The assessment criteria

The assessment criteria

Criterion A: Knowledge and conceptual understanding
This criterion addresses the extent to which the student demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the given concepts and relevant business management content (theories, techniques or tools, depending on the requirements of the question).

Marks

Level descriptor

0

The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.

1

Superficial knowledge of the given concepts is demonstrated. Business management content is not selected or the content selected is irrelevant.

2

Satisfactory understanding of one or both of the given concepts is demonstrated. Some business management content selected is relevant. The relevant content is satisfactorily explained.

3

Good understanding of one or both of the given concepts is demonstrated. The business management content selected is relevant, though it may not be sufficient. The relevant content is generally well explained, though the explanation may lack some depth or breadth.

4

Good understanding of both of the given concepts is demonstrated. The business management content selected is relevant, sufficient and well explained.

Criterion B: Application
This criterion addresses the extent to which the student is able to apply the given concepts and the relevant business management content (theories, techniques or tools, depending on the requirements of the question) to his or her chosen real-world organization(s). The real-world organization(s) must not be the organization featured in the prescribed case study for paper 1.

Marks

Level descriptor

0

The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.

1

The given concepts and/or any relevant business management content are connected to the real-world organization(s), but this connection is inappropriate or superficial.

2

The given concepts and/or relevant business management content are connected appropriately to the real-world organization(s), but this connection is not developed.

3

The given concepts and relevant business management content are generally well applied to explain the situation and issues of the real-world organization(s), though the explanation may lack some depth or breadth. Examples are provided.

4

The given concepts and relevant business management content are well applied to explain the situation and issues of the real-world organization(s). Examples are appropriate and illustrative.

Criterion C: Reasoned arguments
This criterion assesses the extent to which the student makes reasoned arguments. This includes making relevant and balanced arguments by, for example, exploring different practices, weighing up their strengths and weaknesses, comparing and contrasting them or considering their implications, depending on the requirements of the question. It also includes justifying the arguments by presenting reasonable evidence or other support for the claims made.

Marks

Level descriptor

0

The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.

1

Statements are made but these are superficial.

2

Relevant arguments are made but these are mostly unjustified.

3

Relevant arguments are made and these are mostly justified.

4

Relevant, balanced arguments are made and these are well justified.

Criterion D: Structure
This criterion assesses the extent to which the student organizes his or her ideas with clarity, and presents a structured piece of writing comprised of: an introduction, a body, a conclusion, and fit-for-purpose paragraphs.

Marks

Level descriptor

0

The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.

1

Two or fewer of the structural elements are present, and few ideas are clearly organized.

2

Three of the structural elements are present, or most ideas are clearly organized.

3

Three or four of the structural elements are present, and most ideas are clearly organized.

4

All of the structural elements are present, and ideas are clearly organized.

Criterion E: Individuals and societies
This criterion assesses the extent to which the student is able to give balanced consideration to the perspectives of a range of relevant stakeholders, including individuals and groups internal and external to the organization.

Marks

Level descriptor

0

The work does not reach a standard described by the descriptors below.

1

One individual or group perspective is considered superficially or inappropriately.

2

One relevant individual or group perspective is considered appropriately, or two relevant individual or group perspectives are considered superficially or inappropriately.

3

At least two relevant individual or group perspectives are considered appropriately.

4

Balanced consideration is given to relevant individual and group perspectives.

Source: IB Business Management guide, pages 68 - 70 (May 2017)

Top tips for addressing the KARSI assessment criteria

General tips

  • In general, be mindful of the command term. For example, "Discuss" requires students to offer a considered and balanced review that includes a range of arguments, factors or perspectives.
  • Make relevant arguments that address the demands of the question.
  • Answers must demonstrating a logical flow of ideas, arguments, justification and development - vague and unsubstantiated responses must be avoided.
  • Opinions must be justified / substantiated - do not allow the examiner an excuse to ask "why?"
  • Similarly, avoid speculation about stakeholder views, attitudes, feelings or actions - evidence is key.
  • Do not rote learn (memorise) a CUEGIS essay - such an approach will not address the demands of the question nor reach the top mark bands for the assessment criteria.

Tips for the introduction

  • Provide a brief description of the chosen organization, even for large multinationals such as McDonald's or Starbucks, as these are franchised businesses and operate differently in various parts of the world).
  • Define and demonstrate understanding of the two CUEGIS concepts - whilst there is no explicit requirement to define any concepts, there are two benefits in doing so:
  1. it helps the student to clarify their interpretation of the two concepts - particularly important as there is no usually acceptable definition of any concept, by nature.
  2. it demonstrates understanding of these concepts to the examiner, and sets the parameters within which the student will discuss the concepts throughout the essay.
  • Make the connection between the relevant Business Management content (tools, theories or techniques if mentioned in the essay question). For example, if the question is "With reference to an organization of your choice, discuss the ways in which culture can influence international marketing strategy", then it would make sense for the student to define marketing strategy (which is more than just the 4Ps or the 7Ps).

Tips for the body of the essay

  • Explain just one point / issue per paragraph - this will make it easier for the student to focus on the argument and to enable their essay to flow better.
  • Answers should be well explained and analytical - students must avoid writing descriptive answers and unjustified responses or knowledge claims.
  • Use real-world examples. facts, figures and/or evidence that justify the arguments effectively for each point made.
  • Apply relevant content from the syllabus, based on the demands of the question. For example, if the essay is "With reference to an organization of your choice, discuss the ways in which ethics and change can influence human resource management", then students must refer to the content in Unit 2 of the syllabus, written in the context of their chosen business organization. They must avoid oversimplifying or generalizing - each point should relate specifically to the chosen business organization and address the essay question.
  • Relevant tools, theories, techniques should be used throughout the essay. For example, if the question is "With reference to an organization of your choice, discuss the ways in which culture can influence international marketing strategy", then the discussions could include: the four P's, market research, promotional strategies, the BCG Matrix, the product life cycle, or even the Ansoff matrix (as part of the organization's growth strategy). By contrast, content that is generic or unrelated to the demands of the essay question will not add value.

Tips for the conclusion

  • Begin with “In conclusion…” - this helps the student to focus on writing a conclusion to the essay (worth 1 mark under Criterion D: Structure).
  • Present a balanced response by using trigger words such as, "However", “On the other hand”, "Nevertheless" or “Alternatively…"
  • Consider alternative perspectives of various groups of stakeholders in a balanced way - remember to include the views of an individual stakeholder (such as the CEO) or several individuals (such as the views of the Marketing Director and the HR manager).
  • Provide a judgement, recommendation or opinion - depending on the essay question - rather than avoiding a succinct answer or response to the demands of the question.
  • Conclusions should be presented clearly and supported by appropriate examples, data, information, or evidence presented in the essay.

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