IGCSE Business Studies: Syllabus, Pattern, Assessments Outline & Reference Textbook


IGCSE Business Studies Syllabus Outline

  • Understanding business activity
  • People in business
  • Marketing
  • Operations management
  • Financial information and financial decisions
  • External influences on business activity


IGCSE Business Studies Content Overview

  1. Understanding business activity: The aim and nature of business activity, as well as how firms might be classed, are all covered in this section that introduces the fundamental notions and concepts of business. Other crucial concerns include enterprise, entrepreneurs, and the reasons why some businesses expand while others stay small. The last subjects include how business size can be measured, different business organisation kinds, business objectives, and stakeholder objectives.
  2. Business and people: The functional area of human resources is the main focus, and it encompasses the significance of and strategies for motivating a workforce. It is also taken into account how firms are structured and run, as well as how personnel are hired, chosen, and trained. The importance and strategies for efficient internal and external communication are covered in the section’s final paragraph.
  3. Marketing: This section discusses the function of marketing, the differences between niche and mass markets, and market segmentation strategies. Market research techniques and value are discussed. It is made plain what the four Ps, or the marketing mix, are responsible for most. The final subjects in this part are marketing tactics to sway consumer choices in domestic markets as well as new international markets.
  4. Operations management: The functional area of production is the main focus, along with the definition, production processes, and ways to boost productivity. Break-even analysis and various production expenses are explored. The importance and strategies for obtaining quality in the production process and business site considerations are discussed in the section’s conclusion.
  5. Financial data and decisions: This section on finance and accounting discusses working capital, cash flow forecasts, and the need for and sources of business financing. Simple income statements, financial position statements, and account analysis, including why and how accounts are used, are all covered.
  6. External influences on business activity: The various external impacts on business activities are the emphasis of this section, along with their effects on a business. It also covers how the government affects economic, ethical, and environmental issues and how these affect the operational facets of organisations. The global economy, including globalisation and its implications on governments and enterprises, multinational corporations, and exchange rates are further significant problems. Legal restrictions are an external factor to take into account, although these factors are covered in relevant areas of functions.
SECTION 1-Understanding business activity 1. Business activity

2. Classification of businesses

3. Enterprise, business growth and size

4. Types of business organisation

5. Business objectives and stakeholder objectives

SECTION 2- People in business 6. Motivating employees

7. Organisation and management

8. Recruitment, selection and training of employees

9. Internal and external communication

SECTION 3- Marketing 10. Marketing, competition and the customer

11. Market research

12. The marketing mix: product

13. The marketing mix: price

14. The marketing mix: place

15. The marketing mix: promotion

16. Technology and the marketing mix

17. Marketing strategy

SECTION 4- Operations management 18. Production of goods and services

19. Costs, scale of production and break-even


20. Achieving quality production

21. Location decisions

SECTION 5-Financial information and financial


22. Business finance: needs and sources

23. Cash flow forecasting and working capital

24. Income statements

25. Statement of financial position

26. Analysis of accounts

SECTION 6-External influences on business


27. Economic issues

28. Environmental and ethical issues

29. Business and the international economy

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IGCSE Business Studies Assessment Outline

Paper 1 Short Answer and Data Response

Type of assessment: Written paper
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Marks: 80

  • The exam consists of four questions with a mix of short answers and structured data responses.
  • The paper evaluates content from the entire curriculum.
  • The stimulus material introduces each question. Candidates will be required to refer to the stimulus material in their answers to some questions. Tables, graphs, and images are examples of stimulus material.
  • Candidates respond to all questions.
  • Candidates should be aware of the marks assigned to each part of the question.
  • These are printed on the answer sheet.
  • Candidates should use them as a guide to the level of detail and length of response that is expected, as well as to help them manage their time effectively.
  • On the question paper, candidates write their answers.

The paper evaluates the following assessment objectives:

AO1: Knowledge and understanding
AO2: Application
AO3: Analysis
AO4: Evaluation


Paper 2 Case Study

Type of assessment: Written paper
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Marks: 80

  • The question paper consists of four questions based on a case study that is provided as an insert with the paper. The case study includes appendices with data presented in a variety of formats, including tables, graphs, newspaper extracts, and advertisements.
  • The paper evaluates material from the entire curriculum.
  • Candidates must respond to all questions.
  • Candidates need to be aware of the points allotted to each section of the question. These are printed on the question paper.
  • Candidates should use them as a guide to the level of detail and length of response expected, as well as to help them manage their time effectively.
  • The question paper is where the candidates write their answers.

The paper evaluates the following assessment objectives:

AO1: Knowledge and understanding
AO2: Application
AO3: Analysis
AO4: Evaluation


IGCSE Business Studies Pattern of the Examination

Paper 1: Questions Centered Around The Command Terms

Each question consists of 5 sub-divisions Part A of the question focuses on definition for two marks.
Part B questions focus on calculation/definition/identifying /listing/outlining/stating any two features for two marks.
Part C question focuses on identifying and explaining two advantages and disadvantages for four marks.
Part D of the question focuses on evaluation questions with a business application for 6 marks.
Part E of the question focuses on evaluation questions that do not require context for 6 marks.


Paper 2: Questions Centered Around The Command Terms

Each question consists of 2 sub-divisions Part A of the question focuses on explaining four ways/advantages and/or disadvantages for eight marks, with or without reference to a business context depending on the question asked in the paper for 10 marks.
Part B question focuses on evaluation type of question with application in reference to business context for 15 marks.


IGCSE Business Studies Reference Textbook

Title Cambridge IGCSE and O Level Business Studies 5th edition
Authors Karen BorringtonPeter Stimpson
Publisher Hodder Education, 2018
ISBN 1510420096, 9781510420090
Length 366 pages


IGCSE Business Studies Specimen Paper and Past Paper Reference Website



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Is IGCSE business studies hard?

No, The IGCSE Business study is not so hard. But it is relatively easier in the IGCSE exam.

What is in IGCSE business studies?

The student is able to understand the business models and understanding of private and public sector activities, this is in IGCSE Business studies.

Which IGCSE board is Harder?

The Edexcel is the toughest board in IGCSE.

In IGCSE Business studies, how to answer 8 marks questions?

First, use the correct structure, then reread the case study, third choose your knowledge point, fourth add the application, fifth use add analysis, and then a conclusion for completing the chain of analysis. This is how one can give answers to 8 marks questions in IGCSE Business studies.

Is IGCSE Business studies a good career choice?

Yes, in today’s world business, we have a 99.9% market share in the world. Thus, any aspirant working in this field will be offered a decent salary structure. So with this conclusion, yes IGCSE business studies is a good career choice.

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