William Murphy teaches Business at the Institute of Education

By Harry Hunter,2014-07-10 13:34
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William Murphy teaches Business at the Institute of Education ...


The layout of the higher level paper is set out below. Pay careful attention to the

    timing. The times shown allow you 5 minutes at the start of the exam to have a quick

    look over the paper and 5 minutes at the end to read over your answers, before

    handing them up. As a very rough rule of thumb, make sure that you are starting a

    new question roughly every half hour.

    thHigher Level Exam Tuesday 15 June 2.00 5.00 pm The exam lasts for 3 hours and there are three sections in it to be answered as follows: Section Contents Instructions Marks Areas Timing


     10 short Answer any 8 20% Any part of the 30 minutes or

    questions course just under 4

    minutes per


     Applied This question is 20% The ABQ 36 minutes

    Business COMPULSORY and questions will

    Question all three parts MUST come from

    be answered units 2, 3 and 4

    of the course.

     Part 1 You must answer Part 1 questions 26 minutes for

    contains 3 FOUR questions from 60% come from each one of the

    questions the 7 given, as units 1,6 and 7 4 questions

     follows: of the course answered.

    Part 2

    contains 4 Two from Part 1 and Part 2 questions

    questions Two from Part 2 come from

     units 2, 3, 4 and

    OR 5 of the course

    One from Part 1 and

    Three from Part 2

You should do the short answer questions first in the exam. They tend to be the best

    answered part of the whole exam and you can get them done quickest. If you have

    time you can try all 10 as you are marked on your best 8.

Think before you write! You only have four lines to fill so think first and give the

    examiner the best four lines you can. The most important rule for answering these

    short questions is to write TWO points for each one (unless you are specifically told

    otherwise in the question). Your first point should be a definition. A fully explained

    example, an advantage or a disadvantage can make an excellent second point. It is

    important, though, that each point is sufficiently detailed. Usually, you get 5 marks

    for each point you write, so write only one and you get a D1. Write two and you get

    an A1!

    1 ? William Murphy 2010


The following examples are taken from the past papers.

2009 Higher Level: Explain the role of the Council of Ministers in EU decision

    making. Name two other EU decision-making institutions

1. The Council of Ministers consists of government ministers from each EU country.

    2. It has the final say on EU laws together with the European Parliament. If the

    Council says no to a proposal, it does not become law in the EU.

    ? European Commission Remember to write two ? European Parliament points for every short


2008 Higher Level: List five grounds under which employment discrimination is

    illegal in Ireland.

    (i) Gender

    (ii) Marital Status List means (iii) Family Status that you only

    (iv) Age have to name

    the items. (v) Disability

2007 Higher Level: In a legal context, consideration means…..

1. the payment that one person gives to the other as part of a contract. It must be real

    and valuable. There must be consideration for an agreement to be a legally

    binding contract.

    2. It involves a „quid pro quo‟- both sides must get something out of it. For example,

    you hand over cash to a supermarket in consideration for the groceries you bought


     Remember to write two points for every short

     question 2006 Higher Level: Illustrate your understanding of the term ‘entrepreneurship’

1. Entrepreneurship involves using your initiative to identify a need and then taking

    the steps and risks (financial and personal) to satisfy that need e.g., by setting up a

    business), in the expectation of a reward.

    2. For example, Gillian Bowler spotted that no Irish travel agent organised holidays

    to Greece. She left her job and set up Budget Travel to do so and became very

    wealthy „Illustrate‟ means that your second

     point must be a

    fully explained example

    2 ? William Murphy 2010


2005 Higher Level: Distinguish between the insurance principles (i) utmost good

    faith and (ii) indemnity.

1. Utmost good faith means that you must answer every question truthfully when

    applying for insurance and volunteer any other relevant information. Otherwise,

    the policy is void.

    2. Indemnity means that you cannot make a profit from insurance. The

    compensation you receive is exactly equal to the value of the loss you suffered.

    Make sure that each point is sufficiently detailed

2001 Higher Level: Draft a memorandum (memo) using an appropriate format,

    to all Sales Executives in the organisation listing two methods of sales promotion

    to be used in the business.


TO: All Sales Executives FROM: Marketing Director thDATE: 15 June 2010 SUBJECT: Sales Promotion

The two methods of sales promotion we will be using are merchandising and money

    off vouchers.

SIGNED: Kate Fiona Tara Murphy


     Marketing Director

     Practice all the short answer questions (1999-2009). Download them from and print them off. Practice writing them in the spaces

    provided. Remember to write two points for each one. You will notice that

    sometimes the same questions repeat.

