OCR A Level Computer Sceince H046/H446 Programming Project Exemplar

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TheMuslimCompSci
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As Salamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh World!

My coursework: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_...0xudUNmM2FEWUE

If you didn't know already, I independently self studied OCR A level computer science since my school didn't offer it. This coursework attained 50/70 which is a B. By no means should you be aiming for anything less than an A. My coursework cost me an A* by a few marks so don't make the same mistakes as me.

Now for some tips

Tip #1: Choose the "right" project!

This may seem obvious, but a lot of students don't! Some pick really complex projects whereas others pick boring ones. Choosing a project that's right for you right from the beginning of the coursework is absolutely essential! In fact, it's even better to have an idea BEFORE your teacher says anything about coursework, this way you'll already be ahead of the pack i.e. the class and will be able to get stuck in immediately.

But how do I even choose the right project before the teacher even starts the coursework in class, I hear you ask? Well, there's a plethora of resources available to help you decide (albeit some were originally meant for the old H047/H447 specification) that I will link below.

Personally, the right project doesn't mean it has to be the most complex to gain the most marks, to have the best chance of getting the most marks it just has to be complex enough AND be something you are interested in. If you find your project boring, then you'll put less effort in it and basically set yourself up for failure!

If you're unsure regarding the complexity of your project,just check with your teacher (I didn't say you had to decide all by yourself did I?). Take it from a guy who independently self studied this A level, teachers can be an invaluable asset that can offer specific advice based on your project unlike the Internet, where finding answers catered to your questions can be a nightmare!

Tip #2: Don't make the report unnecessarily long or cumbersome!

Your report/paperwork/documentation should be straight to the point, that means no waffling and aiming to reduce the volume of pages produced. Remember, this isn't an English essay where you get marks for flowery language, this is a programming project; the primary focus of which is on the development and coding elements. The documentation you produce is simply to evidence said development and coding elements.

Ideally, your project's documentation should have no more than 100 pages. To do this, follow the marking criteria very carefully, don't go on a tangent when documenting any evidence! I can't stress this enough, but you should ONLY link to evidence where needed and eliminate any repetition as this will waste time and will probably end up not giving you any marks.

As my old school's Head of Computer Science used to say, "the examiner will only look at the parts of the report that will earn you marks, everything else is irrelevant". Trust me, you may think doing some extra stuff for your report may impress the examiner but it won't. They have tons of paperwork to get through so they're only looking for the sections of your work actually addressing the marking criteria.

In short: stick to the marking criteria, follow the spec and GET TO THE POINT!

Now you may have noticed the exemplars linked below are all over 100 pages, they are for the old H047/H447 spec which emphasised less on coding and more on the report. The new H046/H446 spec is basically the opposite, it favours complexity and coding over the volume of paperwork in the report. It even removed the need to produce a user guide, a positive if you're someone like me who hates coursework.

Your teacher may suggest different which is fine (and I highly recommend you listen to your teachers if they differ from my opinion since I am just a student), but I would recommend the paperwork of your documentation should be allocated like this:

Analysis - 15 pages max
Design - 25 pages max
Development - 40 pages max
Evaluation - 30 pages max

I know the total of pages is over 100 (110 to be precise) but they are just in case you need to go a little over the recommended limit (which I strongly advise against). Again, if your teacher disagrees with this then by all means listen to your teachers (as they are far more knowledgeable than I am). Anyways, let's move to the third and final tip.

Tip #3: Focus on the development and programming side!

I'm not going to beat around the bush, but the programming project isn't easy. The new linear spec makes sure of that by allocating 30 marks to the development and testing sections of your coursework (which is just shy of 50% of the total by 5 marks). The old H047/H447 allocated the same number of marks (30) to the development but had a total of 80 marks.

Some of the more "resourceful" ones among you may think it's a bright idea to just find a fully documented project on GitHub or somewhere else and just link evidence from that claiming it's your own. I suppose I don't have to tell you that OCR will easily find out if you copy and paste someone else's code but I can also assure you that it can be much harder creating a report based on a program that you didn't build or understand.

