Tuesday, 28 April 2015

ABE’s Top Tips to Help You Pass Your Exams – Part 2: On the Day!

You’ve worked hard,  you’ve followed our Top Tips for Revision.  Now all you’ve got to do is sit your exam.  To help you get the grade you deserve, follow these simple steps to exam success.
  1. Read each questions thoroughly to make sure you understand exactly what is expected of you.   Underline all the command words in the question (these are the ‘instruction’ words, such as ‘identify’, ‘describe’ or ‘explain’).
  2. Ask yourself  ‘what does the examiner want me to do?’ so you can give the kind of answer they are looking for. 
  3. Plan how you are going to answer the question and tick off each item when you have completed it. Make sure that your answer covers all the command words used in the question.  
  4. Take a note of the time allowed for each question and plan your answers accordingly.
  5. Keep your answers concise.  You won’t get extra marks for giving information that is not required and it wastes your valuable time.
We recommend you read the document called:  Examination Guidance for Students and Colleges, in the Members Area  under QCF/NQF resources.  It is packed with really useful information including a section on command words which tells you what examiners are looking for according to the words they use – knowing this could make all the difference to your final grade.

Finally, keep calm and remember the exam is only there to help you prove what you have learnt.
We wish you every success. 

Here are some previous blogs with further advice you may find helpful: 
How to revise
How to study
Do share any top tips of your own.
Good luck.

ABE’s Top Tips to Help You Pass Your Exams – Part 1: Revision

Exams are looming and it’s a stressful time!   Everyone tells you to just relax and do your best.  Great advice, but easier said than done!   One thing that can help is feeling well prepared.  With this in mind, we have summarised some top tips to getting top grades:
  1. Thoroughly understand the learning outcomes for the units you are sitting.  Every exam paper will contain at least one question relating to each learning outcome so thoroughly understanding them will put you on the path to success. For more information go to the Members Area and read the Study Tips and syllabus for your unit.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Sometimes it can feel embarrassing if everyone else seems to understand something and you don’t.  But don’t let what others might think stop you from asking questions if you feel you don't fully understand an explanation (your peers may well be wondering the same thing).  So, if there is anything you are not sure about, ask your tutor to explain it then check and double check your understanding is correct.  
  3. Identify your weak areas.  Test yourself using past papers from the Members Area and set a three hour time limit.   Then check the examiners’ reports and suggested answers to see where you did well and where you may need further revision. Make sure you do this early enough to allow plenty of time to develop any weaker areas.    Your college may well organise this for you. If so, make sure you pay close attention to any feedback you are given.
  4. Develop a wider understanding of your subject.  Make full use of the ABE resources, academic database and recommended reading lists to ensure you have a broad knowledge of the subject.  The test questions will not be exactly the same as in past papers so gaining a thorough understanding of the subject gives you the best chance of understanding a question in any context.
  5. Devise a learning method that works for you.  Use this link to take our fun learning style quiz  to check what type of learner you are.  If you know what helps you memorise and understand best you can build this into your revision.
We hope that you find this useful and wish you every success in the forthcoming exams. 
Here are some previous blogs with further advice you may find helpful: 
How to revise
How to study

And look out for ABE's Top Tips to Help You Pass Exams - Part 2 On the Day

Do share any top tips of your own.
Good luck.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Mmitseng Ntshonga, Top Paper Award Winner, Botswana


Mmitseng Ntshonga, an ABE student from Botswana, is studying the ABE Diploma in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality (QCF), and won a Top Paper Award in the June 2014 exams for the unit Introduction to Travel, Tourism and Hospitality. Here, she tells us a little about herself and the inspiration for her success.

I am a highly motivated person who is always willing to put in effort towards my success. I set targets that I look to every day, and come up with ideas which will help me to meet these, as focus and targets will get you somewhere.