The Applied Business Question (ABQ) is for Higher Level students only. It

    comprises a story about a businessperson and the questions are based on the

    information in the story. It is 20% of the entire exam and is the only section of the paper where you have no choice. You must answer all three parts to the ABQ. It is essential therefore that you practice as many ABQs as you can. This year‟s (2010)

    ABQ will be based on Units 2, 3 and 4 of the course. You need to know these units

    REALLY WELL. They will stand you in good stead though, as they also form a lot

    3 ? William Murphy 2010


of Section 3 of the exam, and so could possibly account for up to an additional 30% of

    the exam.

Rules For Answering ABQ in the Exam

     You have a maximum of 36 minutes [6 minutes to read and 30 minutes to write]

    to answer the ABQ.

     Read the questions FIRST! This will let you know what is important in the story.

     Then read the story of the ABQ.

     Divide the marks for each part by 5 to see how many points the examiner expects

    you to write. But if you are asked to identify a simple list of items in the text (e.g.,

    enterprising characteristics or skills), give an extra one to be safe.

     Answer each question as follows:

     State the point you are making.

     Explain the point you are making.

     Extra information. If you are asked to discuss, analyse or evaluate, then you

    must give an extra piece of information. Give your opinion on the topic and state

    an advantage or disadvantage - “I think it‟s good (or bad) because and give one

    advantage (or disadvantage)”

     Quote from the story to back up the point you are making.

    A lot of the marks go for quoting from the story. You must back up EVERY point

    you make with a relevant quote from/reference to the story. It‟s a good idea to

    use a highlighter to make your quotes stand out.

Practice Question 2005 Higher Level ABQ

    Look at this question in your exam papers. It too is based in Units 2, 3 and 4 of the

    course. Here is a sample solution to it.

Part (a)

    State 1. Characteristic = Risk taker

    Explain ? Entrepreneurs are not afraid of taking a chance and having a go,

    even though they might fail.

    ? They take sensible risks, ones that have a decent chance of


    Evaluate? Analyse? Discuss? This question does not use these words, therefore no

    opinion is needed. Quote Tom left his job as a fulltime electrician with a local building

    firm to set up his own business.

    State 2. Characteristic = Self Motivated Explain ? Entrepreneurs push themselves to achieve their goals.

    ? They are driven and their drive to succeed comes from


    Evaluate? Analyse? Discuss?

    Quote Tom was willing to work late and at weekends.

    4 ? William Murphy 2010


    State 3. Skill = Human Relations Explain ? Entrepreneurs are good with people.

    ? They have a charming way about them that brings out the best in

    others and persuades them to do what the entrepreneur needs


    Evaluate? Analyse? Discuss?

    Quote Tom gained many building and maintenance contracts because

    he was very flexible with his customers.

    State 4. Skill = Decision Making Explain ? Entrepreneurs list all the possible solutions to a problem or


    ? They then choose the option with the most advantages for their


    Evaluate? Analyse? Discuss?

    Quote Tom realised that the construction industry was changing and

    made the decision to set up Circuit Ltd to provide electrical

    services in 1972.

    State 5. Skill = Planning Explain ? Entrepreneurs set goals for the business to achieve in the future.

    ? They then come up with strategies that will help the business

    achieve these goals. Evaluate? Analyse? Discuss?

    Quote Tom has set the goal of developing a specialised department to

    concentrate on installing wireless computer networks. His

    strategy is to use a new technology and redeploy and retrain


     Note: So far, every time that unit 2 has been examinable on the ABQ, it has come up. Make sure you know the characteristics and skills of entrepreneurs. Make sure your try

    part (a) of each the following ABQs 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005 and 2009.

    Part (b)

Part (b)

    State 1. Recruitment and Selection Explain ? Recruitment involves finding suitable people for a job vacancy in the

    business and persuading them to apply for it.

    ? Selection involves choosing the best person for the job from all those

    who applied.

    Evaluate? Evaluation:

    Analyse? ? I think that Tom did an excellent job of personally handling the

    Discuss? recruitment and selection of all staff. He clearly selected excellent people as his business has expanded and his annual turnover has Quote grown to ?1.5 million.

    5 ? William Murphy 2010


State 2. Training

    Explain ? Training involves teaching workers the knowledge, skills and attitude

    they need to perform the duties of their job properly.

    ? On the job training involves teaching them at work by showing them

    how to do the job and letting them practice until they can do it. Off

    the job training means teaching them how to do the job by sending

    them on courses outside of work.

    Evaluate? Evaluation:

    Analyse? ? I think that Tom did an excellent job of training his employees to do

    Discuss? their jobs properly as the firm experienced few health and safety

     difficulties. All the current employees had trained, or were in

    Quote training, with the firm.

