Business Strategy and Decision-making

Learner Statement

All work that learners submit as part of the ABE assessment requirements must be expressed in their own words and incorporate their own judgements. Direct quotations from the published or unpublished work of others, including that of tutors or employers, must be appropriately referenced. Authors of images used in reports and audio-visual presentations must be acknowledged.

Important information
Before taking an ABE open-book exam, learners will need to read the Open-book Assessment Guide to Study and Examination. This guidance document provides important information on how to prepare for, take and submit an ABE open-book exam.


  • Make sure you read and understand each question before answering.
  • When answering questions, address all question requirements in order to optimise marks scored.
  • Pay attention to question command words.
  • You may use resources such as books, dictionaries, notes or any other written materials while sitting the exam.
  • All used resources must be referenced.
  • Select and organise notes you wish to reference while completing the exam.
  • Begin each question response in the allocated section below each question.

ABE reserve the right to investigate and penalise plagiarism and collusion as appropriate. Please consult the Open-book Assessment Guide to Study and Examination for full information on referencing best practice, in order to avoid committing plagiarism.


If your exam is handwritten

  • For learners completing the exam in handwriting, please ensure all pages are included in the final submission.
  • For learners handwriting the exam, you may need to expand sections prior to printing out the answer booklet to allow space to use the word count designated to each question as fully as you need.
  • Only final version of your answers should be included in the submission. Use note paper to draft your answers first.
  • Leave margins on both sides of the page.
  • Write only on one side of the paper.
  • Use blue or black ink, if completing the exam handwritten. Do not use pencil.

General overview

The word count for this examination is 3,500 words (-/+ 10% tolerance, i.e. your submission must not be less than 3,150 words and must not exceed 3,850 words). There will be word count requirements indicated next to each question. Markers are instructed to stop marking when the maximum word count is reached.

NOTE – Appendices and the References list (if used) are all excluded from the overall word count, i.e. the full word count allowance is for the main body of your submission.

Use allocated space for the business profile of your chosen organisation. Write your answers to each question in the specified location. It is important that the marker can easily identify which question is being answered otherwise the submission will not be marked.

Context – Organisation Summary

You must choose an organisation on which to base your answers, i.e. your answers must be set in the context of this specific organisation. Choose an organisation with which you are familiar. It must be a real organisation and the type of organisation you choose must be relevant to the questions.

All your answers must be based on this organisation unless the question instructs you differently.

You must provide a summary of background information on your chosen organisation (250 words). This must include:

  • Name of the organisation
  • Size of organisation
  • Main markets where it operates (geographical locations)
  • Examples of products and services
  • Key competitors
  • Main customer segments

In addition to the above, you can include any other information which might be useful for the marker to understand the context of your answers. Your organisation summary is not included in the overall word count.

Syllabus Content

Before you answer the questions it is strongly recommended that you familiarise yourself with the study content relating to the unit. This content can be found in the Qualification Specification. Understanding this will help you to construct your answers and will ensure the content is relevant to the questions set.

 NOTE – The organisation summary must be completed and must accompany the submission otherwise the assessment will not be marked.

Question 1
Critically evaluate the strategic approach adopted by your chosen organisation and compare this approach with an alternative.
You are required to make reference to recognised theory within your answer.

Question 2
Critically analyse FIVE developments within your organisation’s sector and propose how they may impact on the organisation’s strategy.
Use examples to support your answer.

Question 3
Critically review a theoretical strategy framework of your choice in the context of your organisation. You must include within your review discussion on which strategy the organisation is currently adopting (and why) and the potential risks it would face by adopting the other strategic routes.

Question 4
Critically examine FOUR recognised decision-making tools which might be used by your organisation. You are also required to state, with justification, which one is the most appropriate to support business decision-making.