Get Summer 2014 Right First Time with tutor2u Exam Coaching & Revision Workshops
This is a perfect video to test understanding of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Terry has been drafted in to increase productivity at Felcher & Sons, and does so via American-Football-style tackles for anyone deemed to be working below Terry's exacting standards.
The dates and locations for our popular programme of exam technique coaching & revision workshops to prepare AQA GCE Business Studies & AQA?Edexcel GCSE Business students for exams in May & June 2014. The details are listed below together with important information about changes in way that bookings are processed.
Please note that for summer 2014 we are taking confirmed bookings only. Places are allocated on a strictly first-confirmed basis. Once each screen capacity is filled, the event is full and no further bookings can be accepted. Our overall capacity is lower than in previous years and we fully expect each workshop to be fully booked before the Christmas break - so please contact us early to ensure that your students can attend!
A printable booking form can now be downloaded for:read more...»
I think it is always hard for students to remember which of the motivation theories is which - whose was the one with the two factors, who was that one with the lightbulbs, and who was the one with the triangle? This article about Maslow might help a bit, as it gives some interesting background on the man and his theory, and adds a bit of Application in the form of business examples for each of the five layers, and also the results of Maslow's own research into people who he viewed as 'self-actualisers'.
There is even an accompanying 30-minute programme, broadcast on Radio 4's 'Health Check' series during the summer, which includes interviews with some of those who worked with the man himself at Brandeis University outside Boston, where Maslow was founding Professor of Psychology.
The end of January modules gives us as teachers an opportunity to teach many topics within the AS and A2 specs in a holistic manner.read more...»
Collaboration and innovation are often fast-tracked by creating the right spaces for people and ideas to mingle.
This seven minute video from the Economist is deeply interesting - it looks at the Artisan's Asylum near Boston, Massachusetts in the USA which is host to a number of new hardware businesses. They are built around cheap work space, high-tech tools and crowd-sourced funding. The project has spawned some notable success stories many built around digital 3D printing - is there anything like an equivalent Maker Movement in the UK?read more...»
Setting up a business is hard enough. Setting it up in this economic climate is nearly impossible. So entrepreneurs are having to seek out some imaginative solution. With banks seemingly reluctant to lend to new and smaller businesses, start ups are having to be more imaginative in how they raise cash to get going. This Channel 4 news report looks at the growth of unregulated peer to peer lending such as Zopa, Rate Setter, Funding Circle and KickStarter.
The UK’s peer-to-peer lending market remains small in the context of total commercial bank lending but it has trebled in size in just three years. According to a new report from the Open Data Institute, "lenders have been attracted by the relatively high rate of returns available by lending in this market, given the current low yield in bank and other conventional debt instruments."
I've been teaching Business for some years now. But I don't have any qualifications in the subject (my background is Economics). So this year, I thought it'd be fun to take my Business A-level. I'm getting sponsored within school on a per-mark basis with the proceeds going to a project the school is linked with in Ghana, but besides that worthy cause it's been a real eye-opener to be there in the thick of it with the students. With one exam to go, tomorrow, I thought I'd put up some thoughts on how its gone so far...read more...»
Online Revision Clinic - Sunday 2 2013 9.00 pm (BST)
With many thousands of students busy preparing for the challenging BUSS2 exam on 4 June 2013, it is important to focus on core exam technique to make the most of the time remaining. The tutor2u BUSS2 team are once again running an online revision clinic which enables students to get last minute advice to sharpen their exam performance. The online revision clinic will be hosted here on this blog entry.
Students - in order to participate (i.e. ask a question; comment on discussion threads) you will need to be logged in using your Facebook or Twitter account when the online revision clinic goes live at 9.00 p.m. GMT on Sunday 2 June 2013.
Prior to joining in with the revision clinic, students may find it helpful to test their BUSS2 subject knowledge and understanding by trying our BUSS2 revision quizzes.