State 3. Performance Appraisal

    Explain ? This involves the manager assessing how well/badly each worker is

    doing her job. Workers are set goals and tasks to achieve. When the

    task is done, the manager will grade the worker on how well she has

    performed the task.

    ? Workers who score highly may be rewarded with promotions,

    bonuses or pay rises.

    Evaluate? Evaluation:

    Analyse? ? I think that Tom was good at performance appraisal as he set targets

    Discuss? for his employees (loyalty, commitment and honesty), checked up

     on their progress and rewarded those who achieved their goals with

    Quote regular substantial bonuses.

State 4. Pay and Rewards

    Explain ? Pay and Rewards consist of all the incentives the employer offers the

    employees for the work they have done.

    ? They can be in the form of money or payments worth money. These

    are called financial rewards. Alternatively the can be non financial

    such as longer holidays.

    Evaluate? Evaluation:

    Analyse? ? I think that Tom was good at pay and rewards as he pays the Discuss? recommended trade union rates and rewards employees with

     regular substantial bonuses. His employees are clearly happy with Quote this as the firm experienced few industrial relations problems.

    State 5. Managing employer and employee relationships Explain ? This involves the manager making sure that there is a good

    relationship between the employers and employees in the business.

    ? He must ensure that they communicate well with each other, work

    well together and generally get along with each other. Evaluate? Evaluation:

    Analyse? ? I think that Tom was good at employer-employee relations. Despite Discuss? the fact that he does not recognise any trade union within the firm,

     he clearly has a good relationship with his staff as the firm Quote experienced few industrial relations problems.

    6 ? William Murphy 2010


Part (c)


    Planning is the management activity of setting goals for the business to achieve in the

    future and devising strategies or methods to achieve these goals.

    State Manpower Plan

    Explain ? Manpower planning involves setting the goal of making sure that the

    business has enough workers with the right skills to do all the jobs


    Evaluate? ADVICE: I think Tom should draw up a manpower plan for his

    Analyse? specialised department”. He should estimate how many workers his

    Discuss? business will need to “install wireless and computer networksand

    compare that to how many workers he currently has. Quote If Tom carries out manpower planning, he will see that he is short of

    skilled and experienced workers for the new department. He can then

    begin a recruitment drive to hire employees who have the skills needed to

    do the work. Then he will save money on the “extensive retraining” of

    his existing staff.


    Organising is the management activity of arranging all the resources in the business in

    the best possible way to help it achieve its goals. It involves developing an

    appropriate organisation structure for the business.

State Matrix Organisation Structure

    Explain ? A matrix organisation structure combines the functional organisation

    structure with a project team structure

    ? It is used when the business is involved in major temporary projects that require

    expertise from all the business‟s departments.

    Evaluate? ADVICE: I think Tom should use a matrix structure and set up a project

    Analyse? team to deal with the introduction of the “specialised department”.


    Quote This will help Tom because the employees he chooses for the project

    team will feel special to have been chosen and more motivated to accept

    the “redeployment of half of the current staff and extensive



    Controlling is the management activity of making sure that the business remains on

    target to achieve its goals by constantly measuring its performance against its planned

    objectives and taking corrective action whenever the business veers off target.

    State Quality Control

    Explain ? Quality control involves making sure that the quality of a business‟s

    products meets the expectations of consumers Evaluate? ANALYSE: I think Tom should improve his quality control by

    Analyse? introducing quality circles into his business. A quality circle is where

    Discuss? small group of employees volunteer to discuss quality problems in the

    factory and suggest solutions to them.

    Quote The employees “installing the wireless and computer networks” will

    know better than anyone the problems arising with them. They will solve

    7 ? William Murphy 2010


    any quality problems arising from the use of the “new and promising

    technology”. Better quality will help Tom to win lots of “high margin

    contracts” and help “this major development to succeed.

     Note: So far, every time that management skills and management activities have been examinable on the ABQ, one of them has come up. Make sure you know the management activities (planning, organising and controlling) and the management

     skills (leading, motivating and communicating). Make sure your try each of the

     following ABQs 1999 (c), 2000 (b), 2001 (a), 2004 (c), 2005 (c), 2006 (a) and 2009


Practice Question 1999 Higher Level ABQ (c)

    To help you with the management skills, a solution to 1999 ABQ part (c) is provided

    below. You will find the question in your exam papers.


    Leading (or leadership) is the ability to direct people, give them instructions and make

    them follow and obey you.

    State point Barry and Marian should delegate.

    Explain ? This means that Barry and Marian should give some of their own point management work to their “generally excellent employees” to do

    for them.

    ? Barry and Marian give their employees the authority to carry out

    the work and hold them responsible for doing a good job. Evaluate? Evaluation:

    I think that delegation will help the couple to succeed better in business Analyse? because by delegating the less important work to their employees,

    Discuss? Barry and Marian will have more time to devote to the most important

    issues in their business.

