BlogBusiness StudiesHow to Ace Your End of Year Exams for VCE Business Management

How to Ace Your End of Year Exams for VCE Business Management

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Preparing for the end of year VCE Business Management exams is like hiking up a mountain; if you look at how much you have to do, it can be overwhelming and you might even walk away from it before getting started.

But just like every other challenge, conquering the mountain of your exam starts by taking the first step. 

Below we’ll discuss the equipment that you need before you hike the mountain so that you aren’t treading aimlessly. This way you’ll be able to prepare for the road ahead with the easy tips that you can apply right before the exams, or even throughout the year!

Let’s dive in!

Breakdown of the Exam Paper
How to Prepare Throughout the Year
Preparing for Business Management Application Exam Questions
Exam Season!

Breakdown of the Exam Paper

In VCE Business Management, you’ll generally have 10-13 questions which are divided into two sections.

Don’t let the low number deceive you, as you’ll primarily be explaining concepts and analysing case studies.

  • Section A: Short answer – focusing on standard knowledge and application questions
  • Section B: Case-study – given a scenario to analyse with guided questions

Study - VCE Business Management Exam

How to Prepare Throughout the Year

Like how tackling a mountain requires training and preparation, you’ll also need to slowly build up your skills and knowledge throughout the year.

If you can get these habits down early on, you’ll find the end of year exam a lot more manageable!

Square up everything you might find in the VCE Business Management exam and check out our master list of past papers here

Building up your glossary

As your VCE Business Management exams will be theory-based and concept-heavy, you’ll need to master the terminologies in order to understand the questions and showcase your knowledge in your responses.

To do so, you can build up a glossary list when you’re introduced to a new topic or concept!

Compiling summary sheets

Consolidating all the content before your VCE Business Management exams is quite a daunting task, especially when you’ll have thick exercise books stuffed with notes from class and exercises from your textbook.

To ensure that you aren’t overwhelmed, you can save yourself the trouble by creating condensed notes for each area of study before your SACs (or if you haven’t, do so before your exam). 

For summary sheets, make sure to only note down the key points such as the definition and characteristics or explanations. Also note down the advantages and disadvantages of the concepts as there will be a lot of these.

Check out our practice SAC for VCE Business Management Unit 3 AOS 2 here!

Condensing contemporary case studies

In the VCE Business Management exams, you’ll also be required to know contemporary case studies for application questions, either to compare with or to discuss.

For this, you’ll need to know them like the back of your hand. Of course, trying to memorise all the details of your case studies and a broad variety of them would be very arduous. Therefore, strategising how you remember and apply your case studies is essential!

Tips for finding and summarising case-study:

  • Case-study that can be used for many theories.
  • Create short descriptions using the key terminologies from the theories.
  • Write a note of the case studies on your printed study design next to the relevant key knowledge dot point.

Focus - VCE Business Management Exam

Preparing for Business Management Application Exam Questions

Like any concept-heavy subject, application questions make the main content of your VCE Business Management exams and building up skills in application will take some time and effort.

You’ll need to learn how to dissect the question, link it to the relevant key knowledge dot point. Then, you would need to be able to showcase your knowledge, explaining using appropriate terminologies.

Understanding the question

When it comes to VCE Business Management, different task words in questions require different responses.

For example, ‘to distinguish’ is different from ‘to compare’ as distinguishing requires you to list the differences but to compare is to describe the similarities and the differences. 

Task WordsDefinitions
AnalyseTo identify the key features or concepts and examine how they link together.
ApplyUsing theories or concepts to apply to case studies or practical examples.
CompareDescribe the similarities and differences.
DefineTo give a short explanation of the term.
DescribeProviding explanation and unpacking the characteristics or key components of the concept.
DiscussTo discuss both sides of the issue. I.e. advantages and disadvantages
DistinguishDescribe the differences.
EvaluateTo demonstrate both sides, such as strengths and weaknesses, and then providing your own opinion.
ExplainTo detail the concept or theory, linking any key ideas.
IdentifyTo determine something that is applied e.g. identify the key characteristic of a sole trader.
JustifyTo give reason to why your choice is right.
OutlineTo give a brief explanation of the concept. Quite similar to explain.
ProposeTo give a suggestion.
RecommendBased on the question, outline any facts or ideas and for an appropriate response.
SelectChoose out of the options.

