I went to the last OU day school for this module on Saturday. TMA6 is due on Thursday and then the exam is five weeks after that. So it was a timely session, all the more so because I ended up with a copy of all the past papers for the B203 exams.

If you are doing this course and missed the tutorial then here are some specific things I picked up.

Part 1 is a cross functional question. You need to open with an explanatory paragraph about the organisation that you will use to answer the questions. You can practice this in advance and them just write it down as an intro before reading the question. That para needs to include
– the name and function of the organisation;
– where it is based;
– why you have selected it.

The other thing to do with part 1 is to try and link the functions in each of the parts (a)-(e) that deal with a specific function each. It seems easiest to find a link to systems or finance, but HR also works.  Repeat the example if necessary.

You want at least two to three theoretical aspects to accompany the example. Also explain the theory so that you demonstrate understanding. Each part has about 12-15 minutes to be completed.

Part 2 is a series of function specific questions. You only need to do two of these. The advice is to read all of the questions and then do the one you feel best able to answer. Stick to 40 minutes for this. 

You need to prepare depth for at least three of the functional areas to be sure that you will be able to answer the two questions you need to. It isn’t unknown for very difficult questions that even tutors would think twice about answering to appear. As with Part 1 questions look to see if you can bring in knowledge from other functional areas.

Answers need an introduction and a conclusion. You must answer the question and show that you have understood the course material. Use theory, explain it, apply it to a real world example and then critique it.

Structure and write to make it easy to mark. Exam markers are only paid to spend about 12 minutes marking your paper. Make it easy for them to find the marks for you.

– Write your answers on the paper in the right order (but by all means answer them in the order that best allows you to perform, just leave space).
– Have smaller paragraphs and use diagrams and tables to illustrate or layout things.
– headings on sections, especially a dual column for advantages and disadvantages
– use colour if you can (but not res ink for anything, markers must use red)

I’ll post more general revision guidance later in the week.

One last thing, there might be fewer blog posts over the next six weeks, I’ll be focusing on the exam prep over reading and writing for fun. There are a couple of scheduled posts, mainly author interviews, but I’ve largely run out of review material at the moment.