Next year's models;Business links;Reviews;Books;Features and arts

26th November 1999 at 00:00
BUSINESS STUDIES. By Ian Marcouse, Andrew Gillespie, Barry Martin, Malcolm Surridgeand Nancy Wall. Hodder amp; Stoughton. pound;18.99

BUSINESS REPORTS FOR A-LEVEL BUSINESS STUDIES. By Andrew Gillespie. Hodder amp; Stoughton. pound;49.99

BUSINESS STUDIES: a core curriculum teacher's book. By Ian Dorton and Alex Smith. Hodder amp; Stoughton. pound;34.99

BUSINESS STUDIES: Self Assessment CD-Rom, second edition. By Peter Cannings and Andy Fink. Hodder amp; Stoughton. Single User pound;19.99. Network User pound;49.99

Publishers are gearing up to make the most of the new A-levels, writes Jill Turner

The new year heralds some major changes to AS and A-levels, and publishers have not been slow to predict consumer needs.

Business Studies by Ian Marcouse et al may well be a blockbuster - it covers the entire new AS and A2 syllabus, anticipating final approval of the specifications by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

The book is divided into six subject sections, corresponding to the core content areas of the syllabus. In the chapter on marketing, 13 self-contained study units cover key concept areas such as marketing strategy and pricing.

The text is dense but well structured and easy to read. The two-tone purple shading behind diagrams is gentle on the eye, but the claim "highly illustrated" is something of an exaggeration.

In the style of the Nuffield Economics and Business course, subheadings pose questions that are answered, explained and analysed by the text, reinforced by case studies, and culminate in an evaluation of the key issues. Each of the 87 subject units has AS andor A2 exam-style revision exercises, a case study and essay questions.

A final section on business skills and exam technique covers all the modes of assessment, particularly those employed in the AEB and Cambridge Modular syllabuses. The textbook is completed by a comprehensive index.

But without the final syllabus specifications, how valid will it be for teaching in September 2000? How is repetition to be avoided when study units cover AS and A2 level? No doubt such questions will be answered in good time.

Business Reports for A-level Business Studies by Andrew Gillespie is also from the Hodder amp; Stoughton stable, and unquestionably complements Ian Marcouse's Business Studies.

The book concentrates on report-writing skills, which are relevant to the current and the new AEB syllabus. As report-writing is an A2 synoptic method of assessment, this book is highly integrative in subject content and is therefore designed to be used towards the end of the course. It contains 22 photocopiable business reports, which present students with a range of numerical data on which to base their recommendations.

In addition, there are suggested answers, extensive advice on report-writing and understanding numerical data, test questions and a short glossary.

Teacher guidance includes helpful advice on how to develop reports for student use. This is an invaluable resource for exam preparation.

Business Studies: a core curriculum teacher's book by Ian Dorton and Alex Smith provides photocopiable model answers to the 51 case studies in the student book of the same name.

Unlike Andrew Gillespie's Business Reports, these are topic specific and tied to the 11 units of study in the student text, thus providing for the development of business skills throughout the course.

The guide also contains advice sections on pre-issued and terminal case study exam papers, project-writing and revision.

The readership is clearly broader than A-level, extending to GNVQ, BTEC, and the International Baccalaureate.As a photocopiable teacher's resource, this would besuitable for a largedepartment delivering arange of courses.

The Business Studies Self Assessment Tests on CD-Romis produced by MMT, asmall multimedia companyset up by two teachers, Peter Cannings and Andy Fink.

The second edition offers 750 revision questions covering the six core areas of business studies. The presentation is lively and interactive, and includes music, speech, sound effects and photographic images. Students can select preset tests, customise tests, grade individual and overall test results and print certificates. The only apparent omission is a diagnosis of areas of weakness.

To add a sense of fun, the background screen can be changed and tests can betaken with a choice of music - from house to classical. Alternatively, tests canbe sat in "exam conditions", complete with the sound of invigilators' footsteps and rustling papers.

The programme isextremely user-friendly, and, more importantly, the questions are demanding and rigorous. Another useful revision aid which is suitable for a range of advanced courses.

Jill Turner is an examiner of A-level business studies withthe AEB

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