Evaluation is probably the most challenging skill at IGCSE Business Studies, and many students get discouraged because they think it’s impossible to score evaluation marks.
This blog will explain what evaluation is in the most simple terms.
We will then look at an example of how to score evaluation marks in practice questions from both paper 1 and paper 2. We will also see an important change in how evaluation is assessed at IGCSE Business Studies in 2020 and beyond.
What is Evaluation?
Evaluation is making a decision and justifying WHY you have made that decision.
Let’s start with a simple example that doesn’t involve business but pets.
|Eddie is very lonely as he is living far away from his home in Ireland. His friend Sue suggests he should get a pet: “A dog or a cat could keep you company on the long, lonely nights away from home.”
Should Eddie get a pet?
The clues on how to answer are in the additional information in the question, the long lonely nights away from home.
After showing knowledge and analysis of the benefits and limitations of getting a pet, you have to make your decision. You need to explain why the benefits are greater than the limitations or vice versa.
A simple way to remember what to do in evaluation is the 3Rs:
Reasoned, recommendation (in context), rejection of alternatives.
So you could say:
In my judgment, Eddie should not get a pet. As a miserly person, the costs of paying for a pet will make him unhappier than the benefits of companionship that a pet may bring.
Or you could say :-
Although the pet will increase costs, you can’t put a price on the long-term happiness that the companionship will bring.
Either is fine! The great thing about evaluation is that there is no right or wrong decision! The key is to JUSTIFY why you should make one decision over another.
Paper 1 Structure and Example
In this case, students have to decide on internal or external recruitment for a new manager.
The first part of the question is completed with an advantage or disadvantage of external recruitment. So now they we to make a decision to choose internal or external recruitment.
Remember that you can choose either, as long as we justify the decision in the context of the question. In this case, a large business. This was a change for the 2020 syllabus, (e) questions on paper now don’t ask you to evaluate from the viewpoint of the business in the case study. However, there is usually a broader context, in this question large business.
So you will then evaluate by making the case:
in the long term the influx of new ideas will justify the higher cost of external recruitment.
Then add the context of the large business:
where there is more opportunity for cost savings.
Paper 2 Structure and Example
Let’s take a look at a 12 mark question on leadership styles in a window cleaning business.
|Consider the three main styles of leadership that Bob could use in his business. Which leadership style should you think he should use?
Justify your answer.
A good way of doing this is to choose the leadership style which is most likely to help Bob meet his objectives. In this A* answer, the student focuses on how democratic leadership will positively impact Bright Windows to improve its reputation and increase Bright Windows customer base.
You must make a reasoned recommendation based on the evidence in your answer, and in this case study – Bright Windows, on which leadership style is best to use.
Then the student rejects the alternatives by explaining how they are not as suitable as democratic. But you could also choose autocratic or laissez-faire, as long you make that reasoned recommendation in context, and reject the alternatives.
Now it’s all well and good being able to justify and make a decision when you have time to think about it and discuss it with others. But in the exam you are on your own and just have a few minutes to get those evaluation marks. But in the exam you are on your own and just have a few minutes to get those evaluation marks. You can check out this blog dedicated to avoiding evaluation freeze or even better become an A* Essentials member and find instant evaluation for every topic.
Traps to avoid
Repeating the same information
Don’t simply repeat what you have written earlier in summary form. You would be surprised how many students do this! You need to move beyond analysis and show reason decision-making skills to get the evaluation marks.
Make a decision (Don’t sit on the fence)
You must make it clear to the examiner what your decision is. Examiners shouldn’t have to search to find your choice and why you have made that choice.