Your teacher should've already taught you how to program to some extent by the time you start your project. If you don't know a thing about programming then there are plenty of websites which can teach you how to code e.g. Codecademy is a fun way to learn how to program.

Even if you're not the most advanced programmer you can still get a good mark in your project and make it sufficiently complex. You could use other the code of other programmers provided you reference it in your report. Obviously I am not saying just copy someone else's program and think it's ok just because you've referenced it, instead use other programs for inspiration and take sections of it if you need to. The important thing is to link all the evidence of YOUR program in your report.

The writing part of the coursework is relatively easy, just follow the basic structure of the exemplars (altering where you need to) and only write stuff that will give you marks as indicated in the marking criteria.

Links to Resources

Now that you have at least some idea of how your programming project should be, it's time for you to look at some exemplars. I found the exemplars by simply searching on Google. Not all of these exemplars are good, it's better to look at examples of good and bad projects to know what to focus on and mistakes to avoid.

Exemplar 1: https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/77802-...idate-work.pdf

Exemplar 2: https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/269251...high-band-.pdf

Exemplar 3: https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/269250...high-band-.pdf

Exemplar 4: https://www.scribd.com/doc/213710702...ng-Project-OCR

Exemplar 5: http://www.hartismere.com/view/4gmasqxtuv3.pdf

Hope this helps!
Last edited by TheMuslimCompSci; 2 years ago
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TSR Jessica
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Sorry you've not had any responses about this. Are you sure you've posted in the right place? Here's a link to our subject forum which should help get you more responses if you post there.
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kmnshah
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(Original post by TheMuslimCompSci)
As Salamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh World!

My coursework: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_...0xudUNmM2FEWUE

If you didn't know already, I independently self studied OCR A level computer science since my school didn't offer it. This coursework attained 50/70 which is a B. By no means should you be aiming for anything less than an A. My coursework cost me an A* by a few marks so don't make the same mistakes as me.

Now for some tips

Tip #1: Choose the "right" project!

This may seem obvious, but a lot of students don't! Some pick really complex projects whereas others pick boring ones. Choosing a project that's right for you right from the beginning of the coursework is absolutely essential! In fact, it's even better to have an idea BEFORE your teacher says anything about coursework, this way you'll already be ahead of the pack i.e. the class and will be able to get stuck in immediately.

But how do I even choose the right project before the teacher even starts the coursework in class, I hear you ask? Well, there's a plethora of resources available to help you decide (albeit some were originally meant for the old H047/H447 specification) that I will link below.

Personally, the right project doesn't mean it has to be the most complex to gain the most marks, to have the best chance of getting the most marks it just has to be complex enough AND be something you are interested in. If you find your project boring, then you'll put less effort in it and basically set yourself up for failure!

If you're unsure regarding the complexity of your project,just check with your teacher (I didn't say you had to decide all by yourself did I?). Take it from a guy who independently self studied this A level, teachers can be an invaluable asset that can offer specific advice based on your project unlike the Internet, where finding answers catered to your questions can be a nightmare!

Tip #2: Don't make the report unnecessarily long or cumbersome!

Your report/paperwork/documentation should be straight to the point, that means no waffling and aiming to reduce the volume of pages produced. Remember, this isn't an English essay where you get marks for flowery language, this is a programming project; the primary focus of which is on the development and coding elements. The documentation you produce is simply to evidence said development and coding elements.

Ideally, your project's documentation should have no more than 100 pages. To do this, follow the marking criteria very carefully, don't go on a tangent when documenting any evidence! I can't stress this enough, but you should ONLY link to evidence where needed and eliminate any repetition as this will waste time and will probably end up not giving you any marks.

