Hey! Do I need to know a programming language to take a level computing? Watch

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Abeh
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I am currently in year 11 and considering a-level options, and need to make a decision on my fourth subject and whether it is History or Computing.

I have done the Cambridge nationals in ICT and am doing GCSE ICT, but these have nothing to do with programming... I have researched this myself but I cant really find any straight answers. So it'd be cool if someone who has taken A-level computing could tell me how much knowledge I actually need? :P

I know some basic stuff and have used scratch and tried learning Python, also my dad now has a Raspberry Pi so I guess I could learn some basics beforehand, if that would help?

Thanks in advance if anyone bothers replying :O
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CameronE
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Not necessary at all. The examining board expect you to learn everything from their syllabus from scratch so you dont have to have any previous experience however if you want to get a feel for the subject, i would advise you see what language the sixth form/college will be doing and take some online lessons in the holiday


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username1357713
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You don't need to know a programming language before you start, you will learn it all during the course. Although, knowing how to program will definitely help (ask the college you want to go to what language they use if you want a headstart). A lot of people on my course who couldn't program before are fine, but I find the top people could already program (maybe because they are more passionate - I don't know).
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Abeh
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(Original post by CheetahCurtis)
You don't need to know a programming language before you start, you will learn it all during the course. Although, knowing how to program will definitely help (ask the college you want to go to what language they use if you want a headstart). A lot of people on my course who couldn't program before are fine, but I find the top people could already program (maybe because they are more passionate - I don't know).
Okay thanks a lot! I think I will ask about the language they use at my interview soon and try to get some basic knowledge on it. Computing will probably the best bet over history anyway cause I'm doing Physics, Chem and Maths... thanks!
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Abeh
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(Original post by CameronE)
Not necessary at all. The examining board expect you to learn everything from their syllabus from scratch so you dont have to have any previous experience however if you want to get a feel for the subject, i would advise you see what language the sixth form/college will be doing and take some online lessons in the holiday



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Sorry, I hadn't seen your post earlier so thanks for answering in case you thought I was just being rude! I had just thought everyone would already know a lot about computing, so it's good to know that I'll manage anyway! Thanks!
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CameronE
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(Original post by Abeh)
Sorry, I hadn't seen your post earlier so thanks for answering in case you thought I was just being rude! I had just thought everyone would already know a lot about computing, so it's good to know that I'll manage anyway! Thanks!
No worries


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Wryal
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I'm doing both History and Computing A-Levels right now and like you I took Cambridge IT aswell as having GCSE IT. They taught no prior programming languages. So I'm pretty much what you're planning to do. Answer to your question is NO you don't need any programming knowledge to do A-Level Computing. They will teach you from scratch.

Good luck on whatever you decide to do mate!

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TVIO
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I knew only a very basic bit of programming and most of that wasn't very useful. Even top universities for Computing (Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial et. al.) don't need you to have any programming background. You'll be fine as long as you think you'll enjoy programming and you have some mathematical aptitude for the A2.
What are your other 3 subjects might I ask? Computing isn't a necessary subject for ANY degree course so history may better suit your options if you're going for a social science degree at uni. Most of the stuff covered in Computing A level is fairly simple to learn at home but interesting nonetheless. Though I've found the A2 much more interesting than the AS.
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Abeh
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(Original post by Wryal)
I'm doing both History and Computing A-Levels right now and like you I took Cambridge IT aswell as having GCSE IT. They taught no prior programming languages. So I'm pretty much what you're planning to do. Answer to your question is NO you don't need any programming knowledge to do A-Level Computing. They will teach you from scratch.

Good luck on whatever you decide to do mate!

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Thanks for the reply, I am pretty sure I am going to take computing knowing that I don't really need much/any prior knowledge! How's History and Computing going?
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Abeh
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(Original post by TVIO)
I knew only a very basic bit of programming and most of that wasn't very useful. Even top universities for Computing (Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial et. al.) don't need you to have any programming background. You'll be fine as long as you think you'll enjoy programming and you have some mathematical aptitude for the A2.
What are your other 3 subjects might I ask? Computing isn't a necessary subject for ANY degree course so history may better suit your options if you're going for a social science degree at uni. Most of the stuff covered in Computing A level is fairly simple to learn at home but interesting nonetheless. Though I've found the A2 much more interesting than the AS.
Oh okay, so you wouldn't say it would be that much help to learn a small amount of programming beforehand? And I'm not planning on taking Computing at University, its kinda just a back up plan, because computing seems pretty useful for a lot of things :P The other 3 subjects I'll take are probably gonna be Maths, Physics and Biology or maybe History... Not sure! Thanks for the reply
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Misora
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My school accepts people onto their A level computing course with a B in math since they pretty much start all over again. If you've learned some before hand, you might be at an advantage, but otherwise it isn't compulsory.
As for universities, I spoke to a rep from cambridge university at a sixth form open evening, asking about taking a computing a level in order to do it at university. He said that I wouldn't necessarily need computing a level to take it, he actually recommended taking further maths instead because they teach you it all at university
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TVIO
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(Original post by Abeh)
Oh okay, so you wouldn't say it would be that much help to learn a small amount of programming beforehand? And I'm not planning on taking Computing at University, its kinda just a back up plan, because computing seems pretty useful for a lot of things :P The other 3 subjects I'll take are probably gonna be Maths, Physics and Biology or maybe History... Not sure! Thanks for the reply
You can if you want, but no problem if you don't
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whyalways
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no you don't need to. they teach you how to program from scratch so don'the worry since most of students will not have prior programming experience☺
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Lemur14
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(Original post by whyalways)
no you don't need to. they teach you how to program from scratch so don'the worry since most of students will not have prior programming experience☺
Hey,
Please don't bump old threads If you want to discuss this topic further you can start a new thread.
Closing this now
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