Everything you need to know about Grade 12 Business Studies

By Candrine Atkins - 4 minute read

The business studies course delves into strategies, creativity, problem-solving, and legal aspects while uncovering business principles, environments, and customer attraction techniques. This subject is content-heavy and can be overwhelming but with the help of Studyclix, your final examination preparation will be made easier.

In this guide:

Show all sections

What is involved?

A final NSC Business Studies exam typically consists of a combination of multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, and longer essay-type questions. The exam is designed to assess your understanding of key business concepts, principles, and theories and your ability to apply these concepts to real-world scenarios.

Business studies is divided into four main topics which test your understanding and application of the content and concepts you learn throughout the course. These topics are:

  • Business Roles

  • Business Ventures

  • Business Operations

  • Business Environments

During the exam, you are expected to demonstrate critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and the ability to communicate ideas effectively. You may also be required to analyse case studies, interpret data, and provide well-supported arguments in your responses.

Overall, business studies aims to assess your knowledge, skills, and understanding of various aspects of the business world, preparing you for a future career in business and entrepreneurship.

The exam

The final NSC Business Studies exam consists of two written papers, both of which are two hours in length and worth 150 marks. Each paper consists of three sections which cover two main topics:

  • Paper 1: Business Environments and Business Operations

  • Paper 2: Business Ventures and Business Roles

Section A
  • This section is compulsory and you must answer the entire question.
  • It is worth 30 marks.
  • It consists of short questions including multiple choice, matching columns and choosing the correct answer.
  • Both of the main topics are covered in this section.
Section B
  • This section consists of three questions and you answer any two. Each question is worth 40 marks.
  • It consists of short-answer questions including paragraph style, case studies and source-based questions.
      • Question 2: main topic 1
      • Question 3: main topic 2
      • Question 4: mix between topics 1 and 2
Section C
  • This section consists of two questions and you answer one. Each question is worth 40 marks.
  • The questions in this section are essay questions.
    • Question 5: main topic 1
    • Question 6: main topic 2
  • This section is compulsory and you must answer the entire question.
  • It is worth 30 marks.
  • It consists of short questions including multiple choice, matching columns and choosing the correct answer.
  • Both of the main topics are covered in this section.

Read each question carefully and pay close attention to the mark allocations in section A and B as this will guide you as to how many facts to write down in your answer.

How to prepare for your exam

Know the details of your topics

By knowing what aspects of each topic you might be tested on, you can focus on the important information and avoid wasting time on other content. To find a detailed breakdown of the content being tested in each paper, take a look at the examination guidelines here.

Study strategically

When preparing for the exam, it's essential to spend your time wisely and study strategically. As the exam paper typically covers two main topics, for example, Business Operations and Business Environments, it is a good idea to prioritise one of them and have a working knowledge of the other. 

For example, let's say you choose Business Operations as your main focus. This topic alone contributes significantly to the total marks available in the exam specifically in Questions 1, 3, 4, and 6, which collectively account for 115 marks out of the total 150 marks. By concentrating on Business Operations, you'll thoroughly study the concepts, theories, and case studies related to this area, ensuring you're well-prepared to tackle these questions in the exam.

Additionally, while Business Operations is your primary focus, it's still important to have a basic understanding of the other main topic (Business Environments). This will enable you to address the remaining marks allocated to that topic, including the 15 marks in section A and the 20 marks in question 4. While you won't devote as much time to studying the secondary topic, having a foundational understanding will allow you to answer these questions effectively.

In summary

By strategically allocating your study time to focus on one main topic, while still familiarising yourself with the other, you can optimise your preparation and maximise your chances of success in the exam.

Practice using past exam questions

It's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the format and types of questions typically asked in business studies exams as this will help you become more comfortable with the exam format and identify areas where you may need additional study. There are only so many questions that can be asked and many questions reappear each year. At Studyclix, there are various ways you can access official DBE past papers:

Use flashcards

Take the time to thoroughly understand fundamental business concepts and build a strong foundation of knowledge to serve as a basis for more advanced topics. At Studyclix, we have created fun and interactive flashcards to help you understand and remember key concepts.

How do they work?

Click through all of the flashcards you need to know in each topic using the 'previous' and 'next' buttons on the flashcards.

Want to mix it up? Hit the shuffle button. Looking to test yourself again? Do it by hitting restart. You can also share, print or view the full deck. It's all at your fingertips!

Find all the flashcards we have here.

Good luck with your exams, you've got this!

By Candrine Atkins

Currently a teacher at Parklands College, Candrine is also an NSC marker for Business Studies and is completing a Master in Education from the University of Cape Town. Her mantra is: "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."

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