We also recommend students getting hold of a copy of our BUSS2 Revision Guide.
Before submitting your question or comment, please take a few seconds to scroll through the transcript to see if someone has already answered your point.
Also, we cannot guarantee that every comment or question will get a response - hopefully most will. So please patient.
A full, permanent transcript of this revision clinic will be available a few minutes after the revision clinic ends here on this blog URL.
Don't forget that you can follow the panelists on Twitter for further support (and for other AQA AS/A2 units) - a great place to start is the BUSS2 hashtagread more...»
Set out below are some key terms that BUSS2 students should make sure they understand ahead of the exam.read more...»
As each sitting of BUSS2 is completed, it is possible to build up a useful picture of the way in which the BUSS2 specification is examined. Which topics have been examined more than once? Are there key topics which have not yet been addressed in the BUSS2 exam? Where are the calculation marks earned?
Our AQA AS Business (BUSS2) Exam Topic Tracker is a free download which can help you keep track of the exams. The link is below. We’ll update the file (the link stays the same) after each exam sitting. The latest version includes all BUSS2 sittings up to and including January 2013.
Students may find it helpful to test their BUSS2 subject knowledge and understanding by trying our BUSS2 revision quizzes. We also have a full collection of BUSS2 revision questions available for our mobile app via Zondle.
We also recommend students getting hold of a copy of our BUSS2 Revision Guide.
The Essential Resource-Boosting CPD Course for AQA BUSS1 & BUSS2: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Venue: Holiday Inn, Kensington Forum, London
Address: 97 Cromwell Road, London , SW7 4DN
Presenters: Graham Prior and Michelle Stephenson
We've put this new CPD course together to provide a boost for teaching colleagues who are new to teaching the AQA BUSS1 & BUSS2 units or who would like to refresh their teaching approach and resources.
New to AQA AS Business Studies 2013 is packed with teaching ideas, approaches and resources which can be used with immediate effect when BUSS1 and BUSS2 teaching resumes in September 2013.
Delegate places are priced at £190 (+VAT) to include all refreshments, lunch and a bumper pack of teaching materials!
We've also got a special rate for NQTs (up to 2 years post qualification) - at just £100 (+VAT) for the day
or email Janet Cahill in the tutor2u office with our requirements
Here's a very simple, but totally unsubtle reminder for your students on the upcoming dates and times of the AS and A level exams in Business Studies for the AQA, Edexcel and OCR awarding bodies.
Follow this link to download the 'Exam Countdown' file. There you will find a small and easy to use Powerpoint file called 'Exam Countdown'.
Follow this link for a quick tutorial on how to use the resource.
Open and run the slideshow (ensuring that you have 'enabled macros'). The screen will change to a setup slide after a couple of seconds. Click on the exam that you wish to remind your student about and the countdown timer will start. The timer shows how many days, hours, minutes and seconds remain before their exam starts. There's nothing like instilling a sense of urgency!
Please note this file is fully functional. If you would like an editable version (where you can edit the times, dates and 'event') you will find one as part of the 'Super Teacher Utility Belt' resource available from our PowerPoint games-based learning site.
We have a series of streamed revision presentations on tutor2u which are intended to support students preparing for AQA BUSS2. Follow the links below to view each individual presentation.
You can also test your understanding of the BUSS2 topics covered by these presentations by trying these BUSS2 Revision Quizzes.read more...»
The FT today publishes a great report on the culture at Amazon's Rugeley distribution centre. An interesting insight into the culture of a cost focussed and highly effiecient business that is described by founder Jeff Bezos as: "Our culture is friendly and intense but if push comes to shove, we'll settle for intense."read more...»
The session programme for the BUSS2 exam coaching & revision workshops during March & April 2013 is described below.
Graham Prior and team have been hard at work producing all-new materials for the day which focuses unrelentingly on improving exam technique for BUSS2 – which many students find is a much tougher challenge than BUSS1. And with the January resit window now closed, it is more essential than ever than BUSS2 candidates get it right first time!