    Quote This will ensure the couple are no longer “always rushing” and will

    give them the time to develop a “vision for the business in the future”.


    Motivating involves the manager energising employees and providing them with

    incentives so that they will co-operate and work harder for the business, while finding

    their work fulfilling.

State point Barry should become a Theory Y manager.

    Explain ? Douglas Mc Gregor‟s theory on motivation states that a Theory Y

    point manager believes that his employees enjoy working, that they have

    ambition and want to get on in the business and that they want more

    responsible and more challenging jobs.

    ? As a Theory Y manager Barry should motivate by offering

    promotions and titles to his “generally excellent employees” who

    8 ? William Murphy 2010


    perform well.

    ? He should praise employees for “meeting deadlines” and “working

    long hours”.

    Evaluate? Evaluation:

    I think that Barry becoming a Theory Y manager will help the couple Analyse? to succeed better in business because McGregor said that a Theory Y

    Discuss? manager results in happy, co-operative employees who will work hard. Quote This will help the couple motivate the employees to provide the “after

    sales service promised in the advertisements”.


    Communicating involves transferring information from one person to another. It

    involves the sender turning an idea into a message by using words and/or pictures.

    She then sends that message through a medium to the receiver, who must interpret the

    message and act upon it.

State point Barry and Marian should have a meeting.

    Explain ? A meeting is when two or more people come together to discuss a

    point predetermined topic.

    ? The personal nature of the face-to-face communication in a meeting

    makes it easier for the participants to reach agreement. Evaluate? EVALUATION: I THINK that Barry and Marian should call a staff

    meeting with all their employees. Meetings are a great way to make Analyse? decisions. Barry and Marian and “their generally excellent Discuss? employees” can discuss the issues of “constant pressure on staff”, and

    dismissing “one staff member.

    Quote ? Everyone can contribute ideas and brainstorm to come up with a

    much better solution “for the business in the future” than Barry

    or Marian could alone.

    Rules For Answering Section 3 Questions in the Exam ? You should spend no more than 26 minutes on each of the 4 questions you have to


    ? As usual in Business, divide the marks by 5 to see how many points they expect

    you to write in your answer. However, very high mark questions such as 40

    marks generally require no more than 5 more detailed points. ? Write each point in a different paragraph. It is also a good idea to number each

    paragraph. It is ESSENTIAL that you state your point and then EXPLAIN your

    point. You get roughly 40% (D3) for stating your point. You get the remaining

    60% for explaining it well. Therefore, if you don‟t explain each point, you will

    get a D3 in Business.

    9 ? William Murphy 2010


    Some Verbs/Phrases Used in The Exam It is really important that you answer the question you are asked and for that reason,

    key verbs that are used in the exam are explained.

    If you get a question with the word EVALUATE, you should name each point, explain each point and then GIVE YOUR OPINION WHETHER YOU THINK


    20 marks ? 5

    = 4 points. Write two Example: 2006 Higher Level Section 3 - Question 3 (b) points on each (B) Evaluate the impact on Ireland of any two of the following policy. (i) The Common Agricultural Policy

     (ii) The Competition Policy

     (iii) The European Union Social Charter (20 marks)

(i) CAP

    The CAP was devised to give EU farmers a decent standard of living. It tries to

    achieve this in the following ways:

    1. EU farmers can sell their produce anywhere in the EU without any trade or other

    barriers or restrictions.

    Evaluation: I think that this has a positive impact on Ireland because it gives Irish

    farmers a much bigger market to sell to and therefore the opportunity to increase

    their sales and profits.

    2. Farmers who make certain produce are guaranteed that if they cannot sell

    whatever they make, the EU will buy it from them for a guaranteed price.

    Evaluation: I think that this has a positive impact on Ireland because it guarantees

    all Irish farmers a basic minimum wage.

(ii) Competition Policy

    EU competition policy is a set of rules intended to ensure free and fair competition

    between businesses in the EU.

    3. EU competition policy ensures that Ireland‟s state owned companies cannot enjoy

    a monopoly position. They must be open to competition.

    Evaluation: I think that this has a positive impact on Ireland because greater

    competition in these sectors should ensure better service and lower prices for


    4. EU competition policy prohibits mergers and takeovers that would restrict free

    competition. Any proposed merger or takeover must seek and obtain permission

    from the European Commission to go ahead. For example, in 2007, the EU

    blocked Ryanair‟s proposed takeover of Aer Lingus.

    Evaluation: I think that this has a positive impact on Ireland because it ensures

    that Irish consumers cannot lose out because of a lack of competition in certain


    10 ? William Murphy 2010

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