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IB B&M Exam tips

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
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As the final examination is fast approaching, keep an eye on tutor2u for tips on preparing for the upcoming exams.  The first tip in the series is about planning your revision carefully…

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work” ~ Peter Drucker, management guru (1909 - 2005)


Trying to learn the whole Business & Management syllabus without a proper plan is not going to work.  A more effective technique is to revise sections of the syllabus in manageable sessions, following a well-structured revision timetable.  For example, you might want to revise Accounts and Finance in one particular revision session, perhaps focusing on one or two topics, such as cash flow forecasting (Unit 3.3) or sources of finance (Unit 3.1).

It is vital to build in revision time to learn your quantitative methods.  There are plenty of formulae to learn – not all of them are given in the Formulae Booklet, including:

• Payback period (Unit 3.2)
• Average costs (Unit 5.2)
• Break-even output (Unit 5.3)
• Margin of safety (Unit 5.3)
• Closing balance (Unit 3.3)
• LIFO / FIFO (Unit 3.5)
• Net profit (Unit 3.5)
• Full costing (Unit 4.4)
• Reducing balance depreciation (Unit 3.5)
• Variance (Unit 3.4)

HL topics appear in italics

The HL B&M Internal Assessment requires students to propose an Action Plan (along with the Research Proposal); producing a revision schedule is a similar process.  Whatever you do, don’t leave everything until the last minute – you simply cannot revise the entire B&M curriculum in one or two nights.  Without a plan, you simply don’t know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.  This means valuable revision time is likely to be wasted.  Remember the famous saying that failing to plan is planning to fail – and we don’t want that!  Below is a list of some of the things you could try as part of your revision plan:

• Draw up a revision plan for each week – and stick to it!  Some flexibility might be necessary but remain focused and disciplined.
• Use the B&M syllabus as a starting point when planning your revision.
• Take careful note of the “Learning Outcomes” in the syllabus – examiners use these when setting questions!
• Allocate more time to the topic areas that you find most difficult.
• Build in time for sufficient rest breaks and recreation – a refreshed mind is a more productive one.
• Practice, practice, practice using past exam papers and the case study questions from your textbook.
• Don’t procrastinate – turn off your mobile phone, home entertainment systems and the Internet (personally, I think Facebook, YouTube and Angry Birds are great – but they must be the world’s best procrastination tools!)  I’ve not played COD, but don’t hold that against me.

Good luck with the planning!

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