively.

Those candidates who had little understanding but wrote significant, irrelevant amounts did not achieve the standard.

Grade awarding 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • did not demonstrate a complete understanding of strategic response
  • provided an overly simplistic response
  • identified in general terms positive and negative aspects of strategic response
  • understood the effect of a larger multinational entering an established marketplace and reducing an incumbent’s market share, and decreasing its profits as a result.

Candidates who were awarded as Not Achieved commonly:

  • did not understand growth opportunities provided in an export market
  • did not understand key definitions
  • could not identify what a strategic response is
  • did not demonstrate sufficient business knowledge.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • provided strong answers, but were not able to identify that economic sustainability required the firm to spread its risk
  • showed a good understanding of the business concepts covered
  • explained why strategic responses were positive and / or negative
  • understood the effect of a larger multinational entering an established marketplace and reducing an incumbent’s market share, and decreasing its profits as a result.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • gave clear and concise answers
  • identified short-term costs for long-term gains, and provided new information
  • demonstrated a broad knowledge of business concepts
  • identified strategic response and the time, scope, and size of this response
  • demonstrated a wider knowledge and gave information as to the benefits of a chosen strategic response.

 

91381:  Apply business knowledge to address a complex problem(s) in a given global business context

Examinations 

The examination consisted of one task with four parts; candidates were expected to complete all four parts of the task. The task covered the requirements of the 2021 Assessment Specifications, which were to fully explain the causes and effects of the problem, evaluate solutions, and make fully justified recommendations. The task required candidates to apply their business knowledge to address complex problems in the given global business context.

Observations 

To reach Achievement level, candidates must explain rather than just state material from the resource booklet. This information provides a starter to which candidates must then apply their own business knowledge.

Many candidates did not apply information using the actual business and did not fully explain or justify their response. Many stated that “this will lead to an increase in their profit”, which is not enough detail to explain how the business is affected. There will not always be an increase in profit. It is essential candidates understand that they need to explain the steps prior to achieving an increase in profit.

Justifying a recommendation in parts (b)(iii) and (c)(iii) does not require candidates to repeat information they have already provided in sub-parts (i) and (ii). The justification provides candidates with the opportunity to evaluate and justify their answer by bringing in additional information and knowledge.

Grade awarding 

Candidates who were awarded Achievement commonly:

  • applied materials from the resource booklet to their answers
  • demonstrated an understanding of business knowledge
  • explained with supporting evidence from the resource booklet
  • demonstrated an understanding of the question.

Candidates who were awarded as Not Achieved commonly:

  • stated information from the resource material and did not apply any business knowledge to their answers
  • did not explain their answers by providing reasons why or linking ideas.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Merit commonly:

  • explained their answers using external references as well as the information provided
  • referred to Pristine Recycling and the cause / effect on the business of the situation presented by each question
  • demonstrated a deeper understanding of business
  • used the resource material to support their responses
  • demonstrated an understanding of business terms and used them correctly.

Candidates who were awarded Achievement with Excellence commonly:

  • provided comprehensive answers with additional relevant information
  • demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of cause, effect, and solutions
  • demonstrated sound levels of business knowledge and applied it well to the named business
  • used the resource material well, with additional information introduced to develop the response
  • justified their recommendation clearly with original material / references
  • provided well thought-out answers, with conclusions and justifications that supported their recommendation
  • provided structured, insightful responses. 

Business Studies subject page

Previous years' reports
2020 (PDF, 188KB)

2019 (PDF, 331KB)

2018 (PDF, 128KB)

2017 (PDF, 51KB)

2016 (PDF, 220KB)

 
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