Linking to key knowledge dot points

This is where your knowledge will get tested and your ability to score the marks will come from. Sometimes students can know the content, but not really understand how to link it to the question.

In order to link to the content, you need to also identify the terms related to the theories. 

Example from the VCAA 2018 Business Management exam:

Explain the importance of leadership in change management. In your response, refer to a contemporary business case study

From these key terms, you can identify that it’s referring to U4AOS1 which focuses on implementing change in the business, and it’s looking at the importance of the leadership of managers.

Once identifying this, you can elaborate on the key ideas of leadership such as how it acts as a bridge between the status quo and the new workplace environment. 

Don’t leave empty-handed and check out our master list of VCE Business Management past papers here!

When practising questions, try to identify these keywords and noting where they are referred to in the study design. This will also indicate if there is any theory that you need to consolidate!


Reading the case studies

You should take the same approach when reading your case studies as when you identify the key knowledge dot points.

There will always be the key terms which are included in the scenarios, however, these will most likely be interwoven with key knowledge dot points across the two units. 

The best way to get better at identifying the key ideas is to annotate your case studies and search for the key theories in the questions as it will indicate what information you are looking for. 

Example from the VCAA 2018 Business Management exam:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has been suggested to Mary as an appropriate motivational theory for improving employee performance. Describe this theory of motivation and explain how it could be applied at 123 Childcare Centre to reduce the level of staff turnover

For example, the question alone already indicates that it must include the strategies to improve employee motivation, even before considering the case study.

This is linked to key performance indicators which suggests that this business might be looking to implement change.

Exam season!

The end is near and you’ve already gotten the tools down to conquer these exams. Now let’s just go through the final preparations before you go into battle to ensure it’s a success!

Study timetable

As the adage goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Preparing a study timetable is essential for you to keep on top of Business Management as well as your other subject studies.

However, you must always ensure that your time is used effectively and you lessen the thinking time on how you’re going to study. 

First, you’ll want to determine which area of study are your weakest areas. To do this, you can do just some of these quick activities at the start of your exam season:

  • Spider diagrams
  • Text-book questions
  • Sample exams 

Then, you can also schedule in some revision time:

  • Cue cards
  • Practice questions 
  • Summary notes

Towards the end, you’ll want to primarily focus on timed practice exams to get you into the groove of dishing out the responses efficiently.

Also always make sure to check through your responses, cross referencing to sample responses or getting feedback from your teacher.


Past papers and taking the exam

Once your concept knowledge is quite solid, you can begin by doing practice papers. This is what will sharpen your skills and is the best indicator of whether you truly understand the theories.

Tip: For the first one, it can be overwhelming to jump right into timed-conditions, so easing in by working through your first practice paper at your own pace is a good way to familiarise yourself with the structure.

After the getting-to-know phase, it’s time to step it up a notch and try your very first timed-conditions. When doing so, your environment should also emulate what sitting the exam will be like:

  • Use reading time wisely, making sure to read the case study at least twice
  • Breaking down the time allocation per question (roughly 1.5 minutes per mark)
  • Set time checkpoints (example: question 5 after 1 hour)
  • Use an analogue clock to track the time

Don’t forget to read and use our other guides for VCE Business Management!

Are you looking for some extra help with preparing for your VCE Business Management exam?

We have an incredible team of VCE tutors and mentors!

We can help you master the VCE Business Management study design and ace your upcoming VCE assessments with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or online!

VCE Business Management can be a challenge! Why not get some extra tutoring support! Check out our VCE Cranbourne tutoring today!

We’ve supported over 8,000 students over the last 11 years, and on average our students score mark improvements of over 20%!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational VCE tutor and mentor, get in touch today or give us a ring on 1300 267 888!

Alanah Santos completed her VCE in 2020, achieving an ATAR score of 96.60, and a study score of 40+ in Business Management and Psychology. She’s an enthusiastic Private Tutor on paper but is still trying to claim the title of Bingsu Connoisseur.

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