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    Hello guys,

    Just wondering if anyone else here got the opportunity to take GCSE computing and had the exam today. If so, how did you find it? I actually have my own software development company and had taught myself most of the course before year ten so I kind of had an advantage - but personally I found the exam very easy and am hoping for full marks. I finished within 45 minutes and actually checked that I had all the questions in the paper!

    I obviously don't have the paper and can't really remember the questions, but if you want to ask/check a question/answer with me feel free to post it here. Also, if you don't do the GCSE but are thinking of taking it - or even thinking of taking A level computing, feel free to post any questions you have here too!

    Thanks and kind regards,
    Andy G
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    found the exam okay, but hadnt revised hexadecimal and binary so i didnt get those questions.
    aswell as that i didnt get how many bytes in a gigabyte, yet i knew how many in a kilobyte and megabyte

    the exam was realy short and i finished in under 30 minutes, thought i had the wrong paper and panicked a bit
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    Yeah same. I thought it was a bit of a joke that it was so easy and quick to finish.

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    What was the answer to the Lossy and Loseless compression answer? Which way round was it?
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    (Original post by Chocolatecake123)
    What was the answer to the Lossy and Loseless compression answer? Which way round was it?
    Lossy compression is used in images and videos where you can afford a drop in quality (i.e the bit depth being reduced because the human eye can't see a difference in the range of colours). In some cases, frames could also be taken out of video and resolution reduced, etc.

    Loseless compression on the other hand is used when no data can actually be discarded. It works by removing repeated data and taking a note of where it should go so that the files can be reassembled when there are uncompressed. So in the case of the exam, loseless compression would be perfect for the large program code as it is likely that there will be many lines of code that are repeated in the source.

    Just remember that loseless compression means that you don't loose anything - nothing is discarded and therefore the original file can be recreated. Lossy is simple to opposite - parts of the file that aren't needed are actually discarded.
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    (Original post by Jake_Saunders)
    found the exam okay, but hadnt revised hexadecimal and binary so i didnt get those questions.
    aswell as that i didnt get how many bytes in a gigabyte, yet i knew how many in a kilobyte and megabyte

    the exam was realy short and i finished in under 30 minutes, thought i had the wrong paper and panicked a bit
    Would you like me to post a tutorial for binary and/or hexadecimal or are you ok? Would anyone like me to go over hex and binary?

    In regards to how many bytes make a gigabyte - I don't think that was the exact question but technically it is (1024 * 1024 * 1024) which is 1073741824. I just put 1024 MB's I think.

    I'm glad I wasn't the only one to get concerned though - it was extremely short. Perhaps because the course is relatively new and just an introduction to A level I suppose, OCR wasn't really sure about the level of difficulty. Just a theory.
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    I found the exam fairly good but I found the six marker on legal issues very vague. Do you remember what you put for this? Also, can you please tell me what you wrote for the six marker on hardware devices?
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    what do you guys reckon the A* mark would be for this paper?
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    (Original post by JanNathan)
    I found the exam fairly good but I found the six marker on legal issues very vague. Do you remember what you put for this? Also, can you please tell me what you wrote for the six marker on hardware devices?
    Yeah, I suppose both six mark questions were actually a little vague. For the question about legal considerations for the school storing examination and attendance data, you should have cited the Computer Misuse Act - which states that it is unlawful to gain unauthorised access to a computer system - and the Data Protection Act - which gives legal rights to people who have information stored about them - but not the Copyright Act. The software used by the school needed to have stored the information in an encrypted form so that it could not be accessed by an unauthorised person - as the data stored will be sensitive. The software also needed to save to a safe location, both physically and virtually. Physically so that the data could not easily be lost, and virtually to reduce the possibility of unauthorised access.

    As for the other six mark question, I believe that this was about the similarities between a game console and desktop PC. You needed to know that the definition of a computer system is simply something that processes an input to produce an output. Therefore both systems use an input; for the games console its things like the optical drive and games controller, whereas for the PC it's the more conventional keyboard and mouse, etc. Both systems feature a CPU and output to a monitor or TV or some form of display, and speakers. You could have also extended the answer by stating the both computer systems would most likely have some form of storage (to save games and software and other files) and some form of transmission (such as WiFi) in order to communicate on the network and with the Internet.