The thing that inspired me to study with ABE was my dissatisfaction with my  BGCSE marks: I knew I could accomplish more than what I had. This really pained me, and therefore when I was admitted at New Era College (which offers ABE’s courses), one thing that I told myself was that I could do better, and go to higher places which other students in our country fail to reach.
Botswana is one of the main tourism destinations in Africa – its natural beauty encompasses wildlife, including zebras and elephants, and also the Okavango Delta. These aspects of Botswana’s natural beauty encouraged me to dream big, seeing myself as a businesswoman offering what our country has to tourists. After finishing my studies my aim is to own a hotel, camp, or lodge, or to run a company operating tours of Botswana. It is perceived in the local community that there are few women who can make it in the business world, but I want to show those people who criticize women that we can make it. Hence my career plan is to run an efficient, world-class business.

I am a young lady of many dreams – my other dream is to become a lecturer in one of the institutions offering ABE courses, as the ABE Diploma in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality has developed my knowledge, skills and attitudes to such an extent that it showed me that with confidence and trust of oneself you can conquer anything.


After finishing the Advanced Diploma in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality at New Era College my wish is to continue with my studies to degree level, in order to fulfill my dreams of becoming a businesswoman or a lecturer. With ABE I know and trust that these dreams will come true.



Interview taken from February 2015 edition of Student Focus - the free magazine for ABE members.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Emerald updates


As an ABE member, you have access to a large number of academic journals via Emerald, one of the world’s leading publishers of academic research. To access these journals, just log into the Members Area and click on the Academic Journals link on the bottom left-hand side.

These journals are great for doing wider reading around the ABE units that you’re studying, especially if you aren’t able to purchase the books on the recommended reading lists. For an in-depth guide on how to use the database, please see page 4 of the November 2014 Student Focus or the ABE blog at http://abetalk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/emerald-introduction-to-academic.html. You can also email publications@abeuk.com with any queries about Emerald and how to use it.

New! The Emerald Learning Zone

Link from www.abeukmembers.com - Benefits - Academic Journals

The Emerald Learning Zone includes a selection of useful resources to help you improve your study skills and complements learners at all levels. For advice on writing essays, getting organised, developing your critical thinking and a huge selection of other topics, this is the place to come! For a start, we’d recommend the following articles:


Writing better essays gives guidance on how to write an effective essay, helps to explain grammar and also provides links to external resources that you can use. http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/learning/study_skills/skills/better_essays.htm

Understanding academic writing provides a breakdown analysis of essay, report and case study writing. http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/learning/study_skills/skills/structured_writing.htm

New! Emerald Subject Zones

Link from www.abeukmembers.com - Benefits - Academic Journals

Emerald Subject Zones offer a community area where you can access subject-specific articles, and keep up to date with the latest research and community events. You’ll find special features, field-specific news, top download lists and video content in the Subject Areas, so log in via the ABE Members Area and have a look.

New! Research ‘How To’ Guides


Link from www.abeukmembers.com - Benefits - Academic Journals

Emerald’s set of ‘How to... guides for researchers’ are a series of practical tips and guidance on how to design, develop and present your research. These are divided into two categories, Research management and Research methods and methodology. Here, you’ll find articles on subjects like ‘How to…use search engines effectively’, or ‘How to…undertake case study research’ – particularly useful if you’re writing assignments for the ABE Level 7 Diploma in Business Management!

Newest article highlights 

The articles listed below have been added to Emerald’s database recently. Find your subject area from the headings below, and read the articles to learn something new!

Accounting and Finance

Axel Haller, Chris van Staden, (2014) "The value added statement – an appropriate instrument for Integrated Reporting", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 27 Iss: 7, pp.1190 - 1216

Vera Palea, (2014) "Fair value accounting and its usefulness to financial statement users", Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, Vol. 12 Iss: 2, pp.102 - 116

Economics

Asma Mobarek, Michelle Li, (2014) "Regional volatility: common or country-specific? Exploration of international stock market: ", Studies in Economics and Finance, Vol. 31 Iss: 4, pp.406 - 425

Annunziata de Felice, (2014) "Measuring the social capabilities and the implication on innovation: Evidence from a special industrial cluster", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 41 Iss: 6, pp.907 - 928

