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How to Get Evaluation Marks in A-level Business – Top 5 Ideas (CAIE 9609)

We’ve all been there. After quickly running through the first part of the question on business essays we get to the evaluation, making a decision, and freeze. The brain stops working, the mind goes blank, can’t think of anything to write. You are stuck. 

I’ve seen it happen so many times when marking exams. Often students just repeat what they have already written to fill in the space or come up with the standard “there are advantages and disadvantages” to this decision. However, neither of these strategies will secure the marks.

Let’s face it, evaluation is hard. But there are some evaluation ideas that students can use in nearly answer as long as they apply it to the case study and come up with a reasoned, recommendation in context.

Top 5 fail-safe Evaluation Ideas

We are going to look at the top 5 fail safe evaluation ideas to get you through examination evaluation freeze.

We even got a mnemonic to help, COCIT or COCpIT or you might want to come up with your own…….

C ost Effective

O bjectives

C ompetition

I nformation

T ime (long and short term)

1. Cost-Effective 

Cost or the “bottom line” is perhaps the most popular source of evaluation. But instead of just repeating profit or cost figures from the case study go one step further and recommend the most cost-effective strategy.

“Conducting an online survey is a lower-cost method of market research for Smart Tutors, but a focus group with students will be more cost-effective as they will be able to get crucial qualitative information on how to improve their tutoring services”

Focusing on cost effectiveness can be an excellent way to evaluate

2. Objectives 

In every evaluation, you should explain how your decision will benefit the business, but this may depend on the aims of the business. If the objectives are clearly stated in the case study this can guide your recommendation in your evaluation.

“Green Wash Ltd should choose environmentally friendly cleaning materials. Although a higher cost, it will mean there is no risk of negative publicity for damaging the environment and will achieve their business objective of corporate social responsibility.”

Understanding objectives can guide your recommendation in your evaluation

3. Competition

Businesses always need to keep one eye on the competition and are aiming for a competitive advantage. Therefore, make a recommendation that will lead to a clear competitive advantage over other businesses in the same market.

“Enak pizza should select home delivery as it will open another target market of potential consumers and give Enak pizza a clear competitive advantage with the other restaurants in city C don’t offer delivery services.”

Make a recommendation that leads to a clear competitive advantage over other businesses in the same market

4. Information

This is a good one if you are really stuck for ideas. Make a decision and then qualify by saying further research is necessary.

“DWTK PLC should choose advertising on social media as this is more likely to reach their target audience of young adults. However, further market research is required to decide the most suitable social media platform and strategy”

Make a decision and qualify by saying further research is necessary when stuck for ideas

5. Time

 I’ve saved the best for last! The all-time classic evaluation is the short term versus long term. 

It also shows how you can connect a number of these ideas together.

“Although in the short term changing to flow production will be a high capital cost, in the long term it will be more cost-effective as BFF can increase production achieving their business objective of growth.”

Connect short term and long term ideas together

Evaluation of Evaluation

In reality, business decisions take time and will involve a lot of discussion and research. 

In an exam, you have to make a decision in a very short time with a very limited amount of information. So examiners can’t be too harsh – they just need to see that you have reached a reasoned recommendation in context.

Each of the following strategies can guide you to that reasoned recommendation, just don’t forget to add the information from the case study!

Reach a reasoned recommendation in context to the information from the case study

Common Traps to Avoid

There are also two common traps to avoid:

1. “Choosing option A is riskier” everything a business does is a risk, even doing nothing is a risk. Your evaluation must explain why one option is a lower risk than the other, or why a higher risk strategy is in the long term interests of the business.

2. “Advantages are bigger than the disadvantages” is a student classic space filler, it is too vague to secure marks. Much better to select the most important advantage and justify why this will lead to achieving the business objectives.

 Take your learning to the next level! Check out the interactive courses and resources in this website to take you to the top in Cambridge Business.

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