As my old school's Head of Computer Science used to say, "the examiner will only look at the parts of the report that will earn you marks, everything else is irrelevant". Trust me, you may think doing some extra stuff for your report may impress the examiner but it won't. They have tons of paperwork to get through so they're only looking for the sections of your work actually addressing the marking criteria.

In short: stick to the marking criteria, follow the spec and GET TO THE POINT!

Now you may have noticed the exemplars linked below are all over 100 pages, they are for the old H047/H447 spec which emphasised less on coding and more on the report. The new H046/H446 spec is basically the opposite, it favours complexity and coding over the volume of paperwork in the report. It even removed the need to produce a user guide, a positive if you're someone like me who hates coursework.

Your teacher may suggest different which is fine (and I highly recommend you listen to your teachers if they differ from my opinion since I am just a student), but I would recommend the paperwork of your documentation should be allocated like this:

Analysis - 15 pages max
Design - 25 pages max
Development - 40 pages max
Evaluation - 30 pages max

I know the total of pages is over 100 (110 to be precise) but they are just in case you need to go a little over the recommended limit (which I strongly advise against). Again, if your teacher disagrees with this then by all means listen to your teachers (as they are far more knowledgeable than I am). Anyways, let's move to the third and final tip.

Tip #3: Focus on the development and programming side!

I'm not going to beat around the bush, but the programming project isn't easy. The new linear spec makes sure of that by allocating 30 marks to the development and testing sections of your coursework (which is just shy of 50% of the total by 5 marks). The old H047/H447 allocated the same number of marks (30) to the development but had a total of 80 marks.

Some of the more "resourceful" ones among you may think it's a bright idea to just find a fully documented project on GitHub or somewhere else and just link evidence from that claiming it's your own. I suppose I don't have to tell you that OCR will easily find out if you copy and paste someone else's code but I can also assure you that it can be much harder creating a report based on a program that you didn't build or understand.

Your teacher should've already taught you how to program to some extent by the time you start your project. If you don't know a thing about programming then there are plenty of websites which can teach you how to code e.g. Codecademy is a fun way to learn how to program.

Even if you're not the most advanced programmer you can still get a good mark in your project and make it sufficiently complex. You could use other the code of other programmers provided you reference it in your report. Obviously I am not saying just copy someone else's program and think it's ok just because you've referenced it, instead use other programs for inspiration and take sections of it if you need to. The important thing is to link all the evidence of YOUR program in your report.

The writing part of the coursework is relatively easy, just follow the basic structure of the exemplars (altering where you need to) and only write stuff that will give you marks as indicated in the marking criteria.

Links to Resources

Now that you have at least some idea of how your programming project should be, it's time for you to look at some exemplars. I found the exemplars by simply searching on Google. Not all of these exemplars are good, it's better to look at examples of good and bad projects to know what to focus on and mistakes to avoid.

Exemplar 1: https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/77802-...idate-work.pdf

Exemplar 2: https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/269251...high-band-.pdf

Exemplar 3: https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/269250...high-band-.pdf

Exemplar 4: https://www.scribd.com/doc/213710702...ng-Project-OCR

Exemplar 5: http://www.hartismere.com/view/4gmasqxtuv3.pdf

Hope this helps!
Really appreciate the effort you are putting in to help others. Thank you. I am retaking this qualification so I am only taking the exams. My coursework mark was 47/70. I thought it was going to be higher but never mind.
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TheMuslimCompSci
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(Original post by kmnshah)
Really appreciate the effort you are putting in to help others. Thank you. I am retaking this qualification so I am only taking the exams. My coursework mark was 47/70. I thought it was going to be higher but never mind.
Hi,

Depending on your target grade and other factors, you might want to consider redoing your coursework again too. In my experience, the coursework is the easiest way to get marks but it's also far too time consuming so I get if you just want to focus on the exams. With that said, you'll probably know the content for the exams already since you done it last year which means you'll have more time to do your coursework this year. It's up to you in the end, but every mark counts so I'd definitely consider doing it again

