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14 February 11 studentfocus

to a final conclusion regarding its relevance or benefit to an organisation. Also, for 15 marks, a lengthier answer will be required, which is likely to take up to 25 minutes to complete.

l Questions in this paper often contain more than one element and, in order to satisfy the requirement, students should attempt all sections of the question. Therefore, it is very important to read each question requirement very carefully in order to identify all aspects of the requirement.

l Students must be aware that they need to apply their knowledge of strategic models and frameworks to the scenario information and that some numerical or financial analysis will be required. Students should also understand that there are very few marks available for merely re-writing facts from the scenario or for the basic description of models, concepts or theories.

of the question paper command words used at this level. It has been disappointing to see how few students demonstrate the ability to analyse the material presented in each scenario and that most present superficial and often poorly structured answers.

The main mistakes made by students are as follows: l There is a lack of theoretical underpinning and knowledge of appropriate strategic planning models. In particular, the key theories that underpin the subject have been poorly applied and analysed.

l Many answers lack sufficient depth. Some answers are superficial and poorly explained, containing too few points to merit pass marks. Many answers are presented in note format or contain mere lists of unexplained points. This approach to answering the questions gains very few marks because it is not possible to ‘evaluate’ or ‘discuss’ a concept or a model using bullet points or lists.

l Many answers fail to address the question set by the examiner. Instead, students appear to be answering the question they wish had been set. Students also fail to answer all sections of the questions attempted.

Recommendations for improved examination performance l Students must read the question very carefully, as this will provide direction and guidance as to what the examiner requires. The verb used will help them to understand the depth of response that is expected and the mark allocation should also assist in planning the amount of time that should be spent on answering a question. For example:

A question that asks the student to ‘explain’ something, and is worth 5 marks. This should indicate that there is a straightforward requirement for an explanation of a syllabus area or concept. If it is worth 5 marks, the answer should contain at least 3 or 4 well-made points (not bullet points) or sentences, which should take no longer 8 or 9 minutes to complete.

A question that asks the student to ‘evaluate’ something, and is worth 15 marks. This will require a much more detailed answer with a developed argument. in which the student should discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of a particular concept or model and then come

l Bullet point answers with little or no explanation will be awarded very few marks, unless this has been asked for. Therefore, students must remember that each point they make must be explained in order to be awarded a mark. Students must apply their answers to the scenario information.

l Students must be prepared to make recommendations based upon their analysis and evaluation of a scenario.

Revision advice l Students must practise as many past examination questions as possible. They must also ensure that they are aware of what is required for each verb used in each question.

l Students must revise all of the key models, theories and concepts within the LCM syllabus. More importantly, they should ensure that they are confident that they can apply these to scenario organisations and not just merely describe them.


Tom Baum. Tom is the Programme Chief for ABE’s TTHM programme and is Professor of International Tourism and Hospitality at the University of Strathclyde. He is the Subject Examiner for LCM.

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