    Hope that helps
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    exam went horribly for me. i found most questions easy but the six marker on legal issues was awful, and the question about the positions and the changes you would make; that was so hard. reckon i got a b in that test.

    just as well, i needed 58-64 out of 80 for an a star as i got 100% in the coursework.

    compared to the other past papers, this paper was quite hard i found.

    only time will tell how well i did...
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    (Original post by mo85856)
    what do you guys reckon the A* mark would be for this paper?
    At a guess, I think it could be between 80% and 90%. It was 85% last year I believe, and at a quick glance the paper looks slightly harder - so I would expect the boundary to be more like 90%. That is just a guess though taking last year's exam into consideration, I may be wrong. I will be emailing my Computing tutors in a while so I will also ask them what they think - but I'm not expected them to reply until the week.
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    (Original post by tazza ma razza)
    exam went horribly for me. i found most questions easy but the six marker on legal issues was awful, and the question about the positions and the changes you would make; that was so hard. reckon i got a b in that test.

    just as well, i needed 58-64 out of 80 for an a star as i got 100% in the coursework.

    compared to the other past papers, this paper was quite hard i found.

    only time will tell how well i did...
    A very well done to you getting 100% in your coursework. I missed one mark on LMC and got an A* in the other pieces - although I'm not sure what mark I actually got, I think I spent too much time tutoring other people.

    To me it sounds like you're more practical with Computing then and like the actually programming rather than the theory. Unfortunately there wasn't much programming in this paper but even if you got 0 marks on the questions you disliked, there's still a high chance of you getting an A* overall so I wouldn't worry too much!

    Maybe in the future you could consider a qualification like becoming a Sun Certified Java Programmer, which I believe tests you mainly on your programming skills rather than theory.
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    (Original post by lykemeisandy)
    Yeah, I suppose both six mark questions were actually a little vague. For the question about legal considerations for the school storing examination and attendance data, you should have cited the Computer Misuse Act - which states that it is unlawful to gain unauthorised access to a computer system - and the Data Protection Act - which gives legal rights to people who have information stored about them - but not the Copyright Act. The software used by the school needed to have stored the information in an encrypted form so that it could not be accessed by an unauthorised person - as the data stored will be sensitive. The software also needed to save to a safe location, both physically and virtually. Physically so that the data could not easily be lost, and virtually to reduce the possibility of unauthorised access.

    As for the other six mark question, I believe that this was about the similarities between a game console and desktop PC. You needed to know that the definition of a computer system is simply something that processes an input to produce an output. Therefore both systems use an input; for the games console its things like the optical drive and games controller, whereas for the PC it's the more conventional keyboard and mouse, etc. Both systems feature a CPU and output to a monitor or TV or some form of display, and speakers. You could have also extended the answer by stating the both computer systems would most likely have some form of storage (to save games and software and other files) and some form of transmission (such as WiFi) in order to communicate on the network and with the Internet.

    Hope that helps
    For the legal issues one, I talked about the Data Protection, Copyright and Health and Safety at Work Act but mentioned security briefly with passwords and firewall (ran out space after). For the other one, I mentioned magnetic hard disk, solid state storage, monitor, speakers, microphone, webcam but not keyboard and mouse because I didn't think a game console would have one. Is this okay? I am really worried now
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    (Original post by JanNathan)
    For the legal issues one, I talked about the Data Protection, Copyright and Health and Safety at Work Act but mentioned security briefly with passwords and firewall (ran out space after). For the other one, I mentioned magnetic hard disk, solid state storage, monitor, speakers, microphone, webcam but not keyboard and mouse because I didn't think a game console would have one. Is this okay? I am really worried now
    Don't get too worried - as I mentioned earlier, both these questions only total 12 marks, so even if you didn't get any marks for either of them there's still a good chance you could get an A, if not an A*. At the end of the day though, you've got to think that worrying won't change anything and all that matters is that you did your best. Just out of interest, how come you took Computing?

