Mark Scheme Business Studies BUSS1

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Version 1.0
General Certificate of Education (A-level)
June 2012
Business Studies
BUSS1
(Specification 2130)
Unit 1: Planning and Financing a Business
Mark Scheme
Mark schemes are prepared by the Principal Examiner and considered, together with the relevant
questions, by a panel of subject teachers. This mark scheme includes any amendments made at the
standardisation events which all examiners participate in and is the scheme which was used by them
in this examination. The standardisation process ensures that the mark scheme covers the
candidates’ responses to questions and that every examiner understands and applies it in the same
correct way. As preparation for standardisation each examiner analyses a number of candidates’
scripts: alternative answers not already covered by the mark scheme are discussed and legislated for.
If, after the standardisation process, examiners encounter unusual answers which have not been
raised they are required to refer these to the Principal Examiner.
It must be stressed that a mark scheme is a working document, in many cases further developed and
expanded on the basis of candidates’ reactions to a particular paper. Assumptions about future mark
schemes on the basis of one year’s document should be avoided; whilst the guiding principles of
assessment remain constant, details will change, depending on the content of a particular examination
paper.
Further copies of this Mark Scheme are available from: aqa.org.uk
Copyright © 2012 AQA and its licensors. All rights reserved.
Copyright
AQA retains the copyright on all its publications. However, registered centres for AQA are permitted to copy material from this
booklet for their own internal use, with the following important exception: AQA cannot give permission to centres to photocopy
any material that is acknowledged to a third party even for internal use within the centre.
Set and published by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance.
The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (company number 3644723) and a registered
charity (registered charity number 1073334).
Registered address: AQA, Devas Street, Manchester M15 6EX.
Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Business Studies – BUSS1 –June 2012
Assessment Objectives
The Assessment Objectives represent those qualities which
can be demonstrated in candidates’ work and which can be
measured for the purposes of assessment.
AO1
Demonstrate knowledge
and understanding of the
specified content
AO2
Apply knowledge and
understanding to problems
and issues arising from
both familiar and
unfamiliar situations
AO3
Analyse problems, issues
and situations
AO4
Evaluate, distinguish
between and assess
appropriateness of fact
and opinion, and judge
information from a variety
of sources
Quality of Written
Communication
Students give accurate definitions of relevant terms.
Students can also gain credit for identifying a point relevant to
the question.
Students should apply their knowledge to the business
context in which the question is set, through recognition of
some specific business aspect, the management of the
business or the problems or issues faced by the business.
Students will not be rewarded for simply dropping the
company name or product category into their answer.
Students use relevant business theory and select information
from a range of sources, using appropriate methods, to
analyse business problems and situations. For example,
students may be asked to build up an argument that shows
understanding of cause and effect.
Students evaluate evidence to reach reasoned judgements.
This can be shown within an answer, through the weighting of
an argument or it can also be shown within a conclusion,
perhaps by weighing up the strength of the student’s own
arguments for and against a proposition.
Students will not gain credit by the simple use of drilled
phrases such as ‘on the other hand’ or ‘business operates in
an ever-changing environment’.
The quality of written communication is assessed in all
assessment units where students are required to produce
extended written material. Students will be assessed
according to their ability to:
•
ensure that text is legible, and that spelling, grammar and
punctuation are accurate, so that meaning is clear.
•
select and use a form and style of writing appropriate to
purpose and complex subject matter
•
organise information clearly and coherently, using
specialist vocabulary when appropriate
The assessment of the quality of written communication is
included in Assessment Objective 4.
3
Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Business Studies – BUSS1 –June 2012
ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE FOR MARKING SCHEME
This marking scheme requires decisions to be made on whether students’ responses represent
reasonable or good application and reasonable or good analysis. If a response demonstrates good
analysis and good application, award Level 5 full marks. Alternatively, if a response does not contain
any relevant knowledge then a mark of zero would be appropriate.
In making a decision about whether a particular response is good or reasonable, use the following
guidelines.
APPLICATION
Good application can be demonstrated in three ways and annotated as GAp.
• By being consistently in context. An answer may not demonstrate either of the above
characteristics, but it may be in context throughout with each argument related to the scenario.
• By combining data. For example, in responding to Question 2(a), a student might achieve good
marks for application by using Figure 2 in order to show how a profit is budgeted for each quarter
and the estimate of fixed costs of £6000 for the first quarter. Combining this with the information
that Zoe has £6000 in savings means that Zoe’s personal finance is just enough to cover the
start-up costs of the business.
