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Tackling the Mountain of Content That Is HSC Business Studies

Tuesday 9th, March 2021

Minami Southam

Hey all! I’m one of the Business Studies tutors at ATAR Notes, and one of the most common questions I get asked is “How do you recommend I study for business, and wrap my head around all the content?”.

Totally a fair question! When I first got a glimpse of the syllabus, then started diving into Operations, I thought, you know what, the content isn’t so bad, but WOW is there a lot of it. So today, I will offer three ways in which I recommend you approach Business Studies this year.


Firstly, start memorizing the syllabus as early into Year 12 as you can. This isn’t really something that is required in any other subject, but for Business, I think one of the things that pushed me into a Band 6 was having that syllabus memorised essentially word-for-word. So many questions, particularly in the multiple choice and short answer component of the exam, rely predominantly on your ability to recall the syllabus. It ensures that when you come to the report and essay part of the exam, you won’t accidentally discuss pricing methods when it asks for pricing strategies! Writing portions of the syllabus onto flashcards really worked for me, and for my students. I also give them copies of the syllabus with portions blanked out, to test their ability to fill it back in.


Secondly, stay on top of the content as it is presented to you. This one may seem obvious, but in school, your teachers will go through the syllabus at a decently fast pace and may at times even skip syllabus points (which is what my teacher did). Make sure you’re tracking where you’re up to with the syllabus and have your choice of study method aligned with that. From personal experience, there were times where I neglected Business because it was my “easy” subject, resulting in cram sessions later where I’d frantically be making notes to catch up. It wasn’t worth the stress.


Finally, once you’ve started your study method of choice, whether that be writing notes from the textbook, flashcards, or mind maps, I highly recommend starting practice papers as early as you can. It seems really daunting to sit down, put your phone away and smash out an exam when at this stage. You may have only had one assessment period so far, but trust me, the earlier you start practicing this skill, the better!

Also, it’s a great chance for you to see what your strong points truly are, as well as what areas may need improvement. This is now where I self-plug and tell you, ATAR Notes have just released a Business Studies Topic Test book written by myself and coworker, Emily. The best part is, we’ve structured it by the sections of the syllabus, so if you’ve only done the role and influences of finance for example, there will be a paper on just that. There are also super comprehensive answers, so I highly recommend checking it out.

Good luck Year 12!

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