Students attending the workshops will get our resource-packed workshop booklet together with a copy of tutor2u’s latest BUSS2 Revision Guide.
Places at the BUSS2 exam coaching / revision workshops can be arranged by completing this online form.read more...»
My students know that I love the radio. Many a spare half an hour can be whiled away with a podcast of The Bottom Line (which returns on Thursday/Saturday this week), or More or Less, or Peter Day’s World of Business. And the great thing about this form of learning is that it can overlap with other tasks – there’s no opportunity cost! Listen to a business/economics podcast whilst at the gym, going for a run, doing the washing-up, whatever…
But whilst Radio 4 is well-scouted territory, but one students might not be so familiar with is NPR’s Planet Money. This show, from America’s public radio, is quite close in style to R4’s More or Less with a more of a business focus. 2 fifteen minute shows are podcasted a week.
This edition is a great place to start.
AQA BUSS2 examiners have been fond of examining the concept of competitiveness - but what does it actually mean?
Set our below are links to each of our revision quizzes for students preparing for AQA AS BUSS2 (“Managing a Business”).
Students can also improve their preparation for BUSS2 by getting hold of our AQA BUSS2 Revision Guide. A free copy of the BUSS2 revision guide is provided to all students who attend our BUSS2 Exam Coaching workshops each Spring.read more...»
It all started when one of my A2 students asked me today: “How do you get full marks for evaluation?” in relation to a BUSS3 Question 4 (the 34 marker)
It can be summed up in 2 words:
(Just a note that the examples
given are BUSS3 related but could be applied to any evaluation question in
BUSS1 or 2 also)
Businesses are lining up to exploit the value of the 007 brand, with the latest release causing a stir both virally and in the choice of product placement.read more...»
On Wednesday, Michelle and I travelled down to London in preparation for Thursdays CPD event, new to AQA.
Thousands of business students will be regular customers of Dominos but not many will be familiar with the complex, costly and vast scale of the IT system that Dominos uses as it grows the business around the world. Dominos has embraced the cloud and their US and European online businesses are growing quickly especially from mobile devices. This Financial Times video is a terrific short insight into the IT-driven nature of a business that touches millions of customers.
This is a really good example of not only supply and demand, but also price elasticity of demand.
We’ve seen that competitiveness is about advantages that enable a business to outperform its competitors. But, can competitiveness be measured and, if so, how?read more...»
Some questions for you…
• Why are Apple and Samsung performing so much better in the market place for smartphones and tablet computers than Nokia and Sony?
• Why do retailers like John Lewis Partnership and Dominos UK continue to grow and prosper when other retailers like Comet, Game Group and Clinton Cards struggle to survive?
• Why are so many people now buying from online brands such as Amazon rather than shopping on their local high streets?
• Thinking about the restaurants, cafes and other eateries near you, why so some seem to thrive whereas others are always empty and often close down?
The answer lies in the concept of competitiveness. So what does this term mean?read more...»
Having marked quite a few BUSS2 responses, it seems students have begun to get the message about application but are falling short on analysis. Frequently, they identify a relevant point but just describe it, failing to explain how or why their point is addressing the question. In the majority of questions, it is essential to explain how the course of action being described might affect business results.read more...»
Here is an interactive glossary that provides the 290 key terms covered in the AQA AS Business Studies Unit 2 (Managing a Business) specification.
As BUSS2 approaches fast, what can we learn from Januarys exam?read more...»
Students sitting AQA AS Business Studies unit BUSS2 may find this helpful. We’re running an online revision clinic for an hour on Wednesday 16 May from 9.00 p.m for an hour. Michelle Stephenson, Graham Prior and I will be there, together with some other members of the tutor2u BUSS2 team to provide some personalised support for students as they prepare for the BUSS2 exam on 21 May.
