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How to write an A-level Business Essay – AS and A2 CAIE

Scoring high marks in Business A-level is a skill everyone can learn by using the correct technique and a bit of practice.  There are five essential skills to successful essay writing in A-level Business. The sooner you master your essay writing skills the sooner you will start achieving high results.



How to write an A-level Business Essay – AS and A2 CAIE

  1. Plan

    Before you start STOP!

    When we are making our plan we need to respond to the command words

    What are the command words  I need to know I hear you cry! Well we’ve got you covered with a guide to command words at IGCSE and A-level.

    Make a simple plan – this can be a simple list of points (for and against).

    Planning allows you to make sure you have greater structure in your essay, include a greater range of points and avoid repetition. It will also allow you help you make a decision in evaluation questions as you have thought through the arguments for and against.

    a level plan

  2. Add paragraphs

    Why paragraphs are so useful are they signal to the examiner that you are moving onto a new point – and they will encourage you to avoid repetition.

    They also form the building blocks of essays each paragraph builds another part of the argument to answer the question.

    With Business A-level you want to build a chain of analysis in each paragraph with Knowledge, Application Analysis and Further Analysis – we explore this in detail with our Chain of Analysis video tutorial and guide to analysis questions.

  3. Focus on the Question

    Focus on the subject in the question – is the question asking about employees or managers? Human resources or operations?

    To score the highest marks you need to find out exactly:
    – what the question is asking you 
    – stay focused on that throughout the question

    What separates high performing students and those who score average grades is the ability to stay focused throughout the essay
    This then allows you to select the most relevant application or evidence from the case study to support your answer. 

    You can find examples of exemplar AS essays from Paper 1 and Paper 2 on this website.

  4. Use connective phrases

    Within each paragraph connective phrases are a great way to keep you focused on the question and build the chain of analysis

    Use phrase like: “this means that”, “this will impact the business” to introduce ANALYSIS.

    Say “this is of crucial importance because” or “other factors to consider are” to introduce EVALUATION.

    Cambridge examination reports state every year how students focus too much on knowledge at the expense of analysis and evaluation. Connective phrases are the magic expressions force you to explain the impact of the business decisions and unlock higher marks.

    report, expenses management, cost deduction

  5. Get the insider information

    Each essay question will have it’s own unique recipe for Knowledge, Application, Analysis and Evaluation 

    For example an A2 20 mark question has just 3 Knowledge marks but 10 for evaluation, but the opening 10 mark essay question has no evaluation at all.

    To be ready to score full marks in each type of essay see the Cambridge Business Essential Question Guides so you know exactly what you need to include for top marks in each question.

    AS Exam Technique
    A2 Exam Technique
    Analysis 8 mark question guide

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