A2 Analysis Skills Guide

Analysis Skills Assessment

Paper 1Paper 2Paper 3A-level Total

Analysis at AS and A2

Analysis is a fifth of marks in paper 1 and 2 but for A2 there are 50% more marks allocated for analysis, nearly a third of your total score for paper 3.

Analysis is required in every question, but section A is where the majority of marks for analysis will come from. It’s really important that we understand how many marks are available for analysis in each question.

QuestionTotal MarksLevel 1
(Limited Analysis)
Level 2
(Developed Analysis)

Analysis Structure at A2

At AS level the basic chain of analysis structure was sufficient to score the analysis and developed analysis in essay questions.

At A2 we may need to include two or more developed analysis points in a chain of reasoning, in order to score all the analysis marks available within the time limit for the question.

Let’s have a look at this example from question 1 on paper 3.

K- Centralisation means consistent policies throughout the organisation.

AP – DL is the market leader in country Y so the success of DL has been achieved with a centralised structure.

AN – Decisions made in interests of the business as a whole will ensure consistency in tactics to support DL’s strategic goals.

DEV – As a premium brand it is important that there is consistency, for example the decision about lower prices or increased promotion in relation to brand image.

FA Centralisation more likely to ensure that as DL expands, with new shops and franchises abroad, there will be more consistent marketing to support the brand image. This will boost sales.

From Limited Analysis to Developed Analysis

To secure all of the analysis marks available we must analyse in depth. A simple structure can be to explain why a factor is important and then the resulting impact on the business.

Explaining why this is important
This is important because….
Dev Analysis
Explaining the impact on the business
will lead to….
  Sales revenue may fall due to less demand; a fall in revenue would also decrease dividend payments.    This will lead to difficulty in attracting new investors who will be watching the sales performance of the DC1 closely, before making on a decision to fund the DC2  
  CRM may need to make employees redundant causing worker demotivation.    This may lead to lower productivity meaning it is even more challenging for Jeff to meet the output requirements for the E-scooter.  

⭐⭐⭐Analysis Pro Tips ⭐⭐⭐

Focus on question

Many students analyse generally about concepts rather than relating back to the business and the specific focus of the question. Remember, at A2 there is often a highly specific focus to the question that we must analyse.

Here we must analyse the advantages of centralisation for growth, so all our analysis of centralisation must be focused on future expansion.

Analyse two possible advantages to DL of centralisation as the business continues to expand.


Analysis marks must be context so  keep referring back to the case study.

Even if you have just read the case study it’s import to review to relevant section of the case study, in this case the External Environment and actively refer to the case study throughout your answer.

Here we can see how application is embedded through each analysis and developed analysis point.


Top scoring analytical answers make connections between the key details in the case study. Think about how we can make links between the problems and challenges the business faces and the opportunities and threats that will arise in the future.

For example in this answer we link our analysis to worker participation to productivity, output motivation and flexible production.

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Past Paper Business Exam Guide