Edexcel A Level Business Paper 3 Context Exam – Securing High Marks – Mock Exam Paper Extract

Securing high marks in the Edexcel A Level Business Paper 3 Context Exam

We are currently working on APT’s Mock Exam Paper for the Edexcel Paper 3 Context exam on the health and fitness industry, and I am realising just how useful the last 8 weeks have been spent researching the industry, and writing the 100+page detailed investigation into the context for teachers, of which an essential revision summary is being written for students.  The research undertaken and contained in this document is proving highly useful to bring in answers to the mock paper to secure high marks.  For example, one of the 8 questions included in this mock paper concerns the influence of new technology on the market for health and fitness clubs (relating to bullet 2 of Edexcel’s research brief).  Here is the relevant extract relating to this question, the question itself, and points extracted from APT’s detailed investigation into the context that could be brought into this answer…  

Extract A

Importance of innovation in the UK health and fitness market

The market for health and fitness clubs and gyms is very competitive.  Consumers are also generally more demanding, sophisticated and experimental.  They expect health and fitness clubs and gyms to be innovative, and there is a constant need to invest in new technologies in order to attract and retain customers.

1 (a) Assess two implications for private UK health and fitness clubs and gyms of ‘a constant need to invest in new technologies’ (Extract A). (8)

[Implication: conclusions that can be drawn from this.]

Possible responses:

Implication: It is likely to incur costs:

  • The cost to purchase and install new technologies.
  • The cost to train staff how to use the new technologies.
  • The cost of any borrowing required to fund the investment in terms of interest payments.

Any increase in costs, reduces profit margins, unless prices can be increased, which may not be possible in the market for health and fitness clubs and gyms, given that it is increasingly competitive.

Implication: It is, however, likely to be essential to maintain and attract customers:

This is because, customers now have in-depth knowledge themselves about new technologies affecting the industry – as a result of instant access to up to date information over the web and through social media. They may very well choose between different clubs / gyms based on how innovative a club / gym is, for example, in terms of whether they have the most up-to-date gym equipment, such as vibration plates and virtual reality workout stations, as well as whether or not they can book online or access the club / gym via social media. Investment in the most up-to-date gym equipment may not be so important if there is only one private health and fitness club in a particular area, but in many towns and cities there is more than one private health and fitness facility to choose between, and keeping up to date with new technologies may be crucial in maintaining a competitive edge.

Without prior research into the context, students are likely to struggle, especially in the limited time they have, to provide a quality answer, and there are numerous other points mentioned in APT’s detailed investigation into the context that could also be brought into this answer to secure a higher level.  Four further examples are provided below…

In addition, new technologies may provide an opportunity to maximise revenues and / or reduce costs, and thus increase profits and profitability in the longer-term.  For example: 

  • There are now wearable mobile apps that allow people to log their activity, manage their diet, view class timetables and share information on social media.  Embracing such technology could help health and fitness clubs and gyms increase membership numbers and / or even provide additional revenue sources, especially amongst 16-34 year olds (who demonstrate the most interest in using these devices).  For instance, clubs / gyms could lease or sell fitness bands or smart watches as part of a membership package.  They could also gather data from such devices to offer a more personalised service to members for an additional fee – through exercise and nutrition plans designed to meet individual member’s needs.
  • Social media internet technology provides the facility for health clubs and gyms to quickly and very cheaply interact with members outside of the club / gym environment using Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat for example and could be used to showcase new exercises and routines and remind members of any special offers or events. Such regular interaction can be a very cheap and highly cost effective way to build brand loyalty / aid customer retention.  It can also be a very cheap, cost effective way to reach potential new customers – enabling existing members to instantly share information, including word of mouth reviews about the club / gym with friends, family and / or work colleagues.
  • Electronic iPads / tablets in the lobby / reception areas can also be used to show timetables and offer the facility for users to sign up for a class, as well as advertise other facilities at the fitness facility such as personal training and beauty treatments, where applicable.  This could reduce administration and marketing costs.
  • Electronic devices to sign in and out of a facility can also collate data to determine busy periods and marketing campaigns subsequently created to encourage use of the facilities at off-peak times, thereby maximising revenues and capacity utilisation.

This is just one of 8 questions on the health and fitness industry that are being included in our mock paper, answers and mark schemes for the 2017 context, and the answer makes full use of the research that has been gathered for APT’s detailed investigation into the context for teachers, as well as APT’s essential revision summaries for students, which cover all 5 bullet points referred to in Edexcel’s research brief.

