Business (H): A much more challenging paper than last year

Reaction to Leaving Certificate 2022 Higher Level Business, by Keith Hannigan, Business teacher at The Institute of Education. 

This was a much more challenging paper than last year.

Students really needed in depth knowledge of the entire syllabus to perform well here.

A reduced focus on marketing questions on this paper would have disappointed students.

SECTION 1: SHORT QUESTIONS

Like last year students had to answer 4 out of 12 short questions. Normally they answer 8 out of 12.

Although much more challenging than 2021, every student should have been able to find four questions that suited them here.

There were some nice calculation and true or false questions, but some other questions had a lot of economics jargon that students may not have been familiar

Question 1 was quite tricky and had a lot of economics terms in it that students may not have understood.

Question 4 was nice and focused on motivation.

Question 5 asked students to draft an email. This is the first time this has been asked. However hopefully students could rely on their own general experience to tackle this.

Question 6 was very economics heavy, asking students to explain the consumer price index. Technically this would have been very hard, and the question lends itself more to the economics paper than the business paper

There was a lovely true or false question on meetings in question 7.

Question 9 and 12 were calculations. Question 9 was a straightforward break a even, and question 12 asked students to calculate PAYE. This was the first time it has been asked as short question but it was nice and manageable.

SECTION 2: Applied Business Question (ABQ)

Students who had studied past papers would have been richly rewarded in this section.

Question A was standard and focused on how a business called Mike’s Pizza would deal with change. This was recycled from past papers and was very nice.

Question B was on business expansion. Students would have been happy to see this topic appear as it has not been asked for a while.

Question C was a standard question on corporate social responsibility that has appeared on previous papers.

SECTION 3: LONG QUESTIONS

Part 1- Long Questions:

Very awkward parts in questions 1b and 4a, ensured that if students were intending to answer two questions from Unit 1, then they really needed to know every aspect of that unit.

Question 1b focused on solving a strike in a non-legislative way. Students may have found this difficult. Section c focused on discrimination in the WRC, which was recycled from the 2020 paper. This was a very tough question.

Question 2 focused on the benefits of being a private limited company and trends in the services sector. This was a different type of question and very topical.

Question 3 focused on the decision-making structures in the EU and indigenous firms.

Question 4 had a lot of new material in it. Part a was on the Consumer Protection Act from 2007, but the question was asked in a new way, focusing on price regulations and misleading information about products. The other two parts of the question were standard.

Part 2- Long Questions:

Unlike last year, there were not two full length marketing questions which made the section more challenging.

Question 5 was nice, focusing on leadership styles and intrapreneurship and how you can encourage staff to be creative.

Question 6 had a current theme, focusing on how Covid 19 and the uptake in remote working has affected HRM. Most students would have been able to deal with this.

Question 7 focused on management and marketing, which was a change from last year. However, it was still standard enough, focusing on ratios, finance and market research. Like the ABQ, if students had studied past papers they would have been okay here.

Question 8 had some new bits to it as well. It focused on a company called Spotlight Oral Care, and asked about their distribution channel, designing new products and the forms of advertising it could use to promote its products. Although it was a marketing question, it would have been challenging for some students.