The online revision clinic is free and will appear here - on this blog entry. You will need to login using your Facebook, Twitter or OpenID account in order to participate (e.g. ask questions and/or comment)read more...»
Here is a 12 question BUSS2 key term revision quiz - in this one type in the answer, you will see the number of letters in the correct answer after each question. Good luck!read more...»
We’re now entering the third week of our AQA BUSS2 and BUSS4 revision workshops and we’ve been delighted to meet many thousands of students and teachers who are preparing for these two exams in May & June 2012. After a short break for Easter, we then reprise the BUSS2 and BUSS4 workshops at a new venue for tutor2u - the stunning Vue Cinema at Westfield Stratford - right next door to the London Olympic Park! This is the most advanced cinema in Europe and situated right in the heart of a stunning new shopping and leisure centre. It should be amazing.read more...»
Ive just returned from a busy week delivering the Tutor2u BUSS2 revision conferences (along with many others) and I am looking forward to next week when we visit Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds. However, I thought I would quickly blog about an amazing discussion I had with the students at the Bristol conference.read more...»
Don’t try this at home - but watch this expert open up his smartphone to illustrate the use of patents and patent protection…read more...»
The British Heart Foundation have been campaigning recently about the actions of junk food companies marketing at children online.read more...»
New questions added in Nov 2011; this revision quiz gives you 10 random questions from our database of revision materials on products and branding. Ideal for GCSE and AS Business studies students in particular.
Updated in Nov 2011, this revision quiz gives you 10 random questions from our database of revision materials on place (distribution).
Promotion is a key topic in marketing and this updated revision quiz contains 25 questions on the topic. Each time you play, the quiz gives you 10 questions drawn at random, making it different each attempt - ideal for revision.
This updated revision quiz gives you 10 random questions from our database of revision materials on pricing. There are 30 questions in the database, ensuring that you get a different, challenging quiz each time you play.
This lesson worksheet addresses the key topic of stakeholders in a business. Who are the internal and external stakeholders? What is the difference between shareholders and stakeholders? To what extent might stakeholders have different and conflicting objectives?
Here is a revision exercise that combines capacity utilisation calculations with some workings on breakeven and net profit.
This is a fantastic resource for colleagues who want to encourage their AS/A2 students to get to grips with some real-life business data and issues.
The Baker Tilly SME Distress Monitor is the resource. I liken it to one of those life support machines you see bleeping away on Casualty or Holby City. Except that the monitor is wired up to hundreds of living, breathing medium-sized businesses in the UK.
The monitor covers the financial performance of businesses with annual turnover of between £5m-£25m.
So how is the financial health of this crucial sector? Print this one-page report out for students and ask them to analyse the data, picking out the key features.
You ought to be given some fairly substantial points from the students who read the page carefully. There will be plenty of scope for follow-up questions and discussion.
- A high proportion (25%) of businesses suffered a drop of more than a half in their profit before tax
- Significant reduction in firm profitability has implications for their finance (retained profit as the most important source of finance)
- One in every four UK SMEs has a current ratio below 1 which indicates insufficient resources to meet their immediate debt repayment
...but, the number of administrations has not risen significantly.
Thursday 22 September - Central London
New to AQA AS/A2 Business Studies is a resource-packed CPD course which will provide a huge boost for colleagues and departments wanting to deliver the UK’s most popular A Level Business Studies specification.read more...»
Less than two weeks to go before we know the results of this summer’s AS and A level papers, and for AQA Business Studies teachers one key issue is going to be how their students have fared in THAT PAPER for BUSS2. As we now know, it was only one of 12 errors on various AS and A2 papers this summer, and Ofqual have issued a statement to reassure students and teachers that they feel that the measures in place are correct, in the circumstances. There is also a statement on behalf of all the exam boards from the JCQ - linked here.read more...»
A classic example here of the potential (good and bad) for automation in a large-scale business. Foxconn, a manufacturer well-known to students and teachers who have researched Apple inc and CSR, is aiming to increase the number of robots used in its production processes from 10,000 currently to around 300,000. As a result, it wants to move “1,000,000 workers up the value chain” - i.e. provide them with work which is less suitable for automation.