Entrepreneurship

Anders Johan Kjellman, (2014) "Family business explained by field theory", Journal of Family Business Management, Vol. 4 Iss: 2, pp.194 - 212

Dilani Jayawarna, Oswald Jones, Wing Lam, Sabrina Phua, (2014) "The performance of entrepreneurial ventures: Examining the role of marketing practices", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 21 Iss: 4, pp.565 - 587

Strategy and Leadership

Simon C.H. Chan, W.M. Mak, (2014) "Transformational leadership, pride in being a follower of the leader and organizational commitment", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 35 Iss: 8, pp.674 - 690

Will Mitchell, (2014) "Why Apple’s product magic continues to amaze – skills of the world’s #1 value chain integrator", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 42 Iss: 6, pp.17 – 28

International Business

Alain Verbek, M. Amin Zargarzadeh, Oleksiy Osiyevskyy, (2014) "Internalization theory, entrepreneurship and international new ventures", Multinational Business Review, Vol. 22 Iss: 3, pp.246 – 269

Andreas Nölke, (2014) "Brazilian corporations, the state and transnational activity: introduction to the special issue", critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 10 Iss: 4, pp.230 - 236

Marketing

Harlan E. Spotts, Marc G. Weinberger, Michelle F. Weinberger, (2014) "Publicity and advertising: what matter most for sales?", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 48 Iss: 11/12, pp.1986 – 2008

Kim Lehman, Ian Ronald Fillis, Morgan Miles, (2014) "The art of entrepreneurial market creation", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 16 Iss: 2, pp.163 – 182

Tourism and Hospitality
Pedro Pimpão, Antónia Correia, João Duque, José Carlos Zorrinho, (2014) "Exploring effects of hotel chain loyalty program", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 8 Iss: 4, pp.375 - 387

André Richelieu, Stéphanie Lessard, (2014) "Long gone the glory days: Is branding of any help? The case of formerly successful European football teams", Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 4 Iss: 4, pp.284 - 297

This article first appeared in Student Focus, Feb 2015, a free magazine for all ABE members.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Make 2015 your most successful year ever!

The start of a new year is a time for reflection when we consider whether we are on the right track to a productive and fulfilling future.  With this in mind, here are five simple but effective New Year's resolutions to put you on the road to success:

1. Devote time to professional development

If you are studying with ABE, then you have already invested in your professional development by undertaking a qualification that will help you build a successful career.  But being an ABE member offers the opportunity to do more than obtain a professional qualification.   You can access a wealth of resources in the Members Area, including the Emerald e-database of over 140 academic journals which provide the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading business authorities. 

Spend time taking advantage of these resources and use your ABE membership as an opportunity to become an expert in your field. This, of course, will also increase your chance of getting a fantastic exam result!

2. Learn something new every day

Whether or not you are studying, this is a great affirmation to live by.  Consider everything you do and always question whether things could be done better; learn what works well and how mistakes could have been avoided. This will hone your ability to understand new situations and make the right choices quickly and decisively.  With this ability you are likely to gain a reputation as a strong leader.

3.  Be a great listener

Learning every day depends on listening to those around us.  Talk to colleagues and peers, listen to their feedback and try to understand their point of view. Develop the art of being totally focused on what people are saying without getting distracted by planning your reply or interrupting.  Rather than making their own point, a good listener will ask questions until they have established all the facts and then, if in doubt, check their understanding by summarising what they have heard.   

If you find you are doing all the talking in a discussion, ask someone else to give their opinion and make a point of keeping quiet for a while.  If you disagree with their view, explain why in a way that makes it clear that you respect their opinion. That way, people are encouraged to share their thoughts with you and you benefit from hearing an alternative perspective.

