Business Studies 3rd Edition

Business Studies 3rd Edition – Hall, Jones and Raffo

Rapley, Paul

Business Studies 3rd Edition – Hall, Jones and RaffoISBN1-902 796-8 3-7 pp819, Business Studies AS Level ISBN 1-902796-84-5 pp526. Business Studies A2 Level ISBNl-902796-85-3 pp311 all published by Causeway Press Ltd.

This 3rd edition of the popular title comes in three formats. The AS and A2 books are available separately and, with minor exceptions, the content of the ‘combined’ edition is the sum of the two parts. A teachers’ guide is also available. If you do wish to purchase the AS and A2 books separately for school use it will be worth bearing in mind the examination board you use. For example a large part of the AS units on accounting and finance (Profit and Loss, Balance Sheets and Investment Appraisal) do not feature in AS accounting and finance for AQA. A real strength of the books, however, is that they are not board specific. The brief on the back cover suggests the book can be used for AS/A2 level, Higher, Applied A level, and as an introductory text for students on higher education or professional courses. For this reason the chapters go beyond the scope of purely A level examinations, such as including the Internal Rate of Return or costing methods.

At the end of each book there is a truly excellent section on study skills and examination technique, which I feel could be put to greater use if it appeared at the start. In particular the coverage of learning and memory strategies and developing key skills is very useful. The unit on assessment covers the essential skills and examples of how to answer types of assessment from data response to essays and coursework.

Chapters generally follow the same structure, with easy to digest sections of information interspersed with data response type questions, although I feel students might benefit from some form of objective checklist at the start or end of chapters to allow them to monitor their own progress. At the end of each chapter key terms are defined. Diagrams and illustrations throughout are interesting and help to break up what would otherwise be quite a weighty tome.

The data response questions which appear throughout each chapter are up to date and varied, even using sources from 2004 news stories. cases are drawn from a range of businesses from manufacturing to services, which emphasises the vocational nature of the book. The end of chapter assessment is excellent in that there is one set of questions which purely assesses knowledge. This is followed by a case study demanding a fuller range of skills. The use of mark allocation is helpful for students and again strengthens the argument for putting the study skills section at the start of the book rather than the end. The case studies themselves are interesting, and vary from McDonalds to Claridges. Questions are usually progressive in difficulty but accessible for students of all abilities. It may, however, have been useful to include end of section assessments which allow students to see Business Studies as an integrated subject rather than just the sum of its parts. Alternatively the book could benefit from alternative forms of assessment to access students with different learning preferences, such as presentations, reports, group work or individual study.

Bearing in mind the possible future changes to the structure and assessment of both preand post-sixteen students I would suggest the 3rd Edition itself may be a wiser investment than either the AS and A2 if you are considering changing textbooks, although either or both would be a welcome addition to library stock.

Overall if you are looking for an up to date edition written by a well respected team, which does more than just cover the syllabus then this book represents excellent value for money. It is certainly not light, with 116 units in the main book, and needs careful treatment by students but, with care, this book should last well into the decade.

Paul Rapley

Head of Business Studies

Copleston High School


Copyright Economics and Business Education Association Spring 2005

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