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September 22, 2019, 03:14:27 am

Author Topic: Jigsaw’s Year of Business Management – A Guide to Future Students  (Read 2355 times)  Share 

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Jigsaw

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Jigsaw’s Year of Business Management – A Guide to Future Students

I’ve had a few personal messages from users asking about how I approached business management, in terms of study, revision and ultimately, the exam. So I thought I’d make a general post for everyone to see, which will hopefully be beneficial to a large array of students in the years to come.

I completed business management in 2017 and received a 47 study score. I was definitely not perfect, so please don’t treat this as the definitive guide to what you must do to achieve a 40+ score! Having been my first 3/4, I was super stoked with this result, with my initial goal being to achieve a 45 scaled score.

To start with, I want to address the extremely misconceived stereotype of business management. And that is, that busman is an easy subject. That a 40+ is easily attainable. That you don’t need to put that much work in to get an A+. That it’s just a bludge. A lot of people that haven’t even undertaken business management as a subject will splurge such inaccurate information around, however, abolish this predisposition from your minds, because with 100% honesty, and from someone who has completed the course, all these statements are false. I need to stress, that like all subjects, business management requires sustained effort throughout the year, in order to score highly. You cannot expect to simply cram before each SAC, and cram before the final exam, and pull a 40+ study score. Because whilst the content may be easier to understand, it is consequently harder to score highly, as tougher competition originates as a result. Hence, you need to be willing to put in the work, to ensure you gain the marks the only a small proportion of the state will get right, and ensure you nail those questions that the majority will. A single mark can separate ranks, as well as study scores, so be wary, that even though you may find that you are finding the subject easy, you need to be prepared to ‘fight’ the intense competition that is the state. A good way to do this, is to simply work hard, and to not treat the subject as bludge. Personally, I made sure I was doing business management at least 4-5 times a week, and daily at least a month before the examination.

Furthermore, I thoroughly enjoyed business management, and I feel this is a key reason as to why I scored so highly. You will, and probably already have heard that busman can become quite a dry and rote-learned subject, and in some instances, this is true. Therefore, a tactic I used, was to make the subject relevant to my life. The theory I was learning, I would try to apply to the 21st century business world, and I found that the more I did this, the more engaging the subject became, because I realised that I wasn’t just learning some gibberish from a textbook in order to regurgitate it on an exam, but I was learning about strategies, management styles … that is used every-day, in all kinds of situations. Hence, my first piece of advice is to apply what you are learning to the world around you. Got a part-time job? Think about what management style your managers are using. Got asked if you wanted to donate $1 to charity when buying groceries? Think about how that business is utilising strategies to achieve Corporate Social Responsibility. (These are terms you will familiarise yourself with over the year, so don’t worry if you don’t know them now). Not only will this make what you are learning more engaging, but you will be able to generally recall the information better. This is what I found to be true.

In terms of how I learned content, the majority of my learning took place at home. The business management course is a long one, and it is content heavy, so it is simply infeasible to only be doing work in class. For me, personally, I took minimal notes during class, rather, I listened to the content that was being taught, and wrote down simple dot points/specific pieces of information. At home, I would then take notes in detail, from a multitude of sources, not just my textbook. What I am trying to stress, is that the majority of busman works needs to be done at home; your teacher is only going to tell you the information, it is up to you to remember and accurately apply it. All my notes were handwritten, as I believe writing down the information allows you to retain it better than if you type it, but play to your own strengths/preferences here.

My notes were compiled from three sources; Jacaranda’s Key Concepts in VCE Business Management, Cambridge’s’ VCE Business Management and Edrolo. My school predominantly used the Jacaranda textbook, and from personal experience, it does a great job at explaining the concepts, however, lacks detail in unit 4. This is where I used the Cambridge textbook. Furthermore, I found Edrolo to be a very beneficial resource, (if you don’t know what Edrolo is, it's a website that has video lectures taught by experienced VCE teachers in that specific subject, on all the content of said subject), as everything was explained in layman's terms, so it was very easy to follow along with, when learning content for the first time. Furthermore, I found Edrolo a great source of revision, as I didn’t just have to read/re-write my notes, but was able to listen as well. However, there are instances where either one of these sources will go into more detail than the other. In situations like these, it is best to refer to the study design, in order to familiarise yourself with the dot-points VCAA has laid out, as these are the only things you can be tested on.

In terms of study guides, I used both the ATAR Notes study guide and Cambridge Checkpoints. They both are slightly different; the ATAR Notes study guide summaries and precisely condenses the course, whilst checkpoints is predominately questions from past exams and other sources, with supplied answers. They sort of compliment each-other a bit, so I'd recommend using both. The Cambridge Checkpoints was a great way to revise for SAC’s, as because these questions have been extracted from previous exams/constructed by experienced authors, they are most likely what you will come across in your actual SACs.

When a SAC date was set, I’d aim to have fully memorised the content at least 3 days before we were due to sit it. This allowed (what I deemed to be) adequate time to complete relevant questions from the Cambridge checkpoints. Furthermore, my school always supplied a practice SAC, that was similar in layout to actual SAC. Obviously, a good sign that you are prepared for the SAC, is that you are scoring quite highly on practice SACs/capable of answering a multitude of questions. Furthermore, in SACs, pay attention to task words! Task words are those that instruct you on how a question is to be answered. For example, if a question says compare, you must talk about the similarities and differences, whilst if a question says discuss, you need to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the term. So many people lose easy marks on SACs, simply because they ignore/do not know what the task word is instructing them to do. Eg. “I didn’t know compare meant we had to talk about the differences, too!” or “I didn’t know evaluate required a personal opinion at the end.” Task words are a big part of business management, so its crucial that you understand them. I left a list on another thread, here, so if you aren’t quite sure what I am talking about, have a look here.