4. Be positive

We all have setbacks, for instance when we don’t get a job, promotion or the exam results we had hoped for.  When this happens it is easy to feel defeated.  But remember, to achieve in life you need to retain a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.  For example, if you don’t pass an exam and say; “It’s too hard, I give up”, you will never learn where your knowledge was lacking or get the qualification you wanted.  However, if you remain positive, look at what went wrong with your paper and study hard in the areas that let you down you will be rewarded with success.   Take inspiration from the words of inventor and entrepreneur James Dyson, who overcame many setbacks in his early career; "Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success."

5. Enjoy what you do

Your time is precious so use it wisely.  Take time to understand yourself, to work out what makes you happy and fulfilled and then set your goals based on these values.    A quote from the late esteemed journalist and television presenter, David Frost, sums this up nicely, “Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in and it will come naturally.”

Good luck!  

Do share your own favourite inspirational New Year's resolution.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Student Profile: Charmaine Anthony


What have you been up to since completing your ABE studies?
I recently graduated with a Masters of Business Administration Degree (MBA), specialising in Human Resource Management, from the Australian Institute of Business via the National Research & Development Foundation (NRDF) in Saint Lucia.  I also had the honour of being awarded valedictorian for the MBA Class of 2014.
You must be delighted; what else have you gained from studying?
While I am still beaming with pride at my accomplishment, I wish to highlight aspects of my personal and professional development that have led to my current success. I am a strong advocate of continuous learning - thus, I have been pursuing higher education over the past few years.
What made you decide to study with ABE?

I have always been a people-oriented individual, who encourages others to develop and grow. The perfect opportunity came my way when I joined the Human Resources team of a regional telecommunications company.  I felt like the door to my home was finally unlocked.  In September 2008 I decided to undertake a Diploma and Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management with ABE. The course complemented every aspect of my role, and enhanced my overall competencies, as I played a generalist role within the HR function.  During my tenure, my career progressed from HR Administrator to HR Executive - and Learning and Development Co-ordinator for the Eastern Caribbean Group - to being seconded onto two special assignments: leading the set up of the HR function for a new market, and taking on a specialist HR project role in the firm’s Haiti operations after the 2010 earthquake. 
Thereafter I served as HR Manager (Ag) before my departure in 2012.  In June 2010, I was also the proud recipient of ABE Top Paper Award for Personnel Information Systems.

What do you feel you have gained workwise, from your ABE studies?


My ABE studies have contributed significantly to my professional growth and career progression and served as the platform for my newly acquired qualification. The knowledge gained through ABE and my work experience are two factors that set me apart from my colleagues on my MBA programme, thus enabling me to perform exceptionally well receiving nine distinctions and three credits. I have also been identified as a tutor for the ABE Level 5 units, Personnel Administration and Managing People, which started in August 2014 at the ABE teaching centre in Saint Lucia. I am elated by this opportunity, as this demonstrates and reaffirms the value of the qualifications that I have been awarded here in Saint Lucia.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing this qualification?

I am assured that this investment has been very worthwhile, and that the returns have been manifold. In the words of Aristotle, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet”. The academic journey will not be easy. There will be many challenges to contend with, and you will be required to develop coping mechanisms to fit your circumstances. However, the end result brings about a feeling of accomplishment and pride that is priceless!



Charmaine's story first appeared in November 2014 issue of Student Focus - the free magazine for ABE members.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Guide to the ABE Level 7 Diploma in Business Management (QCF) assignment support materials

If you are studying, teaching, or administering the ABE Level 7 Diploma in Business Management, then you’ll know that the assessment of this qualification differs from ABE’s other levels in that four of the Level 7 Diploma’s five units are assessed by assignment rather than examination.

The following list of assignment support materials is available by following the Level 7 Diploma link on the Members Area of the ABE website.

Administrative
  • Assignment Submission Process
  • Assignment Regulation
  • General Assignment Guidance 
  • ABE Plagiarism and Collusion Policy
  • Assignment Cover Sheet
  • Assignment Payment Form
  • Enquiry About Results (EAR2) Form

    Academic
    • Syllabuses and Lecture Guide
    • Assignment guidelines (by unit)
    • Examiners’ report
    • Reading List
    • How to use the Harvard system of referencing
    This blog will tell you what each of these Level 7 Diploma support materials is for. 