• By manipulating data. For example, when answering Question 2(c) students might use the data
in Figure 2 and information in the text to confirm that Zoe’s shortfall of £2000 meant that she had
still generated a surplus of £2500 (£4500 – £2000), despite a number of serious problems that
were outside her control. Consequently, she was still on target for a profit in excess of £15 000.
For application to be creditworthy, it must be used as part of a relevant argument. Some students
simply copy out part of the case. This should not receive credit.
If a student, when developing an argument, makes a single reference to the context, this is reasonable
application. Annotate this as RAp. An example of this in answering Question 1(d) could be that a
problem of estimating her budget was that unexpected events might occur, citing the case of Zoe’s car
problems as an example.
ANALYSIS
Good analysis takes place when overall an answer shows effective use of business reasoning/logic in
answering the question. Annotate as GAn. Good analysis can also be shown when a student
develops an extended chain of argument with a clear focus on the question. For example, when
responding to Question 2(b), a line or argument could show how Zoe’s problems tended to come from
external factors, which she seemed to largely ignore in her market research, rather than a lack of
understanding of the nature of her market (which was the area of market research that appeared to be
her relative strength).
Reasonable analysis will be shown through less developed chains of argument or those with a less
clear focus on the question. Annotate as RAn. For example, in Question 2(c) the possible, but not
certain, changes in the quality and cost of her supplies might make it harder for Zoe to reach her profit
target. Simple points or ideas expressed without any development would be rewarded with knowledge
marks.
EVALUATION
The driving force behind the award of evaluation marks is the quality of evaluation included in the
answer and not the Quality of Written Communication. The key is the extent of the support for a
judgement. Evaluative comments may be offered throughout a response and may support a
judgement fully.
The decision on the Quality of Written Communication should be used to adjust a mark within the level
selected on the basis of the student’s evaluation. For example, a student may have been awarded the
lower mark in E3 for evaluation but the response may be particularly well structured with highly
effective use of technical terms. In this case, the mark may be adjusted upward to the maximum for
E3.
A well written answer without any evaluation can receive one mark for quality of language.
4
Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Business Studies – BUSS1 –June 2012
1
Total for this question: 20 marks
1 (a)
What is meant by the term ‘fixed costs’ (lines 26)?
(2 marks)
Definition:
Expenditure that does not vary directly (remains the same) (1 mark) (first mark)
with changes in output (1 mark) OR in the short-run (1 mark).
1 (b)
Calculate the total ‘added value’ that Zoe expected to receive from party
bags in the first three months of her business (November 2011 to January
2012).
(3 marks)
Correct answer = £1125 (3 marks). Also accept 1125 (without the £ sign).
Break-down of calculations shown below:
Sales revenue: £2700
Cost of party bags: £1575
(1 mark)
(1 mark)
£2700 – £1575 = £1125
(1 mark)
If answer shown is £50 625 (2 marks)
If no valid calculation, award a maximum of 1 mark for notion/definition of added value.
Added value = Sales revenue minus cost of bought-in materials (1 mark)
1 (c)
Calculate Zoe’s budgeted profit or loss from her first year of trading
(November 2011 to October 2012).
(3 marks)
Correct answer = £18 750 (3 marks). Also accept 18 750 (without the £ sign).
Break-down of calculations shown below:
EITHER
Total income
= £9 000 + £9 000 + £12 000 + £15 000 = £45 000 (1 mark)
Total expenditure = £17 250 + £2 250 + £3 000 + £3 750 = £26 250 (1 mark)
Or £8 250 + £5 250 + £6 000 + £6 750 = £26 250 (1 mark)
£45 000 – £26 250 = £18 750 (1 mark)
OR
Quarterly profits are: £750 + £3 750 + £6 000 + £8 250
(1 mark for correct calculation of any one of the 4 quarters) + (1 mark for correct calculation
of other three quarterly profits)
£750 + £3 750 + £6 000 + £8 250 = £18 750 (1 mark)
If no creditworthy calculation, award a maximum of 1 mark:
Budgeted profit = Budgeted income minus budgeted expenditure (1 mark)
5
Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Business Studies – BUSS1 –June 2012
1 (d)
Explain two problems that Zoe faced in estimating her expenditure budget
accurately.
(6 marks)
Level
Descriptor
Marks
L3
Good application
6–5
L2
Good knowledge or Reasonable application
4–3
L1
Limited knowledge
2–1
Definition:
Expenditure budget: the agreed targeted/planned/forecast (1 mark) costs/expenses of a
business over a period of time (1 mark).
