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BM HL IA Sample

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Criterion A – Research proposal

The research question was clear and the project manageable within the word limit. The research proposal contained all the required elements and was appropriate, detailed, clear and focused. The action plan and Gantt chart, with modifications, provided a useful and organic planning tool.

Criterion B – Sources and data (written report)

The candidate gathered information from three primary sources—an interview with a director, a survey of current students and an observation summarized via a practical tally chart. The information collected provided sufficient information to answer the research question and was both appropriate and varied.

Criterion C – Use of tools, techniques and theories (written report)

The candidate employed a force field analysis, a fishbone diagram and ratio analysis. Although the two headings on the force field analysis were missing, the candidate showed a good understanding of its construction and purpose, and detailed the nature and source of the allocated weights, applying the research data gathered. The fishbone diagram was similarly well constructed and understood. It was a shame that the candidate only prepared ratios for a single year, as this did not support an analysis of trends. Overall, there was a good understanding of relevant business management tools, techniques and theories, and these were, in part, skilfully applied. On a best fit basis, 3 marks were awarded.

Criterion D – Analysis and evaluation (written report)

There was a good analysis of the results and findings from the business tools employed, as well as application of business management theory. There was a good integration of ideas and evidence of substantiated evaluation. There were some minor weaknesses. The candidate made statements about the sub-optimal nature of the GP and NP margins, without fully explaining what was being used to make those judgments, such as industry norms.

Criterion E – Conclusions (written report)

The conclusion was consistent with the research presented and analysed in the main body of the report and substantiated by previous supported judgments. Areas for further study were identified, such as additional research to establish the cost of training and setting up the online platform.

Criterion F – Recommendations (written report)

Recommendations were substantiated, consistent with the conclusions and answered the research question.

Criterion G –Structure (written report)

The candidate organized ideas into a structured report with an argument that was easy to follow.

Criterion H – Presentation (written report)

The candidate presented all the required components of the written report in the correct order and format.

Criterion I – Reflective thinking (written report)

The reflection on the candidate’s research approach was included in a separate “Limitations” section. The reflection was appropriate and covered issues related to the financial analysis, force field analysis weightings and questionnaire results.

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