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4 weeks to go!

Tuesday 28 September 2021

4 weeks to go before November exams!
By Vivien Jack
I hope our November colleagues are doing well on the home stretch.
Here are my 4 favourite exam response tips/writing structures that might be of use for your students. There are many more alternatives out there but my students seem to find these the easiest ones to remember.
  1. 2 mark definition questions (AO1) - Avoid circular definitions (i.e. using the word to be defined in the definition itself). For example, stating that "shareholders are people who hold shares" or limited liability means "having liabilities that are limited" are not entirely incorrect but such definitions do not show any level of understanding.
  2. 4 mark questions (AO2) - use (PEE) - Point, Explanation and Evidence x 2. Usually the question will ask for two key points to be made in the response (e.g. Explain one advantage and one disadvantage of using the straight-line depreciation method at Company X.). Writing one PEE per key point will help show knowledge, understanding, and application skills.
  3. 10 mark questions (AO3) - use DEADER (Define, Examples [from stimulus], Advantages, Disadvantages, Evaluation and Recommendations). Sometimes students take the advice to write about advantages and disadvantages too literally. The point is to show a balanced response (i.e. a two-sided argument) so they need to show contrasting viewpoints in the body paragraphs (e.g. financial vs non-financial factors, motivating vs demotivating factors, driving vs restraining forces, quantitative vs. qualitative factors etc.).
  4. 10 mark questions, specifically in "Evaluation" and "Recommendation" in the concluding paragraph - use LOSA (Long and short-term impacts, Objectives of the firm, Stakeholder impacts [internal and external], and Alternatives/assumptions. There won’t be enough time to write all LOSAs so I suggest students select one or two at most. My students often like to show evaluation based on the "long and short-term impacts" on the business as this is easy to remember.
For more detailed advice about writing frameworks for Paper 1 and Paper 2, please refer to
What are some of your favourite exam writing structures? Would love to hear about them in the comments.
All the best!

5 weeks to go!
20 Sep 2021


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