Leading up to the exams, I’d say I had confidently memorised all the content with just over 3 weeks until the final exam. This left a lot of time to complete practice exams. For those wondering, I did 10 practice exams (5 of these were probably in examination conditions). What I suggest, is to not fall into the trap of thinking that the more practice exams you do, the better prepared you will become. This is simply not true! The most crucial thing you can do is to mark your past exams in detail and identify all the mistakes you have made. These mistakes should then become the basis for your future revision. By doing this, you are addressing areas of the course you are not strong in, and by revising in these areas, you will be able to improve your understanding, as well as decrease the chance of making the same mistake again. Doing 1 practice exam, marking it in detail, and revising on areas you got wrong is far more beneficial than doing 10 practice exams and simply half-heartedly marking them. Ask your teacher to mark your exams if you are unsure on how many marks you should award yourself. Because I completed business management in the first year of the new study design, I only had access to the sample VCAA examination that was fully relevant to the study design. The other exams I completed were all from external companies that my school had purchased (NEAP, COMPAK, TSSM, Insight etc). Your school should generally have access to some of these, however, if not, the past exams from the study design that ended in 2016 are also still relevant in certain areas, as there are instances where the old study design and new study design are identical (especially in operations).

One of the most challenging parts of the business management course is the 10 marker on the examination. This is an extended response question, generally 2 pages in length. For context, in 2016, 20% of the state got 0 marks, and only 1% scored full marks. Therefore, it is imperative to practice these questions, as it is the largest amount of marks you can gain (or lose), in any question on the examination. For me, I gained practice on these by completing past examinations and getting it marked by my teacher. Some general tips I received, wish to always use paragraphs (makes it easier for the assessor to mark your response, as well as aids in your structure of your overall response), as well as to be succinct in your response, and avoid writing to simply fill up lines. You will improve on these questions the more you practice them, so ensure that you do so, in order to capitalise on such a large portion of the examination of which you can gain marks. This is a crucial area you need to score well in, in order to gain a high study score!

Ultimately, Business Management rewards those that put in the effort and sustained work from the very start. If you have questions, feel free to ask. I wish you all the best in undertaking this subject, and hope that your studies are rewarded!

-Jigsaw

« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 03:09:34 pm by Joseph41 »
2017: | Business Management [47] |
2018: | Legal Studies [50] (Premier's) | English [48] | Accounting [41] | Japanese SL [38] | Maths Methods [32] |

ATAR: 99.40 2019 Onwards: Laws (Hons)/Arts (Politics Major ○ Japanese Minor) @ Monash

FelixHarvey

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Re: Jigsaw’s Year of Business Management – A Guide to Future Students
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 11:45:09 am »
+3
Awesome job!

I really found getting information from multiple sources useful. The more times you see and hear a concept explained, the more likely you are to remember and retain it in detail.

One other thing that I think a lot of people forget other than task words, is to actually answer the question. If a question is "Discuss how the implementation of performance related pay would affect the productivity of staff at Felix's Bakery?". Not only would you explain advantages and disadvantages, but you would need to explain how this would positvely/negatively impact productivity. Finally, as a business or business owner is mentioned, you must also refer back to the case study in some capacity to ensure the question is actually answered and you have not just regurgitated some rote learned benefits and weaknesses of a concept.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 11:35:01 am by FelixHarvey »
2017: Business Management 44
2018: Methods 45 | Specialist 41 | English 41 | Physics 44 | Software Development 48

ATAR: 99.40

Tutoring! PM me for details.

Jigsaw

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Re: Jigsaw’s Year of Business Management – A Guide to Future Students
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2017, 11:00:28 pm »
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Awesome job!

I really found getting information from multiple sources useful. The more times you see and hear a concept explained, the more likely you are to remember and retain it in detail.

One other thing that I think a lot of people forget other than task words, is to actually answer the question. If a question is "Discuss how the implementation of performance related pay would affect the productivity of staff at Felix's Bakery?". Not only would you explain similarities and differences, but you would need to explain how this would positvely/negatively impact productivity. Finally, as a business or business owner is mentioned, you must also refer back to the case study in some capacity to ensure the question is actually answered and you have not just regurgitated some rote learned benefits and weaknesses of a concept.

^110%! Congratulations on your score, too! You should definitely be proud with that
2017: | Business Management [47] |
2018: | Legal Studies [50] (Premier's) | English [48] | Accounting [41] | Japanese SL [38] | Maths Methods [32] |

ATAR: 99.40 2019 Onwards: Laws (Hons)/Arts (Politics Major ○ Japanese Minor) @ Monash

Duckofwar

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Re: Jigsaw’s Year of Business Management – A Guide to Future Students
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 03:16:38 am »
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Great advice.

As you said, it is nothing short of pivotal that one utilises a range of resources throughout the year. The assigned textbook should be seen as a resource - NOT a study guide - that acts as a piece in the puzzle, with the final product being a comprehensive understanding of the study design. (Too many students get complacent, and base their study - be it reading or the making of notes - on too narrow of a resource base). Only then will you be able to make links and apply learned concepts to questions at a thorough enough level to maximise your marks in the exam.
2017: Business Management [50]
2018: English, Economics, Legal Studies, Psychology, Further Mathematics
2019: Ill leave it to the universe...