These are just 3 of the 5 resources that are included in our Complete Context Companion, which is being written with the aim of minimising your workload and helping to maximise your students’ grades.  The other 2 resources include PowerPoints for teachers and research tasks for students with links to relevant articles.  The Complete Context Companion is being published in a couple of weeks (Wednesday 15 February) and can be pre-ordered now to ensure prompt despatch.

Pre-order NOW 

Price: £85 + VAT for email or download (+ £2.50 for CD) for unlimited use at your school or college.

A Level Economics – A useful article relevant to the Role and Structure of Financial Markets

An interesting historical background to the role of financial markets, relevant to to A Level Edexcel/AQA Economics:

The warrior monks who invented banking - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38499883

Edexcel spec reference - 4.4.1 Role of financial markets

AQA Spec references - 4.2.4.1 The structure of financial markets and financial assets

Great short video to show students taking the Edexcel GCE A Level Business Paper 3 Context Exam on the Health and Fitness Industry.

Great short video to show students taking the Edexcel A Level Business Paper 3 Context Exam on the health and fitness industry.  Relevant to bullet two of Edexcel’s research brief on Influences on the market for health and fitness clubs and gyms – on the topic of new technologies.    http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/132568-david-lloyd-s-immersive-fitness-studio-is-like-a-spin-class-through-tron

Edexcel GCE A Level Business Paper 3 Context Exam

We are currently working on APT’s Complete Context Companion for Edexcel’s Paper 3 Examination on the ‘Health & Fitness Industry’.  This takes around three months to write and will be published in three weeks’ time ie 15th February.

In the meantime here are a few useful tips / reminders:

As pointed out on p.3 of the Edexcel A Level Specification… 

  • The first section of Paper 3 (Question 1a, b, c, d) will focus on ‘the broad context provided’ which, in this case, is the health and fitness industry.
  • The second section of Paper 3 (Question 2a, b, c, d) will focus on ‘at least one strand within the context provided, such as a particular business’.  Hence, Q2 will be based on one of the 5 bulleted points in Edexcel’s research brief relating to the context.  Therefore, students should undertake research on each of the 5 bulleted points in order to fully prepare themselves for the examination.
  • Each question will contain ‘unseen stimulus material comprising quantitative and qualitative evidence’. Although it is quite possible for students to gain a high mark by making use of the evidence contained in the stimulus material (issued on the day of the examination), the more familiar they are with the context and in undertaking questions relating to the context, the better they will be at applying their knowledge and understanding from Themes 1, 2, 3 and 4 to questions relating to the context on the day of the examination.
  • A Level Business (and Economics) examinations now place greater emphasis on quantitative skills: The mark scheme in Edexcel’s Paper 3 sample assessment material (SAM) – shows that 4 + 8 (ie a total of 30%) of the marks available for the two 20 mark questions on this paper (Q1d and Q2d) are for quantitative skills.  This equates to 12% of the total marks available (12 out of 100).  This could easily be the difference between students getting one grade and another.  Opportunities should therefore be taken, whenever they arise, for students to practise their quantitative skills in context.  The more they practise their quantitative skills using prior research gathered on the health and fitness industry, the more confident they will be in using the quantitative information presented to them for the first time – in the stimulus material – on the day of the actual examination.

Our Complete Context Companion supports you and your students with all of the above.   

APT are experts in producing resources for pre-released contexts, themes and case studies – we have been doing this for 17 years.  Our Complete Context Companion for use with Edexcel’s A Level Pre-released 2017 Context can be pre-ordered now.  It will include 5 separate resources that can be purchased individually, or together at a discounted price: 

  • PowerPoint presentations for teachers - to launch the context to students and introduce and / or summarise each aspect.
  • Research tasks for students with links to relevant articles - to encourage students to undertake independent research, with links to relevant articles, and points to consider.
  • Detailed investigation into the context for teachers - with relevant theory, data and business examples, and analytical and evaluative comment.  This includes extracts from articles – so there is no having to click on ‘this link here’ and ‘that link there’ to access relevant research / data.
  • Essential revision summaries for students - with relevant theory / concepts, data, business examples, and analytical and evaluative comment.
  • Mock exam paper, mark schemes and example model answers - in the same style and format as the sample assessment material produced by Edexcel for the Paper 3 context examination.  

