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Edexcel A Level Business: Using MOPS in 20 mark questions

Updated: May 11

Many students are not sure what to put for MOPS in the 20 mark questions on the Edexcel A level business papers.

This blog is not exhaustive, it is just some ideas to get you started, or to polish what you already know.

I normally teach MOPS as a mindmap exercise as a class and get students to work individually to relate this to a case study company they know well.

MOPS stands for: Market, Objective, Product and Situation. There are lots of examples in the Edexcel past papers on the 20-mark questions. This will help students to craft conclusions that will gain them higher marks.

Examiner tip: In the top answers students should be looking to answer these questions in their conclusions, and not add more questions in an answer.


  • What is the market share of the company?

  • Is the business new to the market?

  • Is this an established market with a new entrant?

  • Is this market an emerging economy?

  • Is this a saturated market?

  • What is the total market size?

  • Is this a domestic or international market?

  • Can Porter’s 5 forces be applied to this market?

  • Who are the main competitors in this market?


  • What are the social objectives of this business?

  • What is the reputation of this business?

  • Are the ethical objectives sound in this business?

  • Is the main objective of this business to maximise profits?

  • Is the main objective of this business growth, and is that internal or external (through mergers and takeovers, joint ventures and strategic alliances)?

  • What quality issues might stop the business from achieving its objectives?


  • Is there an innovative design in this product?

  • Is there any conflict between the quality of the product and the profit objectives?

  • Is this a new or existing product?

  • Does this product require scarce resources?

  • Are there any other products already on the market that are similar?

  • Where is the product in its lifecycle?

  • Is the product a cash cow, question mark, star or dog?


  • Does the business have a sound plan?

  • Does the business have any financial problems?

  • Does the business have any supplier issues?

  • What are possible solutions to their current problems?

  • Does the business have any current employee problems? E.g. strikes

  • Is this a business in crisis?

  • Does this business have areas that it needs to improve?

You can use these questions in lessons to get students used to the idea of offering solutions and answers. It should be part of the normal way of working to offer MOPS in all their 20-mark home works. Any student who is looking for A or A* should be using MOPS in all their 20-mark essays.

This worksheet is also a free download and can be used in a number of ways:

1) Give students a 20 mark past paper question with the examiner mark scheme and ask them to develop the MOPS only.

2) You can make this more exciting by arranging students into groups of 4 and asking them to pass their work round, so they complete an M on one sheet, an O on another and so on. Helps students to learn from the stronger answers and see what is expected of them.

3) Set as homework and mark in class as a starter for the next lesson


Create a PADLET and ask students to fill in the sections with their initials for the parts they have completed - see example below. Padlets can be embedded into shared areas for students to collaborate. Just make sure to set it as public so everyone in the class can contribute. (Share>collaborators>link privacy>public)

I hope this has been helpful...

Sarah is a current business teacher and teacher trainer; she has taught business for 24 years and has been a business examiner for over 20 years.

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