The structure of the Business and Technology (FBT/BT) examThe purpose of this article is to explain the structure and the styles of question that candidates will have to answer in the (F)BT exam.
The structure of the exam is based on two main sections or parts. Section A of the exam comprises questions worth both one mark and two marks. In total there are 16 one-mark questions and 30 two-mark questions. Section B of the exam has multiple-task questions (MTQs). There are six MTQs in Section B of the exam, each worth four marks.
There are six syllabus areas, and there is always one MTQ on each of them. Each MTQ is specific to a syllabus area, with no crossover between the six generic sections of the syllabus.
As just explained, Section A of the exam contains a mix of 30 two-mark questions and 16 one-mark questions. One-mark questions are usually shorter and either have no background statement or a brief one. The structure of these questions is that they are multiple-choice questions (MCQ) where there is one correct option from two or three options, or they will be multiple-response (MR) questions where there are two correct options from a total of three. In the MCQ versions of the one-mark questions, the two option questions may be presented as yes/no or true/false questions.
The two-mark CBE questions in Section A consist of a variety of question types from MCQ to multiple-response MR and multiple-response matching (MRM).
Note that, for all MR and MRM questions in this section, no partial marking is available, so candidates must select all correct options to obtain full marks, otherwise they will score zero.
The MTQs in this section introduce a variety of testing methods. It must be emphasised that this does not affect the level of the exam or the standard expected, and candidates should not be more time pressured as a result of the different type of question in this section as long as they allocate their time correctly to the marks associated with them.
Part B of the examination may appear visually very different to Section A. For example, candidates are more likely, but not certain, to see diagrams in the question prompt. Some scenarios may be longer than those encountered in Section A, though they will seldom necessitate scrolling up or down the screen to read through them. There is also a ‘collapse’ function in the CBE version that allows candidates to easily refer back to the background statement without scrolling unnecessarily.
The six MTQs in Section B may be sub-divided. Where this is the case, some or all parts may be related to a common scenario. However, a scenario may be relevant to just part of the question. For example, part (a) of a question may be built around a team scenario with a requirement to apply the theories of Belbin or Tuckman, with part (b) set on a related theme but not directly connected to the scenario.
Section B may contain MR questions with more than four options. MRM questions may have more than four options to choose from and partial marking is allowed, meaning that candidates who select the correct options in some rows, but not in others, will get credit for those correct selections which they make.
For example, a question may ask the candidate to choose two correct responses from six choices, or perhaps four choices from eight. The number of correct responses required is clearly signalled in the question prompt. The screen indicates the total number of marks available for the question (or part of the question) and, unless otherwise indicated, each response will be worth the same number of marks.
If a candidate selects more correct responses than are required, the system will deselect the previous response, so it will not be possible to make more choices of answer than the number required.
If a candidate selects fewer answers than the number required or selects some wrong options, marks are awarded pro rata. Thus, if a question has four correct responses, each worth 0.5 marks and the candidate selects only three responses or only three correct options, it is possible to score a maximum of 1.5 marks. Please note, as already explained, MR and MRM questions in Section A do not permit partial marking, so candidates must select all correct answers to such questions in Section A to score the marks available, or they will score zero.