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The CUEGIS Answer Method

Here is my step-by-step method for answering these questions, to make sure you get full marks on the exam.  Remember, this one question can easily bring you up an ENTIRE GRADE level, if you do it right. It's worth 10% of the whole course. 

First, know that you will have about 34 minutes for this question.

The CUEGIS method 

The body will address each concept, but mostly just one concept at a time. The basic model you’ll follow will be repeatedly doing the normal answer method stuff (CTs, CLs and SWs), but in this case the course theory is your normal insights from the course (as always), but ALSO your insights into the concept. So keep making links to your company as well as your insights about the concepts (i.e. innovation, or strategy) while also linking your answer to normal insights from the course (i.e. Ansoff's matrix). 

CL = Case Link. Give a fact about your chosen company and the first concept.

CT = Course Theory. Use a keyword, tool or idea from the course to develop your insight.

if you find this CT and CL stuff a bit complicated click here for a more detailed explanation of How to Answer IB Business Questions (IBM).

Before you start

You need to carefully read the question and decide how you’re going to approach it. You’ve got basically three choices. Each of these basic approaches help you to look at the concepts and your chosen business from two sides. Just like in ToK you want to look at things from both sides. The most popular choices are these ones:

  1. These concepts have been HELPFUL and also UNHELPFUL to the business.
  2. This company has been PROACTIVE and also REACTIVE in their approach to these concepts.
  3. This company has BENEFITTED, but also they’ve SUFFERED as a result of these concepts.

The main thing is that you remember is that you're your business in a balanced way.

The Introduction (4 minutes)

Intro - 1 Paragraph 

  • Introductory sentence. Tell us the name of the company and a couple of things about it. What is their scale? What is their industry?
  • Define all the key terms in the question --including the concepts.
  • And you should include a hypothesis -- Something like, “Company X has generally relied on innovation to improve their competitiveness in an increasingly globalised market.” Make sure your hypothesis is actually an answer to the question because it’s going to be the focus of your essay. 

The Body (20 minutes) 

The Concept - Positive and Negative - 2 paragraphs 

 You’ve already explained the concept, but now do do in more depth, linking it to some examples at the company. Tell the story of the company a little bit. Impress us with your knowledge. In this section you explore how the company’s major experiences with the first concept. Use at least 3 course-keywords in your answer. And explain at least one effect on a stakeholder. The approach here is: CT + CL + CT + SW. Again, if this CT, CL stuff is all new to you, it's worth reading How to Answer IB Business Questions (IBM).

CL = Case link. Give a fact about your chosen company and the first concept.

CT = Course theory. Use a keyword or idea from the course to develop your insight.

CT = Course theory. Use another keyword or idea from the course to develop your insight further.

Don’t worry about doing this in the right order. Just remember to keep ticking those specific boxes.

For example you might explain how the the company has really embraced the concept (i.e. globalization) and it’s benefited them, using some true facts about the company. And then show how they could have gone further (i.e. trying to outsource production overseas even more). Explain something that is true about your company, which clearly relates to this concept. And use some related course theories to explain this from a “textbook perspective.” When you’re using keywords from the course, don’t just drop them in, but use them to go deeper. Show that you really know what these words mean, by using them to give us some really thoughtful insights about the company. (This means you’ll need to have done your homework --and really learned about your company, or you could just study the case notes I’ve given you). So for example, don’t just say that the company have used “job production.” Say that:

“They use job production because it allows them to provide a higher quality product, from the customer’s perspective. Customers get exactly what they want and this increases customer loyalty.”

Notice the key words from the course I've used in there. Also notice that you need to know not just what the company has done, but also why and how, etc. You need to know your companies really well, so if you're not getting the CUEGIS course case studies, make sure you gather a lot of details about each concept for each of your companies. 

The Conclusion (10 minutes)

Stakeholders and Conclusion - 2 paragraphs

  • Take a few minutes to explain some conflicts between stakeholder interests and some ways that the stakeholders have priorities in common. Make sure each of the stakeholder interests is completely clear, so the reader understands the exact reasons for the conflict. 
  • Pull it all together in terms of the concept (or concepts, if there was more than one). What is the end result for the company? Are they doing well or not and how is their success or failure related to the concept?
  • If you have extra time go back and underline all of the course key terms you used during the essay.

Here article is a condensed version of some of the help in my online CUEGIS course, for students who want to do well on the new concepts of exam question (Paper 2, Part C). You're welcome to join that if you like (it includes lots of support for the Business IA, EE with notes and videos, etc). 

The Cuegis course contains full video lessons on all of the concepts, detailed case studies on two companies (organied by concept, so it's easy to study them), a sample perfect answer (and an explanation of why it scored the top grades) and LOADS more resources (notes, videos, complete EE and IA help, etc) to make sure you do well. If you want it, it's at