Help! A level computer science

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Dan_Jenkins
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#1
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#1
I am thinking of taking a level computer science and I didn't take it at gcse so I don't know anything. Anyone got any resources use to learn the basics so I am not at a disadvantage next year?
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Shadowdraconis
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(Original post by Dan_Jenkins)
I am thinking of taking a level computer science and I didn't take it at gcse so I don't know anything. Anyone got any resources use to learn the basics so I am not at a disadvantage next year?
Hi, I'm half way through my computer science A Level and I think the most helpful thing would be to learn a programming language (using free websites such as kahn academy or code academy as well as YouTube tutorials would work). Because I think as a complete beginner you're likely to struggle with the programming project involved in A Level computer science (I did do GCSE Computer science and I still struggle). I'd suggest learning java, because although its harder than some other programming languages (such as python), it puts you in a better position to program more complex programs - which is a requirement for the programming project. I was taught python at GCSE but now have been told by my teacher that using python in the programming project would jeopardise a good grade, but I found it really hard to pick up java as I was so used to the ease of programming in Python. In terms of the content what I found was that most of it's GCSE content with just a little bit extra (as you'd expect) but although everyone in my class has done GCSE Computer Science, we still went through everything we covered at GCSE but in more depth. If you really want to be prepared I'd suggest reading through the GCSE Computer Science section on BBC Bitesize. It's clearly laid out and covers the basics very well. Hope this helps, and feel free to message me if you have any more questions.
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Dan_Jenkins
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(Original post by Shadowdraconis)
Hi, I'm half way through my computer science A Level and I think the most helpful thing would be to learn a programming language (using free websites such as kahn academy or code academy as well as YouTube tutorials would work). Because I think as a complete beginner you're likely to struggle with the programming project involved in A Level computer science (I did do GCSE Computer science and I still struggle). I'd suggest learning java, because although its harder than some other programming languages (such as python), it puts you in a better position to program more complex programs - which is a requirement for the programming project. I was taught python at GCSE but now have been told by my teacher that using python in the programming project would jeopardise a good grade, but I found it really hard to pick up java as I was so used to the ease of programming in Python. In terms of the content what I found was that most of it's GCSE content with just a little bit extra (as you'd expect) but although everyone in my class has done GCSE Computer Science, we still went through everything we covered at GCSE but in more depth. If you really want to be prepared I'd suggest reading through the GCSE Computer Science section on BBC Bitesize. It's clearly laid out and covers the basics very well. Hope this helps, and feel free to message me if you have any more questions.
Wow, thankyou very much for the advice. You've helped me out a lot.
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nr_1306
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Dan_Jenkins)
I am thinking of taking a level computer science and I didn't take it at gcse so I don't know anything. Anyone got any resources use to learn the basics so I am not at a disadvantage next year?
omg same dan
dont worry ive done 4 chaps already
whats smoothed my work was reading the o level book for programming plus avaijit jain's free course in python in udemy
also youtube n making notes referencing to book, online resources and vids.
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BombeElombe
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#5
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I did CS without doing it at GCSE and let me tell you it's very hard. Some parts are easy to grasp e.g. computer components and performance (pc building knowledge came in handy) but for the most part a it's very difficult. I did OCR CS and there was even some crossover with A Level Maths (D1 Module) which is no joke. I wouldn't recommend doing it without any knowledge but if you're going to do it, have at least a basic to intermediate knowledge of some sort of coding language (Python probably the easiest to learn) and read up on your syllabus so you can get your head around the hard stuff early on.
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winterscoming
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I doubt you'll be 'behind' - The A-Level CS syllabus will have been aimed at students who have never touched CS before, but of course it's a great idea to get ahead because it will make your life easier in the first year if you're already comfortable with the basics.

Try Harvard University's free introductory Computer Science course - This is an online version of the same module that Harvard teaches to new students on campus, and is probably one of the best beginner courses you'll ever find for programming and CS:
https://www.edx.org/course/cs50s-int...harvardx-cs50x (click the 'audit' option to unlock it for free and avoid the paid-for certificate)

The lectures and material are good, but If you can get through all of the problem sets, which are all quite challenging but definitely doable as a beginner, then you'll be in a pretty good position. There's also a bunch of other free resources on the CS50 website, including various social media channels where the faculty staff are usually contactable too.
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