How to Crush the SL Business Paper 2

Updated: Nov 3

This post will break down the format and structure of the Business and Management Paper 2 Exam alongside the structure towards answering the essay-type questions.



Format and Structure

I think we all can agree that we need to know the structure of the exam before taking it. I am sure all of us have asked this question in the past to our teachers, thus it is important to know what you’re going to be getting yourself into.


SL and HL exams are both timed differently, with SL being 1.5 hours and HL being 2 hours.

This exam is divided into three sections (A-C), each of which has different questions, and different approaches towards answering what is given.


Section A is a must-do for both SL and HL students and primarily will involve calculations such as ROI, Income statements, etc. These questions tend to range from 2 points to a maximum of 4. Bearing this in mind, you will also need to be able to conduct a small amount of analysis of whatever calculation you may be conducting. Hence, you need to know not only the formulas but also how to analyse how the calculation can have an impact on whichever company is mentioned in the question. Some theoretical knowledge is required. But don’t worry, Business and Management does not involve a lot of complicated maths, therefore the formulas that you will be using will be quite simple, and some of them may also be available in the formula booklet. (That’s why we are better than Economics students 😉.) Be sure to brush up on the formulas and how to analyse the calculations for the formula.


Section B is different for SL and HL students. SL students only need to answer one of the following three questions given in this section, whereas HL must answer two of the three. This section tends to revolve around the following keywords: Define (2 points), Explain (4 points), Comment (4 points), Analyse/Examine (6 points), Discuss/Evaluate (10 points). It is important to understand the meaning behind these keywords as they allow you to accommodate an answer that is best suited for the question being asked supported with evidence from the case study provided. It is very important to know the theoretical knowledge for this section and know how to find information in the case study that can back up what you are stating and most importantly, write a concise conclusion.


Bonus Tip: Section B tends to be focused on Human Resources, Marketing, and Operations.


Section C is included for both HL and SL students. You are expected to answer one out of three questions which are worth 20 points. These questions revolve around CUEGIS (Culture, Change, Ethics, Globalisation, Innovation, and Strategy.) To answer this question successfully, you will be instructed early on to research a real-world organisation of your choice, and since this question is very open-ended you need information about all aspects of CUEGIS to answer it successfully. Since this question is worth 20 points, you will be spending most of your time answering the questions in this section. The section is not focused on any particular topics that have been taught, as the research you conduct tends to cover the topics that have been taught, from which you analyse and conclude how your analysis supports an aspect of CUEGIS and the question itself.


Next week, I will be posting a sample paper and a breakdown of why questions were answered in a specific manner and defining the keywords!


Happy Studying! :D

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