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ALEVEL OCR computer science NEA - help!!!

I'm currently in year 12 and I take computer science alevels, but I have NO CLUE how to code. Over half of my GCSE content was covered during lockdown, so I have no knowledge on how to code whatsoever, and I feel like I'm left behind in my class. I also prefer the theory side. So far I've been using the method 'fake it till you make it', but I need serious help for my NEA!!
(edited 11 months ago)
Original post by Plop345
I'm currently in year 12 and I take computer science alevels, but I have NO CLUE how to code. Over half of my GCSE content was covered during lockdown, so I have no knowledge on how to code whatsoever, and I feel like I'm left behind in my class. I also prefer the theory side. So far I've been using the method 'fake it till you make it', but I need serious help for my NEA!!

As a starting point I would say start thinking about what you could do for your project, and choose something that interests you. I am on the aqa exam board for a level computer science and have finished my nea. If you choose a topic that interests you, designing and planning the program will be much easier and more enjoyable, and that's a good chunk of the marks if you can design the program well. As for programming, I've always found Codecademy good (although if you are learning python its a bit annoying as you have to go pro to learn python 3) and YouTube is always good, just search for beginner videos. If you have any friends or just friendly people in the class that you wouldn't mind taking to that might be a good place to get some help with programming, or just be honest with your teacher, they might surprise you.
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 2
Original post by Glossy_moss_
As a starting point I would say start thinking about what you could do for your project, and choose something that interests you. I am on the aqa exam board for a level computer science and have finished my nea. If you choose a topic that interests you, designing and planning the program will be much easier and more enjoyable, and that's a good chunk of the marks if you can design the program well. As for programming, I've always found Codecademy good (although if you are learning python its a bit annoying as you have to go pro to learn python 3) and YouTube is always good, just search for beginner videos. If you have any friends or just friendly people in the class that you wouldn't mind taking to that might be a good place to get some help with programming, or just be honest with your teacher, they might surprise you.

Thank you so much!! :smile:
No problem, let me know if you need any more help. I have a provisional grade of 65/75 in case you were wondering so hopefully my advice will be somewhat meaningful. :smile:
Reply 4
Original post by Glossy_moss_
No problem, let me know if you need any more help. I have a provisional grade of 65/75 in case you were wondering so hopefully my advice will be somewhat meaningful. :smile:


Hi!! I think I've gained some more confidence from the help that you've given me. However, I'm so confused on the design section to the point where I'm judging the top-down diagram I've made. I simply don't know where to begin!
Hey, I'm glad my advice helped! So for my design I included 6 sections, these were overall program structure, data structures, libraries, database design (only needed if you're using a database obviously), algorithms and the GUI. Yours will probably differ if you aren't using a GUI but just think about the main components of your program and put in what you need. The design section is all about breaking the program down into manageable chunks so that any coder that reads it can produce a full program based on the design. As for the top-down design, this is probably the simplist yet hardest to grasp part of program design in my opinion XD. My top down design lays out the main chunks of the program, which in my case was an overview of the subroutines I wanted to break up the program into. If you are doing an object oriented approach I would assume you would want to make a class diagram as opposed to the top down model, although maybe it's both? My program was procedural so not too sure. Let me know if this helped and if there are any more specific questions you have!
Original post by Plop345
Hi!! I think I've gained some more confidence from the help that you've given me. However, I'm so confused on the design section to the point where I'm judging the top-down diagram I've made. I simply don't know where to begin!
Original post by Plop345
I'm currently in year 12 and I take computer science alevels, but I have NO CLUE how to code. Over half of my GCSE content was covered during lockdown, so I have no knowledge on how to code whatsoever, and I feel like I'm left behind in my class. I also prefer the theory side. So far I've been using the method 'fake it till you make it', but I need serious help for my NEA!!

Relatable bestie!! Me tooo!!! I’ve been predicted a C so I can’t go anywhere for uni tooo woooo slay funsies x. Ok being serious we are literally the same I wonder how the nea’s going cause it could not be going worse for me💀
Reply 7
Original post by anon123459804
Relatable bestie!! Me tooo!!! I’ve been predicted a C so I can’t go anywhere for uni tooo woooo slay funsies x. Ok being serious we are literally the same I wonder how the nea’s going cause it could not be going worse for me💀

HAHAHA HONESTLY THO! I felt like in the summer holidays I was just super duper duper scared because I didn't know what to expect. I have done the analysis, design and surprisingly I've written a prototype 1 and a prototype 2. Like, 5 months ago, I would have passed out in shock knowing that I've gotten this far already!
I got so much advice from @Glossy_moss_ , and I really really really appreciate the motivation I got from their help! One thing: Github is a life-saver. And as long as you don't copy the code word for word/ with the same variable names, you are good. And I found youtube also saved me. Because although Github helped me in structuring, knowing how to adjust the code to my specific needs is also very important, and learning the basics of the language really helped me!
Are you in Y13 too? If you need advice and motivation, feel free to PM me! 🙂

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