    Assignment Submission Process
    The Assignment Submission Process document is a flowchart that outlines the various stages of submission, whether you’re submitting through a college or independently. Looking at this should inform you of the stages that your assignment goes through during the marking and moderation process, as well as at what point you will be charged your fees and at what point your results will be released.

    Assignment Regulations
    This document sets out the various regulations assignments are subject to, as regards submission, marking, plagiarism, and results. Please make sure that you read it so that you are aware of your responsibilities when writing and submitting ABE assignments.
    General Assignment Guidance
    As suggested by its title, this document explains the features common to all of the four units assessed by assignment – which management skills the assignments will assess, how to select an assignment topic, the general structure of the assignment (although this can vary slightly depending on unit) and the word count. It is therefore essential to read this document at the start of planning your assignment. 

    ABE Plagiarism and Collusion Policy

    The ABE Plagiarism and Collusion Policy sets out how ABE defines the terms ‘plagiarism’ and ‘collusion’, and the risks you take by engaging in either activity. Plagiarising someone else’s work (copying and pasting from the Internet counts as this!), or colluding with other people to produce an assignment can result in your assignment being awarded zero marks, so please familiarise yourself with the policy and ensure that your work is your own!

    Assignment Cover Sheet
    This Word document template should be filled in and included as the cover of your assignment. It contains space for your name, ABE membership number, assignment title, and so on.

    Assignment Payment Form
    You can use this form to pay for your assignment(s). Simply fill in which assignments you are paying for and how you are paying for them, then forward the form to your college to include with your assignment(s). If you are submitting as a private student, this form can be sent to pgdassignments@abeuk.com.

    Enquiry About Results (EAR2) Form 
    ABE has a wide range of checks and quality assurance procedures in place to ensure that every student who takes an ABE assessment receives a result which accurately reflects their performance in that examination. However, on occasion, a student may consider that their result is not an accurate reflection of their performance. In such cases a student may query or challenge the mark/grade they have received, by using the EAR process.

    For assignments, the EAR process costs £50, and involves a clerical check, a full remark of the assignment by a different examiner, and a report on the student’s performance, highlighting where the student could improve in a future sitting. Students may apply for this service by using the EAR2 form.

    Syllabuses and Lecture Guides
    As for all ABE units, the Level 7 syllabuses and lecture guides outline and expand upon the content that will be assessed in each unit. Please see the blog entries http://abetalk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/how-to-study-abe.html  and http://abetalk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/lecture-guides-who-are-they-for.html for more information on these resources.

    Assignment Guidelines (by unit)
    ABE receives a lot of queries from students asking things like ‘where do I get assignment questions?’, or ‘what should I write my assignment about’? Where the General Assignment Guidance document discussed above will give you a broad idea of how to write your assignment, the Assignment Guidelines by Unit cover the specific requirements of each unit, and whilst there are no assignment ‘questions’, they do tell you what you should write your assignment about. Please read the Assignment Guidelines by Unit thoroughly before attempting your assignment, and follow their instructions closely whilst constructing it.

    Reading Lists
    The texts recommended in the Level 7 reading lists are particularly useful if you are undertaking self-study, since they’ll provide you with a depth of subject knowledge that you can then put to use when writing assignments.

    Examiners’ reports
    After the June and December exam sessions, the examiner for each ABE unit writes a report on the performance of students in that session. This covers the common strengths and weaknesses shown by students in that session, and how students could improve in future sessions. If you’re wondering why your assignment didn’t pass, and would like to submit an improved assignment in the future, examiners’ reports are a good place to start.

    How to use the Harvard system of referencing
    Knowing how to reference sources properly in your assignments is very important, as without proper referencing you are much more likely to commit plagiarism, even if you don’t intend to. This document will teach you how to use the Harvard style of academic referencing – follow its advice, and your assignment shouldn’t have any problems with plagiarism or a high Turnitin similarity percentage.

    Resources are available from the ABE Members Area for students studying ABE at all levels.