Hope this helps!
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g.zel
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You literally saved my life right now. My teacher has no idea what he's doing and I've been struggling with my coursework SO MUCH past couple weeks! I'm doing a laptop booking system, so your work will help me a whole lot. Thank you so much.
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TheMuslimCompSci
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(Original post by g.zel)
You literally saved my life right now. My teacher has no idea what he's doing and I've been struggling with my coursework SO MUCH past couple weeks! I'm doing a laptop booking system, so your work will help me a whole lot. Thank you so much.
Hi,
Thank you for your kind words. This is exactly why I started doing this; to help students who may be in the same position I was. My coursework isn't great and you should definitely be aiming higher than what I got. Even if your teacher might seem like they have no clue, they're still an invaluable resource so be sure to ask them for tips too. Hope this helps!
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daniellacy2
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(Original post by TheMuslimCompSci)
As Salamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh World!

My coursework: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_...0xudUNmM2FEWUE

If you didn't know already, I independently self studied OCR A level computer science since my school didn't offer it. This coursework attained 50/70 which is a B. By no means should you be aiming for anything less than an A. My coursework cost me an A* by a few marks so don't make the same mistakes as me.

Now for some tips

Tip #1: Choose the "right" project!

This may seem obvious, but a lot of students don't! Some pick really complex projects whereas others pick boring ones. Choosing a project that's right for you right from the beginning of the coursework is absolutely essential! In fact, it's even better to have an idea BEFORE your teacher says anything about coursework, this way you'll already be ahead of the pack i.e. the class and will be able to get stuck in immediately.

But how do I even choose the right project before the teacher even starts the coursework in class, I hear you ask? Well, there's a plethora of resources available to help you decide (albeit some were originally meant for the old H047/H447 specification) that I will link below.

Personally, the right project doesn't mean it has to be the most complex to gain the most marks, to have the best chance of getting the most marks it just has to be complex enough AND be something you are interested in. If you find your project boring, then you'll put less effort in it and basically set yourself up for failure!

If you're unsure regarding the complexity of your project,just check with your teacher (I didn't say you had to decide all by yourself did I?). Take it from a guy who independently self studied this A level, teachers can be an invaluable asset that can offer specific advice based on your project unlike the Internet, where finding answers catered to your questions can be a nightmare!

Tip #2: Don't make the report unnecessarily long or cumbersome!

Your report/paperwork/documentation should be straight to the point, that means no waffling and aiming to reduce the volume of pages produced. Remember, this isn't an English essay where you get marks for flowery language, this is a programming project; the primary focus of which is on the development and coding elements. The documentation you produce is simply to evidence said development and coding elements.

Ideally, your project's documentation should have no more than 100 pages. To do this, follow the marking criteria very carefully, don't go on a tangent when documenting any evidence! I can't stress this enough, but you should ONLY link to evidence where needed and eliminate any repetition as this will waste time and will probably end up not giving you any marks.

As my old school's Head of Computer Science used to say, "the examiner will only look at the parts of the report that will earn you marks, everything else is irrelevant". Trust me, you may think doing some extra stuff for your report may impress the examiner but it won't. They have tons of paperwork to get through so they're only looking for the sections of your work actually addressing the marking criteria.

In short: stick to the marking criteria, follow the spec and GET TO THE POINT!

Now you may have noticed the exemplars linked below are all over 100 pages, they are for the old H047/H447 spec which emphasised less on coding and more on the report. The new H046/H446 spec is basically the opposite, it favours complexity and coding over the volume of paperwork in the report. It even removed the need to produce a user guide, a positive if you're someone like me who hates coursework.

Your teacher may suggest different which is fine (and I highly recommend you listen to your teachers if they differ from my opinion since I am just a student), but I would recommend the paperwork of your documentation should be allocated like this:

Analysis - 15 pages max
Design - 25 pages max
Development - 40 pages max
Evaluation - 30 pages max

I know the total of pages is over 100 (110 to be precise) but they are just in case you need to go a little over the recommended limit (which I strongly advise against). Again, if your teacher disagrees with this then by all means listen to your teachers (as they are far more knowledgeable than I am). Anyways, let's move to the third and final tip.