Foxconn is a great example of economies of scale - the sheer size of their operations in China is stunning. Foxconn makes electronic products for many global brands, including the iPhone and the iPad. It is the largest exporter in Greater China and the second largest exporter in the Czech Republic. However, despite its scale, Foxconn is still under pressure to minimise unit costs in order to maintain profitability. Recently it has begun relocating factories to lower-cost locations in China.
You might think that Foxconn’s automation strategy might be implemented over the medium-term. Apparently not! The 300,000 production robots are expected to be in place by the end of 2012. A massive transformation in Foxconn’s operations.
As we now know, Business Studies is only one of several exams which have been hit by errors in the papers this year - and Ofqual have now asked exam bodies to carry out extra checks on GCSE and A-level papers being taken this term, which should at least be reassuring for the A2 papers still to come.
Here’s a lesson I recently tried with my Y12 students about to take AQA GCE Business BUSS2. ...read more...»
Updated (May 2011) to include extra questions: this revision quiz helps students test their understanding of the use and analysis of budgets. Each time you take the quiz you get 10 questions drawn at random from the database.
Students preparing for AQA AS BUSS2 (Managing a Business) show prepare for how the higher mark questions requiring evaluation might be tested. Below is a list of possible approaches relating to the main topic areas. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all the possible topics. We have recently updated this list to take account of questions asked to-date in real BUSS2 exam papers.read more...»
It is good practice for students to pick up on the feedback from the BUSS2 examiners as they prepare and practice for the BUSS2 exam this summer. Here is a brief summary of the key comments arising from the Jan 2009 - June 2010 exam sittings:read more...»
There are a few calculations and formulas which students need to know for BUSS2. Here they are:
Perfect for supporting a programme of revision, the Business Studies blog now contains over 2,500 resources suitable for the AQA BUSS2 unit (Managing a Business). To make things a little easier to find, we’ve produced “specification resource map” which maps the BUSS2 spec against relevant tagged content on the blog. This is provided in the form of a hyper-linked pdf file which is automatically updated every time we add a new resource. All you need to keep is the pdf resource map and click on a relevant link.
This is a technique which I use with all my students and one which I discussed with the delegates at the recent Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds revision conference.
I used to find that my students struggled with structuring the longer mark (15-17) questions. They often went off track which meant that they lost sight of the original question. With this in mind, I devised this very simple strucure which works extremely well.
Take the following question which was from the June 2009 BUSS2 paper:
Do you think that going ahead with the expansion plans would increase Two Seasons Ltd ’s profits? Justify your view.
A really good way in which students can write a focused answer is to use the key words in the question at the beginning of each paragraph. For example:
One reason why going ahead with the expansion plans would increase Two Seasons profits is ......................
Another reason why going ahead with the expansion plans would increase Two Seasons profits is ..........................
However, a reason why going ahead with the expansion plans may not increase Two Seasons profits is ..............
Another reason why going ahead with the expansion plans may not increase Two Seasons profits is .........
Overall, going ahead with the expansion plans will/ will not increase Two Seasons profits because ................
This is a really simple structure to follow and one which keeps the students fully focused on the question they have been asked. Obviously the quality of the response depends on the students ability to come up with logical arguments, analyse and evaluate them, however, following this structure at least ensures students answer the question they have been asked. Which can’t be bad.
Many thanks to Allan Todd for spotting this superb article from the Independent which makes perfect reading for all our AQA BUSS2 & BUSS4 students in particular as they prepare for exams this summer. The article is about the boom in British motorbikes such as the Triumph and Royal Enfield Bullet who’s sales have defied the recession and growth in an ever decreasing market. BUSS2 students will latch on to the niche marketing and product range aspects with BUSS4 pupils being able to analyse the emerging market angle and the globalisation focus that is indicated in the article. A sample essay that Allan will practice with his pupils will be:
To what extent can successful marketing practices that Triumph, and any company that you have studied, defy a global recession or are other factors to be considered?
