Is computer science a good GCSE option to do? Watch

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MozartEd
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I'm in year 9 picking my GCSEs i'm not exactly sure what computer science would permit, are there any particular skills needed? What sort of topics do you do? Thanks you!
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dontrevisefail
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I do OCR GCSE Computing and am in year 11. Skills wise, its a myth that you need to be good at maths. However, you need to be good at creating algorithms especially for your control assessments. If you pick computing, I would highly recommend that you learn how to code at home in the summer holidays. If you have someone who knows how to code like a parent who can help you, that would be fantastic. The final exam is one of the easiest in GCSE. However, the 2 CA's worth 30% each are challenging. Prepare every week before the lesson when you do CA'S. The CA 's are 40 in total for both.
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TheManHimeself
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(Original post by dontrevisefail)
I do OCR GCSE Computing and am in year 11. Skills wise, its a myth that you need to be good at maths. However, you need to be good at creating algorithms especially for your control assessments. If you pick computing, I would highly recommend that you learn how to code at home in the summer holidays. If you have someone who knows how to code like a parent who can help you, that would be fantastic. The final exam is one of the easiest in GCSE. However, the 2 CA's worth 30% each are challenging. Prepare every week before the lesson when you do CA'S. The CA 's are 40 in total for both.
Don't computing has nothing to with code.If all you are interested in is coding don't pick it.There is a lot of writing involved for the controlled assessment
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Lemur14
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Computing is one of the subjects which varies a lot on your exam board. OCR has recently tightened up on their CAs and they are now generally much more difficult than, for example AQA. My school has swapped to AQA because of this. Being in year 9, I believe you take the new computing GCSE which has 20% coursework. This will mean that programming will probably take a much less prominent role in the course than now (60% coursework). Personally, I love the course, including the coursework but that is probably because I put in a lot of work at home to prepare for the coursework even if we weren't told to.
We've covered various topics so far such as components of a computer system, binary logic and databases. You can look up on the exam board's website for specifics (eg http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/ict-a...r-science-8520 for AQA) Make sure you find the new specifications for your year rather than the old ones.
As for the maths, if you are good at it, it is a few free marks in the exam, but otherwise I don't think it causes that much trouble. It will help to find out which language you will be programming in and start getting some basics done over the holidays if you do take it but that's just to make it easier for you. I think really anyone who has a basic knowledge of computers and some simple maths can be taught to do computing (or certainly the AQA syllabus) and I definitely think it is worth considering as an option.
HTH
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...imrah
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i picked computer science thinking it was like ict but it's not completely different! It can be incredibly demanding as it requires lots of time and effort to crack the coding aspect but with theoery it can be useful to revise laods as it is quite simple and easy to get an A*. After bugging the teacher loads after school most days to complete my CA i got an A* and in my theory mock which i guess is down to hard work

So i'd say pick it because if you are a hard-worker you'll get ti after practice. Trust me you don't need a talent in coding i certainly don't
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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(Original post by Lemur14)
Computing is one of the subjects which varies a lot on your exam board. OCR has recently tightened up on their CAs and they are now generally much more difficult than, for example AQA. My school has swapped to AQA because of this. Being in year 9, I believe you take the new computing GCSE which has 20% coursework. This will mean that programming will probably take a much less prominent role in the course than now (60% coursework). Personally, I love the course, including the coursework but that is probably because I put in a lot of work at home to prepare for the coursework even if we weren't told to.
We've covered various topics so far such as components of a computer system, binary logic and databases. You can look up on the exam board's website for specifics (eg http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/ict-a...r-science-8520 for AQA) Make sure you find the new specifications for your year rather than the old ones.
As for the maths, if you are good at it, it is a few free marks in the exam, but otherwise I don't think it causes that much trouble. It will help to find out which language you will be programming in and start getting some basics done over the holidays if you do take it but that's just to make it easier for you. I think really anyone who has a basic knowledge of computers and some simple maths can be taught to do computing (or certainly the AQA syllabus) and I definitely think it is worth considering as an option.
HTH
The OCR exam board has made the CAs more difficult but they still failed to stop students from cheating. Wish my school switched to AQA for Computing.
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TheYearNiner
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For me it was the worst choice I've ever done.. The computer science teacher left the school (probably got sacked) and I had to do ICT and then had to do ECDL which is equivalent to a GCSE and I did not get the grade I wanted.

But I think computer science is good
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Heynothing24
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I genuinely hated it. It was my worst subject and I honestly considered dropping it. But if you think you would enjoy it then yeah pick it
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Lemur14
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(Original post by TheYearNiner)
For me it was the worst choice I've ever done.. The computer science teacher left the school (probably got sacked) and I had to do ICT and then had to do ECDL which is equivalent to a GCSE and I did not get the grade I wanted.

But I think computer science is good
ECDL is very different though. I do both (ECDL is compulsory) and they require very different skills. ECDL is much easier and is basic computer skills like using word, powerpoint, excel etc. Computing is programming and evidencing plus components of a computer system, binary etc. which is always going to be harder than doing something which you have been doing since you were 3.
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TheYearNiner
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(Original post by Lemur14)
ECDL is very different though. I do both (ECDL is compulsory) and they require very different skills. ECDL is much easier and is basic computer skills like using word, powerpoint, excel etc. Computing is programming and evidencing plus components of a computer system, binary etc. which is always going to be harder than doing something which you have been doing since you were 3.
Yes I know I really wanted to do computer science but it was the schools fault so we all had to do it
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Lemur14
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(Original post by TheYearNiner)
Yes I know I really wanted to do computer science but it was the schools fault so we all had to do it
My point was more you didn't take the computing even if you wanted to so the op can't really gain anything from you saying that ECDL is bad despite you saying computing is good as you didn't take it so how do you know it is good.
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TheYearNiner
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(Original post by Lemur14)
My point was more you didn't take the computing even if you wanted to so the op can't really gain anything from you saying that ECDL is bad despite you saying computing is good as you didn't take it so how do you know it is good.
ah well.. you learn something everyday
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Rachelod21
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From a personal experience..no it really isn't I've hated every minute of it


