Computer Science 9608 how long it takes? Watch

JustStudy9189
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I'm doing the CIE Computer Science A level 9608, currently at AS I'm already done with the theory stuff but now trying to learn the programming stuff particularly section 2 of the AS syllabus, how long will it take? I have my exam in October and I'm worried I will not be able to get the programming stuff done in time. I'm planning to spend 5 hours on it. Anyone with any experience please tell me if it is possible?
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HydraFly
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Self- studied for this years 9608 A Level!

I spent a maximum of 4 days on paper 4 revision and slightly more for paper 2 - but I had experience doing AS in OCR in y12 and OCR GCSE in y11.

All you need is a clear mind for the test and loads of programming common sense...
(Original post by JustStudy9189)
I'm doing the CIE Computer Science A level 9608, currently at AS I'm already done with the theory stuff but now trying to learn the programming stuff particularly section 2 of the AS syllabus, how long will it take? I have my exam in October and I'm worried I will not be able to get the programming stuff done in time. I'm planning to spend 5 hours on it. Anyone with any experience please tell me if it is possible?
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JustStudy9189
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(Original post by HydraFly)
Self- studied for this years 9608 A Level!

I spent a maximum of 4 days on paper 4 revision and slightly more for paper 2 - but I had experience doing AS in OCR in y12 and OCR GCSE in y11.

All you need is a clear mind for the test and loads of programming common sense...
Well I’m myself a computer enthusiast and I can do the theory stuff well. For the programming parts I’m getting a tutor for support so I hope I’m fully ready by October. I’m planning to do the A2 in June 2020.
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winterscoming
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(Original post by JustStudy9189)
I'm doing the CIE Computer Science A level 9608, currently at AS I'm already done with the theory stuff but now trying to learn the programming stuff particularly section 2 of the AS syllabus, how long will it take? I have my exam in October and I'm worried I will not be able to get the programming stuff done in time. I'm planning to spend 5 hours on it. Anyone with any experience please tell me if it is possible?
Are you completely new to programming? It's a whole new skill so you can't just learn the whole thing in 5 hours (unless you meant 5 hours per-week, but even that's not much, especially if you've got all that free time in the Summer). Think of it like trying to learn a musical instrument or speaking a foreign language; it's a new way of thinking so there are new ideas and concepts that need to sink-in. When you've only been doing something like that for 10-20 hours it might seem impossible, but after maybe 200 hours it should start to click.

Also, which language is your course using? If it's Python or Java, then there's tonnes of websites, videos and online courses to get information from, which should help a lot in trying to learn everything. .(but you can't learn just from reading and watching, it all boils down to hands-on practice in actually writing code and solving problems). .

There are a few hurdles:
- Get comfortable with the "grammar" of the language - i.e. its syntax and structure, including the important keywords and symbols.
- Learn the terminology/jargon used to describe the programming concepts.
- Understand the basic building-blocks of programming like variables, strings, boolean logic, loops, if-else statements and lists. -- What they are and how to use them
- Start solving problems with those building-blocks by putting them together to write more complex programs.
- Be able to spot patterns in code which keep recurring for different problems, as well ways to simplify repetitive code.
- Challenge yourself to more advanced problems that push you towards new ways of thinking and being able to think algorithmically. -- especially problems about lists


If you're using Python, here's some good resources for learning the language:
https://www.codecademy.com/courses/learn-python
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...72C720775B213E
https://www.py4e.com/
https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electric...hon-fall-2016/
http://greenteapress.com/wp/think-python-2e/
https://docs.python.org/3/tutorial/index.html
https://pythonforbiologists.com/29-c...s-on-one-page/

And some places where you can get some programming challenges to help you practice (in any language really):
https://www.hackerrank.com/domains/python
https://projecteuler.net/archives
https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/260930...es-booklet.pdf
https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/202838...challenges.pdf
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HydraFly
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I'd suggest more than 5 hours - not really for the programming unless you have very little python experience - but to also cover the essential theory. Also, the pre-release material is not very useful so don't waste your time on that... Make sure none if it looks impossible to you because those aren't the questions that come up.

Use xtremepapers.com to find 9608 papers for practise and do all the /x2 papers; i.e. /12, /22, /32, /42 for both cycles. For pseudocode remember to learn the syntax the book uses but if you see a different approach in an actual mark scheme then go with that.

Also, I had the option to do 9608 AS in October 2018 then do A2 in May/June, but I chose to do all 4 in May/June - I have to say, it helped considering I had 4 other a levels in school and this was self-studied where I started fairly late. But if you feel confident on at least paper 1, you should go for it in October, as well as paper 2 if you feel ready. If you're not happy with the grades, just retake them in 2020 June.

(Original post by JustStudy9189)
Well I’m myself a computer enthusiast and I can do the theory stuff well. For the programming parts I’m getting a tutor for support so I hope I’m fully ready by October. I’m planning to do the A2 in June 2020.
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