IB Business Management is no joke.
Touted as one of the most in-depth preparatory business management courses in the world, it offers a top-shelf education in essential business practices like operations, team management, and low-level logistics.
Understanding these concepts will go a long way towards strengthening your ability to manage a successful enterprise later on in life.
That's not to say that it's not difficult, though.
In fact, IB Business Management is often the bane of many students' existence for precisely the reasons I cited above. Being in-depth also means demanding quite a bit from learners like you - and that's why many students all over the world are turning to the Internet (and guides like this) to help.
In this short but effective article, we'll go over 8 tips to help you ace IB Business Management.
By the end of it, you should be well equipped to score well on any and all materials and IB exams, and get a strong leg up on your future corporate career.
1. Don't Overthink It
One of the biggest mistakes that students make when taking multiple IB courses is trying to do too much at once.
IB is one of the most difficult student programs in the world, and achieving fantastic marks is not a simple matter.
Many students reach for too many things at the same time, and attempt to parallelize their workflow. This can lead to a lot of frustration and even burnout.
The best thing you can do is take things piecemeal, which, not surprisingly, is exactly the skillset most people need to learn to operate a successful business enterprise.
Take things one assignment or concept at a time.
Instead of trying to learn an entire course's worth of material, break things down into the simplest possible concepts using your syllabus or curriculum, and then focus on them one by one until you reach the end.
2. Take Time to Learn In The Way That’s Best For You
While IB Business Management has some of the most rigorous requirements of any preparatory business course, it doesn't mean that you have to be stuck studying alone.
Business is often conducted with other people in a social environment, so you don't necessarily need to be studying in front of a computer screen to get the best results. Instead, there are many study styles that work for people in IB Business Management.
For example, you could study with other students and quiz each other on subjects.
Or you might role-play simple business or marketing operations to better understand how to put yourself in the decision makers' shoes.
You can also study more traditionally, using online resources such as class notes and quizzes. Whatever works for you!
3. Get a Good Night's Sleep
Just like with regular classes, it's important to get a good night's sleep before an exam in your IB class. Of course, it may be difficult for students going through other rigorous courses, or working part-time jobs. But before you start cutting into your sleep to try and jam more information into your head, you should remember that a lack of sleep affects all aspects of your cognition.
Many people think it's better to sacrifice an hour or two or their sleep to get an extra hour of studying in, but they're sorely mistaken.
When you consistently sleep less than your required seven or eight hours, you start operating below peak efficiency.
An extra hour studying that cuts into your sleep might really only yield an equivalent fifteen minutes worth when you're at your best, and that low return on investment means it's often not worth it to do so. Instead, make sure you're healthy and well rested before attempting any cognitive endeavour and you'll be able to accomplish your task substantially faster, better, and more efficiently.
4. Take Breaks Often
In addition to getting a good night's sleep, you should take regular breaks from studying. This is important for two reasons.
The first is that it keeps your mind fresh and ready to receive new information. Just like the body, the brain can only concentrate for so long before performance begins to deteriorate.
Giving yourself a breather every 90 minutes or so can help you work more effectively and put what you're learning into context.
The other reason is that the more you study, the easier it will be to fall behind and get bogged down by increasing stress levels. By taking regular breaks, you stay in peak studying performance and keep your brain stimulated so that when it comes time to take the exam, you're ready for it.
5. Practice Early And Consistently
One of the best ways to prepare for an all-day test is to take mini-exams throughout the week.
Don't wait until the night before the class or the day before the test to try to cram everything in; instead break up your studying and drill yourself on smaller sections of what you need to learn so that you're not shocked by the massive amount of information you need to retain when it comes time to sit down and take the actual test.
The best way to do this is to set aside time every day to go over the class syllabus, notes, and any other study materials you have for that class.
Then, take it one step further by setting aside an hour or two every weekend to take practice exams and quizzes on the subject matter. This will train your brain to recognize question formats and remember information much clearer.
If you don't have access to a question bank, don't worry! You can make up your own questions using key pieces of material to effectively drill concepts, so long as you make them difficult but not impossible to answer. The mere exercise of going through the motions will prepare you better than simple passive reading.
For example, here are a few model questions you can use to base your own IB Business Management quizzes on:
Q1) Where does 'added value' come from in business?
A1) Simply put, added value is the difference between the retail price of a product and the cost of any bought-in materials, goods, and components involved in making that product.
Q2) How does intrapreneurship differ from entrepreneurship?
A2) Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs differ solely in the setting that they work in. For example, an intrapreneur might work inside of someone else's business or firm, and use entrepreneurial skills without incurring the risks associated with those activities. Correspondingly, an entrepreneur works on their own business or firm, and takes larger financial risks - but, if successful, also often achieves a larger reward.
Q3) _____________ is an approach to business strategy in which a firm aims to be the best in its field, by being the low-cost producer.
A3) The low-cost approach focuses on reducing manufacturing costs to a minimum through various means, including economies of scale and production smoothing. It typically involves specialization, focusing on a particular market segment or product range in which the business has a competitive advantage.
Q4) What are 2 disadvantages of mergers?
A4) One disadvantage is that aggressive mergers can result in eliminating underperforming workers - laying off large portions of a company when it merges with another is not uncommon. Another disadvantage is economic, in that more mergers mean larger companies and reduced competition which increase the likelihood of monopolization.
Q5) _________ is the process of making goods and packaging cost substantially less, or take fewer manufacturing steps, in order to achieve equivalent perceived quality and distribution.
A5) Downsizing is most effective when focused on non-essential items that do not add direct value to the main product. A good case study for this is how computer manufacturers reduced the size of their desktop machines, but have steadily increased the size and processing speed of the internal machine components.
6. Stay Consistent
Try your hardest to stay consistent. Even fifteen minutes per day of practice can go a long way in helping you achieve strong marks on IB Business & Management.
You can set a timer or calendar reminder to study at particular times, or ask a friend to hold you accountable. This is more crucial to your success than anything else on the list, and takes advantage of yet another business principle: compounding.
Compounding refers to the notion of accumulating accelerating interest with time. The more savings in your bank account, for example, the more it accumulates over time.
A 1% increase every day for a year isn't simply an improvement of 365% - it's 3778% (37x better). Starting small and working your way up has massive results on all areas of your life, including your marks.
We hope that this guide helped you, and we wish you all the best on your future academic endeavours.
If you have trouble with the topics, ask one of our Business & Management tutors for help. They have materials and resources to share with you.
Watching your marks improve and your knowledge expand is one of the greatest feelings in the world, and we strongly encourage you to stick with this until the end!
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