Problems might include the following:
•
•
•
•
she had no previous knowledge of the party bag contents and their costs
suppliers might change their prices before she started trading
costs might be affected by unexpected events, such as a car breakdown
changes in the economy and her own popularity could lead to lower demand. This would
make it difficult for Zoe to estimate her variable costs, such as materials for party bags.
NB: Do not accept arguments that relate only to the income budget. However, accept
arguments that clearly relate to the quantity of materials being purchased by Zoe.
6
Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Business Studies – BUSS1 –June 2012
1 (e)
The break-even chart below (Figure 3) shows the original break-even situation
for Zoe’s business. However, the increase in supplier costs of party bags will
lead to an increase in variable costs from £50 per party to £70 per party.
Amend the break-even chart below to show:
(i)
the new total costs line after the increase in variable costs (label this
‘TC2’)
(3 marks)
(ii) the new break-even point (label this ‘a’ on the diagram).
(1 mark)
(iii) the new forecast profit as a result of the increase in variable costs, based
on Zoe’s estimate of 225 parties per annum (label this ‘bc’ on your
diagram).
(2 marks)
bc (alternative)
1(e)(i)
Correct answer = TC2 line (3 marks)
For correct intersection with ‘Y’ axis (at £15 000)
For correct TC value above 225 units of output (at £30 750)**
**Accept answers between £28 000 and £31 500
For recognising an increase in the gradient of the TC line
(1 mark)
(1 mark)
(1 mark)
1(e)(ii)
Correct positioning of ‘a’, where TC2 = TR (1 mark)
Accept answers that show ‘a’ on the ‘Y’ axis horizontally from point ‘a’ or answers
that show ‘a’ on the ‘X’ axis vertically below ‘a’.
1(e)(iii)
Either correct positioning of ‘bc’: Vertical line between ‘TR’ and ‘TC2' (1 mark)
Or correct positioning of ‘bc’ alternative (£14 250) (1 mark)
Plus vertical line or point (for ‘bc’ alternative) above 225 units of output (1 mark)
7
Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Business Studies – BUSS1 –June 2012
2
Total for this question: 40 marks
2 (a)
Analyse two possible reasons why Zoe chose to use personal finance rather
than a bank loan.
(10 marks)
Level
Descriptor
Marks
L5
Good application AND Good analysis
10–9
L4
Good application AND Reasonable analysis
or
Good analysis AND Reasonable application
8–7
L3
Reasonable application AND Reasonable analysis
or
Good application
or
Good analysis
6–5
L2
Reasonable application
or
Reasonable analysis
4
L1
Limited response
3–1
Up to a maximum of 2 marks for a definition of personal finance OR bank loan.
Personal finance: money that is provided by the owner (1 mark) from their own savings,
family or personal wealth/assets (1 mark).
Bank loan: a sum of money provided to a firm or individual by a bank (1 mark) for a specific,
agreed purpose (1 mark).
Also accept: ‘on which interest is charged’ as an alternative to the first element of the above
sentence.
Possible reasons for Zoe choosing personal finance might include the following:
• Zoe was able to meet the start-up costs through the £6000 borrowed from her parents
• it is possible that her parents will charge zero or low interest on the loan whereas the
bank charges a high interest
• the bank manager refused a two-year loan. Using personal finance would avoid a
situation whereby Zoe was having to pay back all of the bank loan within her first year of
trading
• Zoe would struggle to provide a guarantee (security) for a bank loan
• Zoe would be debt free earlier as she would have a cash surplus by the end of the first
quarter.
Possible lines of analysis:
•
•
Zoe wanted to limit risk and this could be achieved by being debt free. The insistence on
a one-year loan by the bank manager would have put pressure on Zoe in her first year of
trading; this is usually a difficult time for a new entrepreneur.
personal finance would mean that Zoe would not need to provide a guarantee and pay
high interest, both of these factors would have negative effects on her business.
8
Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Business Studies – BUSS1 –June 2012
2 (b)
Zoe believed that she conducted her market research well. To what extent
do you agree? Justify your view.
(15 marks)
Level
Descriptor
Marks
L5
Good application AND Good analysis
10–9
L4
Good application AND Reasonable analysis
or
Good analysis AND Reasonable application
8–7
L3
Reasonable application AND Reasonable analysis
or
Good application
or
Good analysis
6–5
L2
Reasonable application
or
Reasonable analysis
4
L1
Limited response
3–1
Definition: 1 mark for concept of getting information and 1 mark for concept of using
information.
Market research is the systematic and objective collection of data (1 mark) and
the analysis of that data in order to assist the marketing process (1 mark).
