Akashv02
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im in yr13 computing and im really struggling. I didnt take computing for gcse so i was already behind, but i just cant get my head around programming. does anyone have any tips on what i can do?
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All Blunt
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Hate to say it but you need to practice, make sure you understand why you've written the different bits of code in class, also which program?
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Akashv02
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(Original post by All Blunt)
Hate to say it but you need to practice, make sure you understand why you've written the different bits of code in class, also which program?
we use python but im not really sure where to start. i understand most of the theory its just the actual coding i cant get my head around
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Akashv02)
we use python but im not really sure where to start. i understand most of the theory its just the actual coding i cant get my head around
The thing is you need to know more than just the programming language (syntax and structure, particularly in Python, shouldn't take a lot..). The 'hard' part is really about being able to analyse and solve problems -- but to get that you really do need to just sit down with problems and practise.

You can learn Python from some of these:


Aside from that, you need to approach programming problems with a divide-and-conquer mindset. Make sure you understand the problem you're solving, write it down in plain/simple English and think of the example inputs/outputs that you're going to use to solve the problem. Then look at it in terms of logic and ask "What are the steps I need to get from {input} to produce {output}?"
-- Bottom line is that you can't write the code for a problem before you really understand what the problem is about at a deeper level. This is why it helps to try to draw it out on paper and analyse every detail until you can frame it in a way which makes sense in computing terms

(By 'computing terms', I'm referring to the core programming concepts, because those are your building-blocks. i.e. variables, strings, numbers, lists, dictionaries, loops, if-else, boolean logic, input/output, arithmetic calculations, etc.)

Every big, complex and difficult programming problem is something which can be broken down into much smaller, simpler, easier problems. If you can't solve a difficult problem, strip out the hard parts and solve the easy parts on their own in a separate program. Also try to split the problem down to a point whereby everything is fairly easily google'able - e.g. "How to sort a list" or "how to read a file" or "how to select matching items in a list", etc.

It's better to write a program which only solves a small part of a problem - don't ever try to solve the whole thing at once, and make sure you run/test your program frequently (i.e don't bash out dozens of lines of code without testing it because you will waste hours finding and fixing the errors)

Also think carefully about data -- you will probably be solving a lot of problems which are represented in Python using lists and dictionaries. (and maybe tuples as well). Those things are pretty fundamental in Python so make sure you're comfortable with them, but also the data and nouns that you spot in a problem are really important because those are often the things you need to model and really think about in-memory when it comes to trying to solve a problem. For example, you might find problems which involve tracking items in a list, or adding/removing things to/from lists, or grouping related items together in dictionaries, etc. A lot of problems can be much easier to solve if you can get the data right.

Here's a good list of problems to practise with:
https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/260930...es-booklet.pdf

Try some of these for Python as well: https://www.hackerrank.com/domains/python

If you haven't got this already, try using PyCharm Community Edition (This is much better than 'IDLE' and will help you a lot in writing the code with stuff like autoformatting, autocomplete, error highlighting, mouseover help, etc): https://www.jetbrains.com/help/pycha...art-guide.html

Once you've got PyCharm, make sure you know how to use its debugger - this will also save you a lot of time and help you out when it comes to trying to find and fix errors in your code, as well as understand what the code is doing: https://www.jetbrains.com/help/pycha...thon-code.html
Last edited by winterscoming; 6 months ago
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username4499734
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I did Python in GCSE but Visual Basic in A level. Even I couldn’t get my head around programming which made me get a D in my A Levels (😭😭) but I can definitely say Python is much better. Perhaps ask you teacher to go through with you privately, that helped me a lot. My a Level teacher was an actual d*ck and said I’d have to pay him if I wanted independent help???
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Akashv02
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Thank you so much for the help. I have a new mindset for year 13 I’m going to stop procrastinating and put more effort so I won’t have any regrets come results day
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username4499734
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(Original post by Akashv02)
Thank you so much for the help. I have a new mindset for year 13 I’m going to stop procrastinating and put more effort so I won’t have any regrets come results day
What exam board are you doing?
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