Cambridge O Level Syllabus

Topic Amplification
1. Production
1.1 The chain of production Production of goods and services to satisfy human wants and needs.
Process of production from primary through secondary to tertiary production showing how value increases at each stage of production.
1.2 Extractive, manufacturing and construction industries and tertiary activities Meaning of these types of industries with examples.
1.3 Specialisation and division of labour Meaning and use of the terms specialisation and division of labour.
Forms of specialisation: by country, by region, by town, by firm, by factory, by individual.
1.4 Commerce Process of exchange of goods and services.
1.5 Trade Nature, purposes and importance of trade, both at home and overseas.
1.6 Aids to trade Banking and finance, communications, advertising, transport, warehousing, insurance.
1.7 The relationship between industry, commerce and direct services Ways in which industry, commerce and direct services are inter-related and interdependent.
2. Retail Trade
2.1 Role of the retailer in the chain of distribution Services of the retailer as the middleman between manufacturer and consumer, responses to changes in customer requirements and expectations.
2.2 Types of retailers Types: large and small (hypermarkets, supermarkets, multiples, specialty shops, unit/independent retailers); their characteristics; advantages and disadvantages.
2.3 Selling techniques, trends in retailing and the implications of e-commerce E.g. branding, packaging, self-service, after-sales service, bar-coding, EPOS, shopping centres, loyalty cards, implications of e-commerce on retailing.
2.4 Home shopping Mail order, telesales, television shopping, online shopping (e-tailing). Characteristics and reasons for the use of each.
2.5 Large scale retailing Advantages and disadvantages of large scale retailing; effects on wholesalers, other retailers and consumers.
Reasons for the survival of the small scale retailer,
e.g. personal service, opening hours, additional
3. Consumer Credit
3.1 Use of credit Concept of credit. Increased use of credit. Advantages and disadvantages of credit to the buyer and the seller.
3.2 Types of credit (i) Hire Purchase: main features; advantages and disadvantages; finance of Hire Purchase; comparison with Extended Credit (see 15.1).

(ii) Extended Credit (Deferred Payments): main features; advantages and disadvantages.

(iii) Store Cards: main features; advantages and disadvantages.

(iv) Credit Cards: main features; advantages and disadvantages (see 13.2).

(v) Informal Credit.
Suitability of methods of credit in certain circumstances with reasons for choice.