Feedback received on APT resources published to date for use with Pre-Released Contexts, Case Studies and Themes: 

Absolutely outstanding.  I call this my ‘Bible’.  Your resources are in a different league.  It’s worth every penny! A fantastic tool that fully supports teaching and learning and student progression in great depth and detail!  Greatly appreciated! Your work is amazing!” Laura Pickford, Heworth Grange School 

“The materials you provided were excellent and suited every level of teaching.  I wish I had ordered earlier in the year.”  Gareth Moran, Rye St Antony School 

“Your resource is outstanding and becomes the sole resource in my class from February to all the way to the exam day.”  Jillur Rahman, Woodbridge High School 

Excellent materials. All the students came out with a smile on their face and commented everything on the analysis came out”. Ruth Daniel, Tower Hamlets College 

“It is the most comprehensive pack I think we have ever received.  JL-H 

“Pleased with the level of detail, insight and depth. They have become an invaluable part of our preparation.” Andrew Livingstone, Heart of England School 

Fantastic results using your material.  My  business student went from a predicted Grade E to a B on her  paper and was just short of an A.” 
Jane Wood, Tutor 

“Your resources are proving invaluable and so much more useful than other providers that I buy from.”
Ian Chapman, Queen Anne’s School 

Pre-order NOW – Expected publication by 15 Feb 2017

Price: £85 + VAT for email or download (+ £2.50 for CD) for unlimited use at your school or college.

 Pre-order:

By Email to office@apt-initiatives.com

On line with a debit/credit card or by PayPal (click here)

By phone with a school order number to 01952 540877

By fax with a school order number to 01952 541230

 

Useful Article for Edexcel A Level’s Paper 3 Pre-released Context on the Health and Fitness Industry

Great article for Edexcel A Level’s Paper 3 Pre-released Context on the Health and Fitness Industry – particularly relevant to bullet point 2 and 4 of Edexcel’s research brief on influences on the market (competition) and the range of health and fitness clubs that operate in the UK (budget, mid-market and premium): http://www.healthclubmanagement.co.uk/detail.cfm?pagetype=featuresonline&featureid=31209&mag=Health%20Club%20Management&linktype=story&source=none&ref=n.

APT’s Complete Context Companion for the Edexcel Paper 3 Context, which is due to be published in a few weeks’ time but can be pre-ordered now.

Useful article on new technology (relevant to research bullet point 2) for use with the pre-released Context for Edexcel’s A Level Business Paper 3 exam on the Health & Fitness Industry

Another useful article on new technology (relevant to research bullet point 2) for use with the pre-released Context for Edexcel’s A Level Business Paper 3 exam on the Health & Fitness Industry:  http://clubindustry.com/design/designing-around-new-technology-fitness-industry. We will be referring to these influences amongst others in APT’s Complete Context Companion for the Edexcel Paper 3 Context, which is due to be published in a few weeks’ time but can be pre-ordered now.

very useful article for use with the pre-released Context for Edexcel’s A Level Business Paper 3 exam on the Health & Fitness Industry

Useful article for use with the pre-released Context for Edexcel’s A Level Business Paper 3 exam on the Health & Fitness Industry.   This is particularly relevant for research bullet 2 on: Influences on the market for health and fitness clubs and gyms.  This article concerns new technology  https://www.imageholders.com/insights/blog/post/technology-is-changing-the-fitness-industry/

We will be referring to these influences amongst others in APT’s Complete Context Companion for the Edexcel Paper 3 Context, which is due to be published in a few weeks’ time but can be pre-ordered now.

Useful article for use with the pre-released Context for Edexcel’s A Level Business

Useful article for use with the pre-released Context for Edexcel’s A Level Business – particularly relevant for research bullet 2 on: Influences on the market for health and fitness clubs and gymshttp://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/1382/five-of-the-top-fitness-trends-influencing-consumer-demand

We will be referring to these influences amongst others in APT’s Complete Context Companion for the Edexcel Paper 3 Context, which is due to be published in a few weeks’ time but can be pre-ordered now.

Useful extract for Edexcel A Level Business Paper 3 Context 2017 on the ‘Health and Fitness Industry’

Another useful extract for Edexcel’s Paper 3 Examination on the ‘Health & Fitness Industry’ from APT’s Complete Context Companion

APT are experts in producing resources for pre-released contexts, themes and case studies – we have been doing this for 17 years (see extracts of feedback received below), and we will be publishing our Complete Context Companion for use with Edexcel’s A Level Pre-released 2017 Context in 4 weeks’ time, which can be pre-ordered now.

