Advanced Higher Computing Science 2015/16 - Discussion and Help Thread

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ROC10
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Hi everyone,

I thought I'd start a thread for those of us S6s studying AH Computing Science this year.

Has anyone started the course? If so, how are you finding it so far?
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Higherdude
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I have it today. I'll post my opinion later on today.


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oneflewovertcn
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Started it last week- our school didn't even run the old Advanced Higher, so it's a learning curve for both me and my teacher (with a little help from the scholar notes when they're out). Because in the old Higher (which our school ran last year) you could get away without learning HTML or databases, at the moment I'm just catching up with that before the summer to get started properly in August. Gives my teacher a bit of time to learn what needs to be done :P
Has anyone started their project/ coursework yet? Is it just a more in-depth version of the Higher project, only of your own design (and with more complex algorithms/ websites etc)? I read the specifications for the marking, and it seems a LOT more focused on the planning and design of the project- if I remember correctly only about a quarter of the marks were actual implementation!
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JustAGiraffe
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(Original post by oneflewovertcn)
Has anyone started their project/ coursework yet? Is it just a more in-depth version of the Higher project, only of your own design (and with more complex algorithms/ websites etc)?
Since the project is 60% of the course, it is more of a focus of the course than lower-level courses. From what I gather, the project has to fulfill a number of generic outcomes provided by your assessor. You might be able to avoid areas that you are less competent in for the project, however be aware you may still need to be able to use technologies such as HTML and SQL to achieve the unit assessments. A full list of mandatory generic concepts across the course can be found here: http://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/AHCASCompScience.pdf p9.

Luckily, all of this is open book, so at any point you can use resources such as W3School ( http://www.w3schools.com/ ) to get up to speed on relevant web technologies (specifically, HTML, SQL, CSS and PHP may come in useful) and, depending on what your primary language is, other reference websites (such as MSDN for .NET languages, Oracle Help Center for Java, Python wiki for Python etc.). These websites provide information on these concepts in general terms, and also provide the implementation of such concepts in a language you a familiar with.

You may wish to discuss with your assessor potential project ideas now allowing you to focus on what will be required for the coursework.
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oneflewovertcn
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Thanks! I had a look at w3schools, and their tutorials have been very helpful- am in the process of catching up with HTML and am hoping to get started on my project properly before the summer break. Have jotted down a few ideas, so I'll be getting myself up to speed with some of the concepts in the SQA file before actually starting the classwork part of the course.
Thanks again for the tutorial links and advice, I'll try to update on how it's going at some point
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gwagon
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Old Higher Computing student here. I feel the SQA have left us with the short end of the stick. I studied VB6 last year and much to me and my friends' surprise, we were told to use Python this year. So far, it's been terrible, we don't even notes or a Python handbook to begin with so we are expected to pull stuff out of our minds. I can already envisage the year ahead; it will be me youtubing Python tutorials vigorously.

I feel it was a pretty idiotic move by the SQA to discontinue the old ADV Higher course. However I can attribute their decision as it stands by their de facto ethos of choosing the option which lacks the slightest grain of common sense.
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samdeman22
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(Original post by gwagon)
Old Higher Computing student here. I feel the SQA have left us with the short end of the stick. I studied VB6 last year and much to me and my friends' surprise, we were told to use Python this year. So far, it's been terrible, we don't even notes or a Python handbook to begin with so we are expected to pull stuff out of our minds. I can already envisage the year ahead; it will be me youtubing Python tutorials vigorously.

I feel it was a pretty idiotic move by the SQA to discontinue the old ADV Higher course. However I can attribute their decision as it stands by their de facto ethos of choosing the option which lacks the slightest grain of common sense.
I don't think that you actually have to use python, the SQA don't ask you to use any specific language. But if your teacher insists, python isn't that bad, once you pick it up it will be a great skill as well!

see this, if you want to be a versatile programmer, you might want to have many languages under your belt (also, some are very similar; Java and C# are almost exactly the same on the surface),
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvWTnIoQZj4
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ROC10
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Hi everyone,

I was just wondering who is back from summer and back into the course.