Strengths of Zoe’s market research:
• she used her own experience, and that of her contacts in nearby towns, in order to
understand the entertainment needs of the customers
• she was able to get a projection of sales through the advice of her contacts
• Zoe used a questionnaire, in particular to research party bags, and her replies helped
her decision making
• she learned that fixed prices might not be possible as customers would ‘haggle’, but that
she could set prices higher than she had previously
• her adviser provided detailed financial data.
Weaknesses of Zoe’s market research:
• most of her research was based on her own (or contacts’) experience and this might not
apply to the new situation she was facing
• her party bag research sample was biased, as it only used existing customers
• Zoe did not appear to undertake market research into the state of the market and
possible influences on demand
• she appeared to decide on party bags before researching this option, although she did
then conduct some research
• overall, her sample sizes appeared to be limited and only included previous customers
who knew her personally.
Possible lines of analysis:
•
•
new market research was less vital because of her previous experience in this field
her information came from limited sources and may not have been free from bias, thus
affecting the reliability of her results.
9
Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Business Studies – BUSS1 –June 2012
Evaluation
Zoe’s prior experience gave her a reasonable understanding of many features of the market.
However, her market research into full-time employment seemed to be very restricted,
suffering from both bias and low sample numbers, reducing its reliability. However, as she
was continuing to build on her part-time business this may not have been a major issue.
Although her market research was limited it did build on the good level of understanding that
she had acquired before the full-time business commenced.
For Evaluation, you should award marks using the grid below.
Note: Evaluation also assesses students’ quality of written communication. When deciding
on the level to be awarded, consider the degree to which the student orders his/her ideas.
Level
Descriptor
Marks
E3
Judgement with well supported justification.
Answer has a logical structure throughout with effective use of
technical terms.
5–4
E2
Judgement with limited attempt at justification.
Evidence of a logical structure and some use of technical terms.
3–2
E1
Assertion or judgement which is unsupported.
Limited evidence of a logical structure and little use of technical
terms.
1
10
Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Business Studies – BUSS1 –June 2012
2 (c)
In May 2012, Zoe stated, “The business is failing to reach its targets at the
moment but the reasons have been outside my control.” Do you agree with
Zoe’s statement? Justify your view.
(15 marks)
Level
Descriptor
Marks
L5
Good application AND Good analysis
10–9
L4
Good application AND Reasonable analysis
or
Good analysis AND Reasonable application
8–7
L3
Reasonable application AND Reasonable analysis
or
Good application
or
Good analysis
6–5
L2
Reasonable application
or
Reasonable analysis
4
L1
Limited response
3–1
Reasons for failure that were outside Zoe’s control might include the following:
•
•
•
•
•
the car breakdown led to a loss of goodwill that was arguably a result of bad luck
economic difficulties led to a general decline in demand for party entertainment
the supplier’s strike led to complaints and a loss of goodwill that were not due to Zoe’s
actions
the new supplier’s party bags were sub-standard, despite good reviews
the party bag supplier increased the price that Zoe was charged.
Reasons for failure that were within Zoe’s control might include the following:
•
•
•
Zoe continued to use party bags that she knew were sub-standard
Zoe chose to buy a cheap car and should have realised that this might cause problems.
She appeared to have no back-up plan, missing parties rather than prioritising
attendance at the parties
Zoe did not seem to have planned for ‘worst case scenarios’ as she did not seem to have
solutions to any of the problems that arose once her business had started.
Possible lines of analysis:
Some factors that contributed to Zoe’s difficulties, such as the car breakdown, might be
categorised as within Zoe’s control (eg she bought a cheap car) or outside her control (eg the
breakdown was just bad luck). Credit should be given to the quality of the argument
presented by the candidate and so the categorisation of the bullet points above should be
treated with some flexibility.
Evaluation
On the whole, external/unexpected factors seemed to contribute towards Zoe’s failure.
However, it could be argued that all of these events were possible and so, although she was
not initially at fault, her inability to deal with them was a significant weakness.
11
Mark Scheme – General Certificate of Education (A-level) Business Studies – BUSS1 –June 2012
For Evaluation, you should award marks using the grid below.
Note: Evaluation also assesses students’ quality of written communication. When deciding
on the level to be awarded, consider the degree to which the student orders his/her ideas.
Level
Descriptor
Marks
E3
Judgement with well supported justification.
Answer has a logical structure throughout with effective use of
technical terms.
5–4
E2
Judgement with limited attempt at justification.
Evidence of a logical structure and some use of technical terms.
3–2
E1
Assertion or judgement which is unsupported.
Limited evidence of a logical structure and little use of technical
terms.
1
12

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