3(d) Marketing Management

Chapter 5 Assessment

5.4 Internal Assessment

This section presents the guiding principles that can be used as the basis for designing internal assessment and some common assessment practices for BAFS for use in schools. Some of these principles are common to both internal and public assessment.

5.4.1 Guiding principles

Internal assessment practices should be aligned with curriculum planning, teaching progression, student abilities and local school contexts. The information collected will help to motivate, promote and monitor student learning, and will also help teachers to find ways of promoting more effective learning and teaching.

(a) Alignment with the learning objectives

A range of assessment practices should be used to assess the achievement of different learning objectives for whole-person development. These include open book tests, oral presentations, case studies, and portfolios. The weighting given to different areas in assessment should be discussed and agreed among teachers. The assessment purposes and criteria should also be made known to students so that they have a full understanding of what is expected of them.

(b) Catering for the range of student ability

Assessment practices incorporating different levels of difficulty and diverse modes should be used to cater for students with different aptitudes and abilities. This helps to ensure that the more-able students are challenged to develop their full potential and the less-able ones are encouraged to sustain their interest and succeed in learning.

(c) Tracking progress over time

As internal assessment should not be a one-off exercise, schools are encouraged to use practices that can track learning progress over time (e.g. portfolios). Assessment practices of this kind allow students to set their own incremental targets and manage their own pace of learning, which will have a positive impact on their commitment to learning.

(d) Timely and encouraging feedback

Teachers should provide timely and encouraging feedback through a variety of means, such as constructive verbal comments during classroom activities and written remarks on assignments.

Such feedback helps students to sustain their momentum in learning, and to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

(e) Making reference to the school’s context

As learning is more meaningful when the content or process is linked to a setting which is familiar to students, schools are encouraged to design assessment tasks that make reference to the school’s own context (e.g. its location, relationship with the community, and mission).

(f) Making reference to current progress in student learning

Internal assessment tasks should be designed with reference to students’ current progress, as this helps to overcome obstacles that may have a cumulative negative impact on learning.

Teachers should be mindful in particular of concepts and skills which form the basis for further development in learning.

(g) Feedback from peers and from the students themselves

In addition to giving feedback, teachers should also provide opportunities for peer assessment and self-assessment in student learning. The former enables students to learn among themselves, and the latter promotes reflective thinking which is vital for students’ lifelong learning.

(h) Appropriate use of assessment information to provide feedback

Internal assessment provides a rich source of data for providing evidence-based feedback on learning in a formative manner.

5.4.2 Internal assessment practices

A range of assessment practices, such as open book tests, oral presentations, case studies, and portfolios suited to BAFS should be used to promote the attainment of the various learning outcomes. However, teachers should note that these practices should be an integral part of learning and teaching, not “add-on” activities.


Students may be asked to write essays in which they discuss or elaborate on given statements, and these may be done as homework, or written under time restrictions in class or in an examination. This form of assessment calls for mastery of concepts and skills, and effective application of business knowledge to novel situations.

Open book tests

Open book tests, in which students are allowed access to the source materials, are particularly suitable for assessing stimulus-based skills, such as the interpretation of financial statements, or investigation and analysis of an industrial dispute. Questions for this type of test should aim to stimulate the use of reference materials and help students organise their ideas.

Group discussion

Using authentic or simulated business scenarios, students can be assigned roles in which they have to discuss the relevant management concerns (e.g. staffing and financial implications, internal and/or external environmental factors); and they can argue about relevant issues in the form of debates. In both cases, students are expected to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the related areas as well as critical thinking and communication skills.

Case studies

Case studies allow students to adopt a more holistic management perspective in applying their knowledge to authentic business scenarios. The tasks can involve, for example: studying a firm’s human resources or financial performance indicators; planning an advertising project;

conducting a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis for an SME;

and evaluating a retail store’s sales performance and prospects.


A project is any piece of extended work from which the constraints of lesson time have been largely removed. Asking students to carry out project work provides them with an opportunity to study a topic of interest in depth, so as to demonstrate their problem-solving and decision-making skills. For example, in BAFS, they may work on topics such as the planning and launching of a short-term business activity, or the analysis of the business implications of a local or overseas policy measure. The products need not be solely in the conventional written form, but might include a video, tape, compact disc (read-only memory) (CD-ROM) etc.

Teachers may wish to draw the following steps to students’ attention:

• Clarifying the areas of interest

• Establishing a framework for enquiry

• Finding out and selecting resource materials

• Organising data

• Presenting findings.

Oral presentations

Oral questioning need not be seen as a test suitable only for language subjects. It can be helpful for assessment in other subjects such as BAFS. For example, a student or group of students can present an analysis of a contemporary business issue to the rest of the class, followed by a question-and-answer session. Oral techniques can be advantageous as a method of assessment because they allow teachers to see how students discuss matters in depth, tease out the meaning of obscure statements and reach conclusions. Teachers are encouraged to try using oral assessment as it can be a valuable supplement to conventional assessment methods.


Students come into contact with the actual business world through, for example, reflecting on visits to organisations, meetings with entrepreneurs and professionals, and taking part in job shadowing programmes and/or business ventures. Such fieldwork calls for keen observation and accurate recording by students who have to apply their business knowledge to what they see. It can also contribute significantly to establishing good relations between the school and the community. The results of fieldwork can be very rewarding for students, both in learning the subject-matter and enhancing their social development.


Portfolios are collections of student work during the course of study. Students may be asked to select their own favourite pieces of work from the year for assessment. Teachers may like to see drafts as well as final versions in the portfolios. Students should be encouraged to become aware of the progress they have made in terms of level of understanding and variety of work.

In document Business, Accounting and Financial Studies Curriculum and Assessment Guide (Secondary 4-6) (Page 67-70)