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The best way to revise business studies

Updated: Mar 9, 2022


Are you unsure how to start your business revision? If yes, you are in the right place! We have asked top students and experienced teachers to share their most effective revision tips and we have designed the ultimate business revision strategy. You will notice an immediate improvement in your revision after following this step by step guide.


Step 1: Make a plan. Establish your work schedule.


Diving blindly into your revision may not be the smartest approach. Making a plan will help you set out your goals, timeline and priorities.


Starting a revision without a plan is like constructing a building without foundations. A building without a strong foundation will simply fall apart!


Take a step back and ask yourself the following questions:


How much do I know?


Are you already familiar with the important business concepts and diagrams in your syllabus? If so in how much depth? Maybe you'd wish to start everything from scratch or the opposite, you already feel comfortable tackling past papers. Your level of knowledge can be broken down into levels:


Knowledge levels

  • Level 1: Some knowledge but not fully grasped all concepts Familiarise yourself with the basic business concepts. This can be simply done by watching some youtube videos or making mindmaps for each topic.

  • Level 2: Adequate knowledge of relevant facts and theory You will feel comfortable to start practising past papers. Feel free to use your notes or textbook if you are unsure of the answers.

  • Level 3: In-depth knowledge of the most important areas of the syllabus. At this stage, you will be able to write definitions and discuss essay topics in your own words. Start practising time management skills.


What materials do I have?


You must have at least one learning material and one practice material.


Learning materials can be:

  • Notes covering the whole syllabus

  • A book published by the exam board

Practice materials can be:

  • The latest past papers questions

  • A practice kit


What are my priorities?


What are your weaknesses? Perhaps there are some chapters you are not comfortable with and you wish to give more attention to. Perhaps you are not the best at writing business essays and wish to practice more.


Write down the chapters you need to revise in order of priority. Analysing past papers will help you to figure out which topics are more important.


What's my schedule?


Is there a few months left or maybe only a few weeks? If you have not noticed already, business is a bulky subject and your revision plan will depend on the amount of time left to revise.

Set aside at least 5 hours every week dedicated to business revision. Establish a clear revision timetable.


Do not be too strict! Why create a complicated timetable if you won’t stick to it?

Keep your revision timetable simple and realistic.


Your revision timetable should include the following elements

  1. Make and revise mindmaps (you can also use other memorisation techniques)

  2. Multiple choice practice

  3. Data response questions practice

  4. Essay practice


Step 2: Analyse past papers. Narrow down topics you need to focus on.

Going through past papers will help to narrow down the chapters in which you should focus your revision. Notice that some areas of the syllabus are more frequently examined than others. Give priority to these areas in your revision.

Before starting to prepare, you should know what to be prepared for!

Make a list of at least 20 specific topic areas to revise.


Step 3: Find the memorisation method that best suits you.


Now that you have a list of the key chapters to focus on, it's time to figure out the best revision technique.

Do not passively read your notes. You will probably forget them the next day!

There are several memorisation techniques that are particularly effective for business students

  • Acrostics: “My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nachos” (planets)

  • Flashcards: good for specific facts. Shuffle cards and recite out loud. Put a question on one side, the answer on the other

  • Mindmaps: draw diagrams for representing tasks, words, concepts, or items linked to and arranged around a central concept Recite out loud in your own words until you don't need your notes Teach someone else

Use these techniques to revise each topic in your list.


If you have enough time, make the revision twice.

However, memorising your notes alone is not enough to score top grades. What we've learnt from every successful business student is this:

Practice is key!


Step 4: Practice. Practice once. Practice it twice...


The best way to revise is through practice. You can start practising even if you have not revised 100% of the syllabus. Working out a question will force you to revise the chapter anyway! You will generally come across three types of questions in your business exams:


Multiple-choice questions


Most exam boards publish their past papers with answers. Make sure that you have the latest past papers.


Practice the multiple-choice section at least twice.

  • The first time you can peek at the answers and look for explanations in your textbook.

  • The second time, practice it without any help or prompts

Essays


It might be time-consuming to write down a whole essay which often takes 2-3 pages. Work out essay questions by simply writing bullet points. You can use content from your textbook and a marking scheme to do this. We have a whole article dedicated to writing essays. Cover at least 20 essay questions across different topics. Take the essay questions from the latest exam papers.


Data response questions

The best way to understand the mechanics of a data question is to practice them. The advantage is with data scenarios is that you are asked to analyse how theoretical business concepts can be applied to real-life examples.


Extra tips
  • Be up to date with business and business-related articles, social media pages, and the news

  • Pay extra attention to diagrams and real-life examples

  • Test yourself regularly with a time limit

  • Be consistent with your revision, avoid skipping any revision sessions

  • Start early, at least 3 months before your exam


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