Another gem of a video from the BBC Business team. This is a great example of how technology can be harnessed to improve profitability by protecting the intellectual property or brand reputation. RFID tags (radio frequency) have been around quite a while but their unt cost made them uneconomical for use in protecting high volume manufacture - until now. The rapid growth of counterfeit products, particularly from emerging markets like China, creates problems for firms that have invested heavily in product innovation or branding.
An interesting article here in the Telegraph which highlights the problem of late-payment of supplier invoices as firms look to find ways of improving their cash flows. Businesses of all types use trade credit as a key source of short-term finance - it is perfectly acceptable and a normal part of doing business. What is less acceptable (from an ethical point of view) is deliberately stretching the time taken to settle amounts owed to suppliers, often well beyond the agreed date.
The article explains that, based on the three months to December 2010:
“Large companies turned the screws on suppliers, paying their bills 36.7 days later than agreed terms, up from 35.9 days in the final quarter last year. But small companies recorded the largest increase in their late payments, taking on average more than 22 days to settle invoices – three days longer than the same period last year.”
Why are firms taking longer to pay? A good question for students, who ought to be able to identify some advantages and disadvantages of extending trade credit beyond agreed contractual terms. Is the increase a sing of worsening cash flow problems? Are suppliers not chasing hard enough for payment? Was it the disruption caused by the snow? Many firms may have tried it on by explaining that they had “sent the cheque” but that it was “stuck in the post & snow”.
Students rarely get the inside track on the hurdles and challenges faced by entrepreneurs day-to-day. They can be forgiven for thinking that setting up and managing a business is, in the textbook world, pretty straightforward. Get the marketing mix right, raise the finance, motivate the staff & the jobs a good’un. Yeh, right. Sure
So this excellent article in the Telegraph might help provide a reality check. It is certainly packed full of useful discussion points. Just look at some of the problems encountered by a nice mix of businesses and entrepreneurs:
- A stonemason for whom demand literally freezes when the weather turns wintery
- Declining net profit margins as competitors fight for market share in an industry with much spare capacity
- A major customer going into liquidation leaving a firm with a substantial bad debt
- Rapid growth in revenue highlighting deficiencies in stock management and customer service
- Tricky decisions about whether to delay investment in research & development as a result of weakening demand from the public sector
- A franchisor that is struggling to open new locations
Fiat’s Polish plant bucks the trend to post record production levels in the recession. Can they perform another miracle and resurrect Lancia?read more...»
Over 10,000 colleagues have now downloaded our cash-flow murder mystery activity - Cash Flow Clue-doh! And we’re getting an increasing number of enquiries asking what the solution is!read more...»
I hate bullies. I’m sure you do too. So a proverbial “finger in the air” to outsourcing giant Serco for their proposed treatment of many small businesses in the UK after they found out that their public sector contracts were to become less profitable as a result of the coalition spending cuts. The Guardian reports on the fallout from a Serco communication with their suppliers.
Serco have moved quickly to retract the implied threat to their suppliers with a statement which includes the following:
“As a company that values our relationships with all our supply chain partners, large and small, we deeply regret this action and apologise unreservedly to them for the concern that this has caused. We are now communicating this to our supply chain partners and retracting the letters.”
But their action has come a little late to prevent a sharp fall in the Serco share price…
A really, really simple idea based on Terry Wogan’s perfect recall gameshow.
Simply 12 key words on the board arranged in a grid formation. For example, recently I used words like working capital, acid test, current ratio (having just done ratios’ with Year 11) as well as general business terms like objectives, primary research, secondary research etc.
I then read out the definition’s 1 - 12 and the kids needed to match the definition with the key word. Brilliant for differentiation as the answers are on the board allowing all students to access the material.