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GCSE Computer Science

(OCR J277) 

Assessment Details 

Paper 1 – Computer Systems 
Paper 2 - Computational thinking, algorithms and programming 

Course Information   

Subject Content  
Overview of content 

  1. Systems architecture  
  2. Memory and storage  
  3. Computer networks, connections and protocols  
  4. Network security  
  5. Systems software  
  6. Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental impacts of digital technology 
  7. Algorithms 
  8. Programming fundamentals 
  9. Producing robust programs  
  10. Boolean logic  
  11. Programming languages and Integrated Development Environment 

Overview of theory assessment 
This unit is assessed through two 1 hour 30 minute examination papers set and marked by AQA: 
Paper 1: Computer Systems subject content 1-6 above. 
Paper 2: Computational thinking, algorithms and programming from subject content 7–11 above. 
The total number of marks available for each examination paper is 80. 
Paper 1: 50% of GCSE 
Paper 2: 50% of GCSE 

Practical Programming  
This is a practical unit. Students will be expected to follow a systematic approach to problem solving, consistent with the skills required for software development. Developing computer program/s along with the computer programming code itself which has been designed, written, tested and refined by the student to solve a problem/s. Students will produce original reports outlining this development. 

Overview of assessment 
This unit is not graded but must be completed for the students to pass the course.  Practical Programming skills will be assessed in component 2 of the qualification, in particular section B of Paper 2.  

Steps to Success GCSE Computer Science 

  1. Take advantage of online teaching websites to improve your programming skills. 
  2. Learn the standard algorithms for sorting and searching. 
  3. Problem solving puzzles, such as Rubik’s cube, will help your problem-solving skills. 
  4. Make sure your non-examined assessment work is your best work. Show off your skills!   
  5. Use System Lifecycle headings to organise your non-examined assessment work. 
  6. Comment your code. Explain, explain, explain… 
  7. Be familiar with the three different types of programming error, syntax, logical and run-time that occur and how to debug them. 
  8. Make sure you have a revision guide or ask your teacher how to get one.  
  9. Familiarise yourself with revision material on the students shared area.  
  10. Use the revision guide, BBC Bitesize and to take notes on these topics  
  11. Attempt the exam papers in the ‘Past paper’ section. Make sure you know what topic the question is testing you on.  
  12. Check you have used technical language in your answers. 
  13. Check your answers against the given mark scheme. 

Useful Resources: 

School Intranet which holds details of every lesson and related resources. 

BBC Bitesize