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Lelanor
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Computer science tends to involve logic for the programming part of it, so if you're quite logical, you will probably enjoy it. If you're less logical, programming at GCSE level probably won't be too challenging but will improve your logic. If you do choose it, I suggest you try out some programming in the summer holidays before to get your head around the basics (like dontrevisefail and Lemur14 said). * It isn't necessary to actually know a programming language to start with, as you'll probably do lots of practice (even university courses don't require you to know anything about programming before you start a computer science degree) but it helps if you are starting to develop the skills of thinking about programming and solving problems in the "right" way. For the current OCR spec, programming makes up one piece of coursework and a small part of the exam.

Another part of it involves some maths and more logic, learning how binary works and how it controls a computer. This links in with hardware, which is a more factual side of computer science that you learn. You also learn about software.

You might learn about databases (which I haven't yet, my class still needs to do that section AND finish a controlled assessment before the beginning of March...) and I'm not really sure what that involves.

I find computing very fun and very interesting, but lots of my class don't and find programming quite challenging. We did ICT in Year 7 and 8 so when we chose our GCSEs in Year 8, they thought it would be like ICT - there are links but it's not very much like it.

So, the main skills you need are logic and some maths (none of the maths is too complicated, you most likely already have the maths skills). Determination is also very important.

Good luck with your options.



*(going on a bit of a little bit of a tangent here) Personally, I had used a program called Scratch for years before I started learning programming at school (and before I even knew what programming was) and it is very good for understanding what programming does - it is like a basic programming language in a graphical form, so if you have absolutely no experience of programming, this could be something you try out beforehand.
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Patrick-Bateman
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I did CIE Computer Science GCSE. As a GCSE I think its a great thing to have no matter where you want to go after your GCSEs. It gives you an understanding of something that surrounds us in our daily lives and helps improve your process of logically thinking through problems. Personally I found it very easy as a lot of it involved logical thinking and you didn't really have to memorise that much.
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Becsaful
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Hello!
I'm in Year 11 now so I've got some knowledge in the subject personally I have a love/hate relationship with the subject. It is extremely challenging but if you pay attention from the start, it's challenging in a good way. You don't need to be good at maths to do it however you do need to be logical, I'm not going to lie the theory side of stuff can be boring but the coursework is the main bit and coding in my personal opinion is brilliantly infuriating. As of next year it is a recognized science and will look brilliant on CV's, and it's a good break from essay based subjects. However if a future career in any form of tech isn't what your going for, you may want to skip, otherwise go for it, if you're willing to dedicate 100% it's great. ( sorry if that wasn't very clear, I'm a rambler, feel free to ask questions).
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Dapperblook22
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(Original post by MozartEd)
I'm in year 9 picking my GCSEs i'm not exactly sure what computer science would permit, are there any particular skills needed? What sort of topics do you do? Thanks you!
I did OCR GCSE Computing two years ago, OCR AS Computing last year and currently studying OCR A2 Computing

In both the GCSE and A Level courses, there is no previous skills or knowledge required, as they are both taught from the ground up. As you learn the course you will be taught skills to answer your examination questions, as well as problem solving and logical thinking skills to complete your practical assessments.

In GCSE there is a lot to remember. The topics cover networking, databases, hardware and software, ethics of computer use and legislation, algorithms in the form of pseudocode and flowcharts, data representation (Binary, Hexadecimal conversions), graphic theory (resolution of images, compression) and translators (assemblers, interpreters, compilers, machine code). As most of this is theory, then it shouldn't be too difficult to remember as these are factual.

If you want to study CompSci at University, then this is a good GCSE to take.
It also helps alot if you have done the GCSE before you take the A Level course (quite a bit of A2 Computing comes from GCSE - translation, virtual memory, databases).

Hope this helps
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dkm1969
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I am in Year 8 and considering my options for GCSE. I have 4 options, 1 of which has to be a language(and I am taking spanish). I have 3 other options, and so far i have chosen Business Studies, Music and Geography. I fell that Computer Science is very important and i do want to take it but I don't know which one to swap. Business and Computer Science are both good to have, and I am currently grade 5 piano and definitely want to take music. I've been told a humanity is very important and i shouldn't drop that. Any advice?
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That'sGreat
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Edexcel board student over here! 25% is CA which is piss easy, and you do that 1 and 1/2 years into it. You learn your theory in the first year, but the stuff we got taught and e stuff that is on the test just aren't the same, some make sure you aren't doing edexcel/ you got a good teacher. It's up there with science and maths ability wise, but at A level it's not a facilitating subject, so keep that in mind. The GCSE for me is pretty much the same as the A level, but I don't know if that because we're just super duper smart
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dkm1969
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(Original post by That'sGreat)
Edexcel board student over here! 25% is CA which is piss easy, and you do that 1 and 1/2 years into it. You learn your theory in the first year, but the stuff we got taught and e stuff that is on the test just aren't the same, some make sure you aren't doing edexcel/ you got a good teacher. It's up there with science and maths ability wise, but at A level it's not a facilitating subject, so keep that in mind. The GCSE for me is pretty much the same as the A level, but I don't know if that because we're just super duper smart


Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify, are you talking about Computer Science?
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