Following on from the ‘Starter Activity’ we posted last term for you to use to launch the Context to students, below is a summary of some of the merger, takeover and acquisition activities that have taken place in the Health and Fitness Industry over the last 10 years.  This relates to ‘bullet one’ of Edexcel’s Research brief for this year’s Paper 3 context examination, which can be accessed here

Figure 5: Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers in the Health and Fitness Club Industry between 2006 and 2016 

  • In 2006 Virgin Active acquired Holmes Place’s 47 UK clubs.
  • In 2006 Duncan Bannatyne purchased LivingWell Premier clubs.
  • In 2007 Nuffield Health acquired Cannons Health clubs.
  • In 2008 énergie group acquired 24 Motorcise Healthy Living Centres.
  • In 2009 énergie group acquired 8 Fitness First clubs.
  • In 2010 énergie group took over Jackie Skelly Fitness (Ireland) and acquired 4 Nuyuu budget gyms.
  • In 2011 Virgin Active took over rival gym operator Esporta’s 55 sites.
  • In 2013 American private equity group CCMP Capital Advisors bought a majority stake in Pure Gym.
  • In 2013 Phoenix Equity Partners acquired a majority stake in The Gym Group.
  • In 2013 Private equity firm TDR Capital bought David Lloyd Leisure.
  • In 2014 Pure Gym and The Gym group attempted to merge.
  • In 2014 Encore Capital purchased Third Space from private equity firm Graphite Capital.
  • In 2014 Sports Direct acquired 13 gyms from LA Fitness.
  • In 2014 Nuffield Health acquired 9 Virgin Active Sites.
  • In 2015 Banntyne Group acquired two Clarice House sites, and the Xpect Leisure Health Club.
  • In 2015 Pure Gym acquired LA Fitness’s 43 clubs.
  • In 2015 Private equity firm Brait SE purchased a controlling 80% stake in Virgin Active.
  • In 2016 DW Sports Group acquired Fitness First UK’s 62 venues.
  • In 2016 Nuffield Health acquired a further 35 Virgin Active sites.

Relevant research leads, relating to each of the above, are given to students in the ‘Research Tasks for Students’ section of our Complete Companion for the Pre-released Context, which encourages students to independently research and make notes on each of the 5 bullet points listed in Edexcel’s Research brief.  Detailed information for teachers is, however, also provided in our ‘Detailed Investigation into the Context’ for Teachers, which examines each of the 5 bullet points listed in Edexcel’s Research brief in depth.  This includes information on types of growth, including reasons for mergers and takeovers, the difference between horizontal and vertical integration, financial risks and rewards, as well as problems arising from rapid growth – as these areas of the specification (on Business Growth) could easily be the basis of questions in the examination, relating to bullet 1 of Edexcel’s research brief.

These ‘Research Tasks for Students’ and ‘Detailed Investigation into the Context’ for Teachers are just 2 of 5 separate resources included in our COMPLETE CONTEXT COMPANION for this year’s (2017) Paper 3 Exam, which can be pre-ordered now.  The 5 separate resources, which are listed below, can be purchased individually, or together at a discounted price: 

Feedback received on APT resources published to date for use with Pre-Released Contexts, Case Studies and Themes: 

Absolutely outstanding.  I call this my ‘Bible’.  Your resources are in a different league.  It’s worth every penny! A fantastic tool that fully supports teaching and learning and student progression in great depth and detail!  Greatly appreciated! Your work is amazing!” Laura Pickford, Heworth Grange School 

“The materials you provided were excellent and suited every level of teaching.  I wish I had ordered earlier in the year.”
Gareth Moran, Rye St Antony School 

“Your resource is outstanding and becomes the sole resource in my class from February to all the way to the exam day.”
Jillur Rahman, Woodbridge High School 

Excellent materials. All the students came out with a smile on their face and commented everything on the analysis came out”. Ruth Daniel, Tower Hamlets College

 “It is the most comprehensive pack I think we have ever received. JL-H

“Pleased with the level of detail, insight and depth. They have become an invaluable part of our preparation.” Andrew Livingstone, Heart of England School

Fantastic results using your material.  My  business student went from a predicted Grade E to a B on her  paper and was just short of an A.”  Jane Wood, Tutor

 “Your resources are proving invaluable and so much more useful than other providers that I buy from.”  Ian Chapman, Queen Anne’s School

Pre-order NOW – Expected publication by 15 Feb 2017

Price: £85 + VAT for email or download (+ £2.50 for CD) for unlimited use at your school or college.

Pre-order:

By Email to office@apt-initiatives.com

On line with a debit/credit card or by PayPal (click here)

By phone with a school order number to 01952 540877

By fax with a school order number to 01952 541230