Tip #3: Focus on the development and programming side!

I'm not going to beat around the bush, but the programming project isn't easy. The new linear spec makes sure of that by allocating 30 marks to the development and testing sections of your coursework (which is just shy of 50% of the total by 5 marks). The old H047/H447 allocated the same number of marks (30) to the development but had a total of 80 marks.

Some of the more "resourceful" ones among you may think it's a bright idea to just find a fully documented project on GitHub or somewhere else and just link evidence from that claiming it's your own. I suppose I don't have to tell you that OCR will easily find out if you copy and paste someone else's code but I can also assure you that it can be much harder creating a report based on a program that you didn't build or understand.

Your teacher should've already taught you how to program to some extent by the time you start your project. If you don't know a thing about programming then there are plenty of websites which can teach you how to code e.g. Codecademy is a fun way to learn how to program.

Even if you're not the most advanced programmer you can still get a good mark in your project and make it sufficiently complex. You could use other the code of other programmers provided you reference it in your report. Obviously I am not saying just copy someone else's program and think it's ok just because you've referenced it, instead use other programs for inspiration and take sections of it if you need to. The important thing is to link all the evidence of YOUR program in your report.

The writing part of the coursework is relatively easy, just follow the basic structure of the exemplars (altering where you need to) and only write stuff that will give you marks as indicated in the marking criteria.

Links to Resources

Now that you have at least some idea of how your programming project should be, it's time for you to look at some exemplars. I found the exemplars by simply searching on Google. Not all of these exemplars are good, it's better to look at examples of good and bad projects to know what to focus on and mistakes to avoid.

Exemplar 1: https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/77802-...idate-work.pdf

Exemplar 2: https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/269251...high-band-.pdf

Exemplar 3: https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/269250...high-band-.pdf

Exemplar 4: https://www.scribd.com/doc/213710702...ng-Project-OCR

Exemplar 5: http://www.hartismere.com/view/4gmasqxtuv3.pdf

Hope this helps!
Hi, thanks for the help! I am currently in my first year of A Levels and starting my NEA.
Just wondering, do you know why you dropped marks?
Also I noticed the exemplar links were all for H447 which I now you mentioned. Are there any for H446?
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TheMuslimCompSci
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(Original post by daniellacy2)
Hi, thanks for the help! I am currently in my first year of A Levels and starting my NEA.
Just wondering, do you know why you dropped marks?
Also I noticed the exemplar links were all for H447 which I now you mentioned. Are there any for H446?
Hi,

I don't really know where I lost marks. Since I was doing the subject independently, I was just grateful that my coursework was getting marked in the first place. As for the exemplars, the H446 ones are locked so you'll just have to make do with the H447 ones. With that said, your teacher may be able to give you the H446 ones so I'd definitely ask.

Hope this helps!
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The RAR
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This one guy in my class got 68/70 no joke, I am tryna finesse his coursework (I have my own coursework but want to get it anyway for future work)
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username3766892
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(Original post by The RAR)
This one guy in my class got 68/70 no joke, I am tryna finesse his coursework (I have my own coursework but want to get it anyway for future work)
did u finesse it
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rayhxnaa
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Thank you for this!! Jazak inshallah. I'm really struggling to find some good examples so I can start mine so I appreciate this : ))
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Searcher1
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(Original post by TheMuslimCompSci)
Hi,
Thank you for your kind words. This is exactly why I started doing this; to help students who may be in the same position I was. My coursework isn't great and you should definitely be aiming higher than what I got. Even if your teacher might seem like they have no clue, they're still an invaluable resource so be sure to ask them for tips too. Hope this helps!
Hi. I am planning to make a complex calculator in Python with Tkinter. What would be the outline of the problem for me?
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