Has anyone started the project yet and, if so, what do you plan to do (i.e. program/game/database/website, etc.)?
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Callum1872
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I did the new higher last year, HTML and CSS is pretty easy so it won't take you guys too long get up to speed on that, codeacademy has a nice section on it that I found useful. So far I've found the AH course pretty intense as we're only just starting to learn about proper object oriented programming with Java and I'm still struggling to get my head around the concepts, I found python far easier to pick up.
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Lizard101010
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So we received a NAB (or whatever they're called under CfE, I'm just going to refer to it as "NAB" anyway) today that contains a program written in Python that we are expected to rewrite a section of, but nobody in the class has even touched Python before. My only experience in school has been VB6 and I've just started learning C# outside of school in my free time. The teacher has just sort of given us a workaround by telling us to just write the section we need to rewrite in VB6. He seems pretty confident that that's an acceptable way to do the NAB but the way I've interpreted the assignment is that it needs to be written in Python. Has anybody else here received this NAB? It's the one about the text-based adventure game. We're expected to have done it by next Friday and I'm not confident in my ability to actually complete it.

I hate how uncertain everything is in Curriculum for Excellence. Out year has been totally screwed over by being the first to try new things.
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gwagon
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(Original post by Lizard101010)
So we received a NAB (or whatever they're called under CfE, I'm just going to refer to it as "NAB" anyway) today that contains a program written in Python that we are expected to rewrite a section of, but nobody in the class has even touched Python before. My only experience in school has been VB6 and I've just started learning C# outside of school in my free time. The teacher has just sort of given us a workaround by telling us to just write the section we need to rewrite in VB6. He seems pretty confident that that's an acceptable way to do the NAB but the way I've interpreted the assignment is that it needs to be written in Python. Has anybody else here received this NAB? It's the one about the text-based adventure game. We're expected to have done it by next Friday and I'm not confident in my ability to actually complete it.

I hate how uncertain everything is in Curriculum for Excellence. Out year has been totally screwed over by being the first to try new things.
Congratulations and welcome to the 'You've been screwed over by the SQA club!'
You are now part of a network that spans all over Scotland, filled with Advanced Higher pupils that have been left with the short end of the stick!
Did you sit the Old Higher last year? Were you surprised to find out that you could no longer sit the Old Advanced Higher, well in that case you are in luck! Because the SQA are all about surprises!

Exclusive member-only benefits of the 'You've been screwed over by the SQA club':
-If you sat the Old Higher, guess what - you can't sit the Old Advanced Higher!
-No conversion support for Old Higher to New Advanced Higher pupils
-A very vague course specification
-No actual resources to study from
-Teachers who are not fully prepared to teach you the new content(That means less work for you *wink wink*)

All of this was brought to you by the SNP(absolutely not for election purposes) and the SQA - famously trying to not be England since 1997!
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Lizard101010
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(Original post by gwagon)
Congratulations and welcome to the 'You've been screwed over by the SQA club!'
You are now part of a network that spans all over Scotland, filled with Advanced Higher pupils that have been left with the short end of the stick!
Did you sit the Old Higher last year? Were you surprised to find out that you could no longer sit the Old Advanced Higher, well in that case you are in luck! Because the SQA are all about surprises!

Exclusive member-only benefits of the 'You've been screwed over by the SQA club':
-If you sat the Old Higher, guess what - you can't sit the Old Advanced Higher!
-No conversion support for Old Higher to New Advanced Higher pupils
-A very vague course specification
-No actual resources to study from
-Teachers who are not fully prepared to teach you the new content(That means less work for you *wink wink*)

All of this was brought to you by the SNP(absolutely not for election purposes) and the SQA - famously trying to not be England since 1997!
I feel honoured. Do we have club T-shirts?
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Txik
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So how are your projects coming along eh? Any fellow java guys here?
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Higherdude
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(Original post by Lizard101010)
I feel honoured. Do we have club T-shirts?
That will be next year

Pff


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Jammytart
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Prelim is next week and I have nothing to revise from. Anyone managed to get hold of past paper style questions? Or am I stuck with Scholar?
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gwagon
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(Original post by Jammytart)
Prelim is next week and I have nothing to revise from. Anyone managed to get hold of past paper style questions? Or am I stuck with Scholar?
As far as I can tell, the very dense Scholar stuff is all we have, unfortunately. Scholar themselves said that they go above and beyond what the syllabus requires, but having looked at the exemplar paper, its pretty much 80% programming.
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Iain.C
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We have an exemplar paper and a specimen paper to look at. Not much but it's something. http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/48508.html Expand the "Specimen Question Paper and Marking Instructions" box.
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ROC10
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How did everyone's projects go?
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Lizard101010
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I got 69/90 which I'm happy with! Means I only need 36/60 in the exam to get an A (assuming an A is 70%). What about you, ROC?
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ROC10
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(Original post by Lizard101010)
I got 69/90 which I'm happy with! Means I only need 36/60 in the exam to get an A (assuming an A is 70%). What about you, ROC?
Well done!

I got 78/90 so fairly pleased with that.
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