ABQ - Units 1,2,3

The ABQ is always Section B of the exam is worth 80 marks or 20% of the total marks.

The ABQ units are Units 1, 2 and 3 (Chapters 1-8 in the book). They will feature on the ABQ [20%] plus long Q1 [15%], long Q4 [15%] also and a short question or two (8%). Therefore these units could account for up to 58% of the paper.  Make sure that you know them inside out!

A suggested strategy for completing the ABQ:

  1. Read the three questions before you begin.

  2. Read the ABQ underlining or highlighting points that you may need for part (a) and answer part (a)

  3. Do the same for parts (b) and (c)

  4. When Answering the ABQ use the SEE approach (State, Explain, Example from the text you highlighted above)


Tips for the ABQ:

  1. Spend no more than 35 minutes on this section.

  2. Refer to the text as much as possible even when you are not asked. You can use the same reference more than once but try not to.

  3. 70/80% of the marks are for given for talking about the topic in general (communications, ICT, TQM, etc) and then the remaining percentage must show a link or a quote to the reading.

  4. See the questions from 2009 and 2014 as they are also from units 1, 2 and 3

  5. It’s normally 5 marks per point (Heading – 2 marks, development of answer – 3 marks). 20 Marks = 4 points x 5 marks each

  6. Practice as many past questions as you can – sometimes questions that have appeared on the exam before come up again. Only allow yourself the exact time to answer them that you will have in the exam.

  7. Use examinations.ie to source all the past exam papers and more importantly, the marking schemes.


20 marks should take you 8 minutes

25 marks should take you 10 minutes
30 marks should take you 12 minutes

In 2012 (Most recent statistics), the average mark attained by students was 54 out of 80 (68%) , this means 26 marks were lost equalling to 6.5% of the total 400 marks. Most marks were lost due to the manner in which they answered the ABQ.

Sample Questions

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