    For the legal question - it's good that you mentioned the Data Protection Act but any others were largely irrelevant (apart from the Computer Misuse Act). You should have got a mark or two for talking about passwords as this ties in with encryption, and also if you said the firewall could protect against unauthorised access or even help prevent spyware from being deployed on the computer system.

    For the other question - those are all relevant I/O (Input/Output) devices and you're right about the conventional keyboard and mouse. You also needed to write about the definition of a computer system being anything that processes an input to produce an output to get the full marks. As you mentioned, storage should have also been included in that definition, as well as some form of transmission such as wireless or ethernet using a network card.
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    (Original post by lykemeisandy)
    Don't get too worried - as I mentioned earlier, both these questions only total 12 marks, so even if you didn't get any marks for either of them there's still a good chance you could get an A, if not an A*. At the end of the day though, you've got to think that worrying won't change anything and all that matters is that you did your best. Just out of interest, how come you took Computing?

    For the legal question - it's good that you mentioned the Data Protection Act but any others were largely irrelevant (apart from the Computer Misuse Act). You should have got a mark or two for talking about passwords as this ties in with encryption, and also if you said the firewall could protect against unauthorised access or even help prevent spyware from being deployed on the computer system.

    For the other question - those are all relevant I/O (Input/Output) devices and you're right about the conventional keyboard and mouse. You also needed to write about the definition of a computer system being anything that processes an input to produce an output to get the full marks. As you mentioned, storage should have also been included in that definition, as well as some form of transmission such as wireless or ethernet using a network card.
    Ok. Thanks! I just find Computing interesting and had some knowledge of Java etc prior to the course so I decided to take it
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    (Original post by JanNathan)
    Ok. Thanks! I just find Computing interesting and had some knowledge of Java etc prior to the course so I decided to take it
    You're welcome. The reason I asked is because it's not everyone's subject and it is sometimes falsely advertised a little (for instance at my school, our options booklet talked about games design and creating software etc. - which clearly isn't what most of computing is about) but luckily it sounds as though you knew that. I just didn't want to say anything if you wanted a career in Computing which was dependent on you passing this GCSE, but even so I would say it is really the A level that counts and the GCSE is just a bonus that allows you to get a taster for A level and some employers may use it to gauge how much knowledge you had in secondary school etc.

    Anyway, I mainly program in AutoIt and Java too so if you ever need any help you know where I am
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    (Original post by lykemeisandy)
    You're welcome. The reason I asked is because it's not everyone's subject and it is sometimes falsely advertised a little (for instance at my school, our options booklet talked about games design and creating software etc. - which clearly isn't what most of computing is about) but luckily it sounds as though you knew that. I just didn't want to say anything if you wanted a career in Computing which was dependent on you passing this GCSE, but even so I would say it is really the A level that counts and the GCSE is just a bonus that allows you to get a taster for A level and some employers may use it to gauge how much knowledge you had in secondary school etc.

    Anyway, I mainly program in AutoIt and Java too so if you ever need any help you know where I am
    Thanks. I really do appreciate the help you have given. Ideally, I would want an A* in this course but after this exam, that hope seems unlikely. As you have said, I have done my best and that is all I can ask for
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    I think I got like 50 percent on that test but 100 on my coursework so what grade would I get overall?
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    (Original post by Harris Ali)
    I think I got like 50 percent on that test but 100 on my coursework so what grade would I get overall?
    Without looking too much into it, I would predict that you get an A overall - perhaps a high B, or even a low A* - depending on the grade boundries. It all depends on the UMS marks - which I'm not an expert on - but I do know that the examination is only worth 40% of the total GCSE so your coursework will boost your overall grade a lot (well done on the coursework by the way)!

    If I find anything out that would help me make a better prediction I'll let you know.
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    (Original post by lykemeisandy)
    Without looking too much into it, I would predict that you get an A overall - perhaps a high B, or even a low A* - depending on the grade boundries. It all depends on the UMS marks - which I'm not an expert on - but I do know that the examination is only worth 40% of the total GCSE so your coursework will boost your overall grade a lot (well done on the coursework by the way)!

    If I find anything out that would help me make a better prediction I'll let you know.
    Thanks a lot, and yeah I find coding easy but theory impossible
 
 
 
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