8 ways to ace your IB Business Management


Business & Economics

September 29th, 2016

8 ways to ace your IB Business Management

If you're studying IB Business Management and aiming for top grades, the key is to think like a business leader: question decisions, find solutions to business problems and get your head around the figures. In this blog, Dan sets out 8 top tips that will set you on your way to achieving a 7 in your IB Business Management.

If you want to study at a top university, you know you will need good grades. With popular subjects, like Business Studies and related courses, there’s also a high demand for places. Inevitably, you will need to be scoring 6s and 7s to meet their entry criteria.

The good news is that the IB is a great preparation for University courses. It rewards hard work, application and mature thinking; all attributes that will stand you in good stead for higher education and the workplace.

So, if you want to achieve a 6 or 7, you have to display these skills throughout your course. You cannot rely on a golden month of effort before the final exams. You must start now.

For IB Business Management, here are the EIGHT best ways to achieve your 6 or 7.


1. Aim for a 7 in all your work

There’s no magic bullet to score a 7. It comes down to hard work and dedication.

Aim to score a 7 in every piece of work.  That way, if you come up short sometimes, it won’t matter.

However, always check you aren’t being a busy fool. Simply underlining line after line in chapter after chapter of the textbook with your headphones on doesn’t translate into hardwired learning.

Hard work equals straining the brain. Write up lesson notes, do practice questions and read around the topics. It comes down to spending time outside the classroom.


2. Be a business leader for every business

While point 1 is true of all subjects, for Business Management you need to think like a business leader. You have to be able to offer solutions to any business problem or opportunity. When you read a case study, this approach will make you reflect on what’s important.

You will first understand the case study and be able to define all the terms and know which business models to use. You will then apply them before reflecting on the best outcomes.

Imagine yourself as either an adviser or the manager themselves. Being ready to face the consequences of a bad decision will make you more attuned to delivering the best type of answer.


3. Use business sense not commonsense

A lot of business seems like commonsense. Though that may be true in certain circumstances, you have to prove to the internal and external examiners that you know what you are talking about because you have studied it. If you give an answer that “anyone” could give, then you are doing yourself and your subject a disfavour.

Make every answer a business answer. You will need to put the CONTENT into the CONCEPT into the CONTEXT. For example, how the profit margin (CONTENT) for a product helps this business (CONTEXT) achieve its strategy (CONCEPT).


4. Numbers matter

Businesses ultimately need to make money to survive in the long run. To do this effectively, they need to know the figures, like profits, costs and sales.  They also have a raft of tools to help them measure their effectiveness, like productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

You should have your calculator next to you all the time and be ready to come up with some figures to back up any argument.

A good understanding of the headline figures is a crucial factor for a business leader.

In terms of the exam, it’s a defined skill, with marks being specifically allocated to students who use calculations or interpret data effectively.


5. Make decisions

Business is not an exact science. You have to be prepared to make some assertions that could be wrong. Don’t be afraid to make decisions when writing your conclusions.

If you want to show the examiner that you’ve created a balanced argument, you must show that you are ready to judge in which direction the business should go.

And, don’t forget, it’s the strength of an argument that makes the difference, not the number of points for or against that decision. Say what’s important and go with that.


6. Start coursework early

Your business enquiry which will turn into your IA (internal assessment) must be started on time. The main reason is that your research will rely on other people outside the school environment. Though they may be happy to give their input, you won’t always be able to tie them down to a time that suits you.


7. Become a business bore

Business is all around us. Keep asking questions about why any product survives in its marketplace. When you go to the shops or to a restaurant, look at price lists, ask owners questions, quiz people about why they have bought something.

Also, watch TV advertising, look at magazines and newspaper ads. And, of course, see what’s being advertised on your social media. How are they doing? Who are they are targeting? Does it look like it’s being effective?

This awareness gives you a raft of different ideas to draw on when you write your exam answers, especially the long answers in Paper 2, Section C.


8. Know the subject syllabus

IB Business Management can be taught in two ways.

The course can be followed through the regular topics of marketing, operations management, human resource management, finance, business organisation and the external environment.

Alternatively, it can work around the six core concepts: Change, Culture, Ethics, Globalisation, Innovation, Strategy.

The best students will have a strong association with the concepts and their impact on the businesses being talked about in the exam.

Overall, enjoy becoming a business guru. Love the fact that you can use concepts and content to explain why decisions were made or what strategies could be taken. And, keep looking critically at businesses every day.

More about Dan

Dan qualified as a teacher in Business in 1995, and now works as a tutor with Owl Tutors.

Dan is an outstanding Economics and Business Studies tutor, with excellent results over his 20 plus years in teaching. He can cover all A level, IB and GCSE Economics and Business related courses.

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