4. Consumer Protection
4.1 Safeguarding the consumer Reasons for consumer protection.
4.2 Methods of safeguarding the consumer E.g. laws, organisations, codes of practice, other means. (A detailed knowledge of specific legislation is not required.)
5. Wholesale Trade
5.1 The role of the wholesaler in the chain of distribution Different patterns of distribution. Trends in wholesaling: forces making for the elimination and the survival of the independent wholesaler. (See also 11 Warehousing.)
5.2 Functions and services of the wholesaler Services provided for the manufacturer, retailer, consumer.
5.3 Intermediaries Role of merchants and agents (including brokers and factors). Forwarding agents (freight forwarders).
6. Documents of Trade
6.1 Documents of home trade Main documents used in home trade: enquiry, quotation, catalogue, price list, order, invoice, advice
and delivery notes, credit notes, statement of account, receipt.
Key information and purposes of these documents.
6.2 Terms of payment Cash and trade discounts, mark-up.
7. International Trade
7.1 The importance of international trade Benefits of international trade to a country. The interdependence of countries within a global market. Imports, exports, visible and invisible trade.
7.2 Balance of Trade and Balance of Payments Distinction between Balance of Trade and Balance of Payments.
Calculation and interpretation of statistics relating to international trade i.e. balance of trade and balance of payments from given figures.
7.3 Customs Authorities Main functions e.g. collection of duties, collection of trade statistics.
Supervision of bonded warehouses (see 11.2).
7.4 Trading blocs E.g. ASEAN, European Union, SADC. Main features and aims of a trading bloc.
Advantages and disadvantages of joining a trading bloc.
7.5 Free trade and protectionism Importance of freeports in international trade.
Restrictions on trade e.g. tariffs, quotas, embargoes.
7.6 Difficulties faced by exporters and importers E.g. distance, language, methods of payment.
8. Advertising
8.1 The role of advertising Purposes, benefits, social aspects and dangers.
Types: informative, persuasive, collective (generic) and competitive.
8.2 Media Advertising media: advantages and disadvantages of main forms; factors affecting choice of medium.
8.3 Methods of appeal Devices and methods of appeal e.g. music, colour, famous people, emotions.
8.4 Sales promotion Distinction between advertising and sales promotion.
Methods of promotion e.g. point of sale, offers, sponsorship.
8.5 Trends in advertising E.g. digital billboards, Internet.
9. Communications
9.1 Importance of communications in the global economy Rapid and accurate transmission of information in the global economy.
9.2 Methods of communications, internal and external Oral, written, telephonic, electronic (including fax, Internet, Intranet, e-mail, teleconferencing, videoconferencing).
Circumstances and factors affecting choice of method.
9.3 Post Office, Telecoms Services provided.
10. Transport
10.1 Transportation Importance of transportation in the chain of distribution.
Characteristics of different methods: road, rail, air, sea, waterway, pipeline. Factors affecting choice of method. Modes of transport e.g. passenger train, ferry, delivery van.
Benefits to a business of having own transport.
10.2 Containerisation Main features; advantages. Reasons for increased use.
10.3 Other trends in transportation Modern developments and trends in the handling of goods and passengers e.g. charter transport, growth of air freight, express road routes, changes in use of rail transport.
10.4 Transport documents Delivery/consignment note; bill of lading, air waybill. Key information and purposes of each.
10.5 Ports and airports Services offered at seaports and airports.
11. Warehousing
11.1 Role of warehousing Warehousing functions; importance to trade. Link with seasonal production, demand and price stability.
11.2 Types of warehouse Bonded; cold storage; cash and carry; large scale retailers’ regional distribution centres;
manufacturers’ and retailers’. Main features of each type of warehouse.
Importance of each in either home or international trade.
12. Insurance
12.1 Purposes of insurance E.g. compensation, financial protection, business confidence, investment. The importance of pooling
of risk.
12.2 Business and personal risks Types of risks. Examples of insurable and noninsurable risks, including risks to international traders (see 7.6).
12.3 Insurance principles Essential elements: indemnity (including contribution and subrogation), insurable interest, utmost good faith.
12.4 Effecting insurance cover Outline of procedures, including premiums. Main documents: proposal form, cover note, policy. Key information and purposes of each. The role of an insurance broker.
12.5 Statistical basis of insurance The pooling of risk factors influencing the level of insurance premium. Evaluation of insurance quotations.
12.6 Effecting a claim Outline of procedures, including claim form.
13. Banking
13.1 Banking services Deposit/savings accounts and current/cheque accounts and services provided e.g. paying-in slip, bank statement.
13.2 Means of payment for home and international trade activities Cash; cheques; credit transfers; standing orders; direct debits; electronic transfers; documentary credits; bank drafts; debit cards; credit cards.
Characteristics, purposes and documents involved.
13.3 Trends in banking E.g. ATMs, telebanking, Internet banking.
14. The Business Unit
14.1 Location of a business Factors to be considered e.g. labour, raw materials, markets, transport.
14.2 Public and private sector Distinction between enterprises in the public and the private sector.
14.3 Main forms of business organisation in the private sector Sole trader, partnership, limited company (private and public).
Appropriateness of different forms of ownership to commercial situations.
Characteristics relating to ownership, control, liability of owners (both limited and unlimited), provision of capital, distribution of profits.
14.4 Franchises Franchises – main characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.
14.5 Multinationals Definition of a multinational. Importance of and reasons for multinationals in the global economy.
Opportunities offered to, and conflicting interests of, multinational companies locating in individual countries.
15. Finance
15.1 Sources of finance The distinction between long-term and short-term finance.
Long-term finance e.g. shares (ordinary and preference), debentures, mortgages, loans, sale and leaseback.
Short-term finance e.g. overdraft, factoring, leasing, trade credit, hire purchase.
Main features of each; advantages and disadvantages.
Methods of self-financing e.g. retained profits, savings.
Suitability of choice of finance in commercial situations with reasons for choice.
15.2 Business finance Meaning, calculation and importance of capital (fixed and working), turnover, rate of turnover, profit (gross and net).
Methods of improving profit and turnover.

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