How to Ace and Study for Business Studies

Undoubtedly you must have heard that Business Studies is heavy in content and that is true. There is a lot to know! However, this shouldn’t demotivate you from achieving the best marks possible. 

As a band 6 Business Studies Student and Tutor, I initially found the subject quite tedious, but with time, preparation and a lot of practice, you will be on the path to achieving excellent marks. 

The Business Studies HSC has four sections: Multiple Choice, Short Answer, Business Report and Business Essay. 

Here are some of the best tips that you can use when studying for business studies: 

  • Make sure you have covered all your content. One of the most significant concerns among students is that they have not finished their content in time for their major assessments and exams, including their trials and HSC. It is crucial to ensure that all the relevant content is covered and you understand every aspect of it. Once you have covered all the content, it becomes easier to memorise and apply.
  • SYLLABUS! SYLLABUS! SYLLABUS! Your syllabus across any subject is the ultimate guide to achieving a band six or your desired marks. There is quite a lot of information to memorise, considering you must balance your time with other subjects; however, this will make the studying process more straightforward.  A common question I receive is “How do I memorise my syllabus for Business?”.  The easiest way to go about this is through ACRONYMS. Acronyms serve as an abbreviation using the first letter of important words. Using fun and memorable acronyms will surely make memorisation a lot easier.  An extra tip for visual learners is to draw mind maps. Breaking down the syllabus into dot points and sub dot points through a mind map creates a logical flow of information that visual learners find easier to interpret and remember.  Note: Always have a syllabus on hand to annotate. You may want to break down points further than provided on the syllabus.
  • Link your modules  With the new method of asking exam questions, essays have shifted from being centred around one module to linking many together.  Students find this a difficult task when they get to the exam or answer past papers. The best way to overcome this challenge is by linking your modules together through different case studies.  You can do this by finding which case study can connect to multiple dot points and how a strategy from one module might influence another. Think outside of the box!
  • Questions Over the years, it has become evident that NESA has been creating questions straight from the syllabus. They extract the dot point and reword it into a question. More prominently, exam questions have shifted from merely relaying content to applying content. Examiners will provide students with a scenario or example to assess and provide the most appropriate response.
  • Case Studies Case studies are examples that make your argument in your business essays and form the basis of a high scoring response. When utilising the case studies in business essays, it is crucial to embed the example rather than state it at face value. Band 6 papers avoid using phrases such as ‘for example’ followed by the example. This is a weak response and an example of a low scoring essay. What information do I need for my case study? You will need information that helps you make your argument concerning an actual business. Better responses will incorporate statistics throughout as it shows the marker that you have conducted your research and have sufficient knowledge on the topic.
  • Examples While some questions do not necessarily state that you need an example to support your response, it is sometimes best to include one. By having an example, you can support the argument you are making and highlight to the markers that you know your content and can find its applications to the real world. These examples do not have to be much different from your case studies. You want to study hard and efficiently, not make the process more daunting.
  • VERBS Now I don’t mean verbs as in ‘run’ or ‘jump’. I am referring to the verbs used when examiners ask you a question. The most common terms are: assess, evaluate, explain, analyse etc. It is essential to understand that there is a different structure to your response under each section of the exam per the allocation of marks with each verb. Familiarise yourself with what format each verb is associated with and practise writing up responses to make answering questions easier.
  • Past Papers As with any subject, the best way to receive the marks you want is through practice. Using HSC and trial past papers will expose you to a wide variety of questions and indicate how examiners have changed how they ask questions. It is not enough to just complete the question, though, mark and provide yourself with feedback following the marking guidelines and sample responses. Practise makes perfect!
  • Time yourself  After you have memorised your content, case studies and are ready to tackle past papers, ensure you sit the exam under timed conditions. A business studies exam is 3 hours, with 5 minutes of reading time. Before you begin the exam, calculate the finish times for each section. Being aware of the time allows you to keep track of your progress. Following the recommended allocated times at the beginning of each section is preferred. With time, you may find that you are taking less time in a section, and this will help towards checking over your work at the end.
  • Your teachers and tutors are here to help. Upon practising how to answer questions, it is a good idea to hand over your work to your teacher or tutor to provide you with feedback to improve your responses. Your tutors and teacher should also be your first point of reference when you are struggling and want to strengthen yourself in a particular concept.


The Thinking Cap Tutoring Centre offers both school-based and one-on-one tutoring for students studying business studies. We can help you learn content, develop your skills and prepare for upcoming exams and assessments. To enrol, simply call us on 0415 625 525

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