~ Introduction - A Level - Year 12/13 - Advanced Computing Theory - Welcome


Welcome

The following section(s) will equip you with the skills, theory and programming needed to get you through your A level Computing. The resources are currently specifically tailored to the OCR board (learning objectives) but as they are topical, they can be used for any exam board. What's included? Detailed powerpoints covering the theory you need. Starters, engaging videos, worksheets, A* projects exemplars, programming series (various languages) and more.

Advanced Computing - boards/options

If you're at this level (teaching or learning), there are several different options for exam board as well as international alternatives that you may be interested to know about. Click on the tab on the right to find out more!

Progress Tracking

Tracking your progress will be key to your success. Use our progress tracker to see where you are and make sure you are keeping up!

Exam Paper Practice

The best way to get good is to do and re-do plenty of exam past papers. Cross-board past papers are also great to go through as they will give you that invaluable depth and breadth of knowledge.

Be Inspired

Reading around the topic and exploring the subject in your own time and because you are genuinely interetsed is key! If you really want to excel at anything, you've got to love it! We provide plenty of starters, videos and discussion questions to get you thinking!

Image result for wikimedia commons students computing

A level computing presentations, worksheets, .doc computing A Level downloads, A Level Computing tests, with markschemes - all coming soon

Progress Tracking, time line and tasks

Keeping track of your progress, and being in charge of your own learning is key!

We suggest that you download the below tracking sheet, carefully go through your exam spec, and list all the topics and tasks you need to complete and the time scale you wish to complete it in! As you go along, you may find you are able to complete tasks ahead of time! 

All the best!

Progress tracking sheet - tasks/projects/theory


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So what is an A level?

 

The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualification offered by the educational bodies in the United Kingdom and the educational authorities of British Crown dependencies to students completing secondary or pre-university education. A number of countries, including Singapore, Kenya, Mauritius and Zimbabwe have developed qualifications with the same name as and a similar format to the British A Levels. Obtaining A Level or equivalent qualifications is generally required for university entrance.

 

A Levels are generally worked towards over two years and split into two parts, with one part studied in each year. The first part is known as the Advanced Subsidiary Level, A1 Level or AS Level (the AS Level acronym was previously used for the separate Advanced Supplementary Level qualification). The second part is known as the A2 Level and is more in depth and academically rigorous than the A1 Level. The AS Level is a qualification in its own right and the AS Level combined with the A2 Level forms the complete A Level qualification, with the exception of linear qualifications in which all of the A Level marks are obtained from exams taken in the second year. Up to June 2009 a third Special/Advanced Extension Award level was available for the brightest candidates.

A Levels are the secondary school leaving qualification offered in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. These are not compulsory, unlike GCSEs. In Scotland, A Levels are also offered by selected schools as an alternative school-leaving qualification in place of the Scottish Advanced Higher. T

The British variant of A/AS levels are also taken in many Commonwealth and former Commonwealth countries, as well as in examination centres worldwide. British international schools in foreign countries generally offer the British A Levels as offered through Edexcel or Cambridge International Examinations. At select examination centres, the British A Level exams may also be available to private candidates.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GCE_Advanced_Level

What are your options at this level? (A Level and equivalent)

The five main examination boards which administer British A Levels in the UK are:

Edexcel and Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) also offer international versions of the British A Levels in the United Kingdom and worldwide.

The British variant of A/AS levels are also taken in many Commonwealth and former Commonwealth countries, as well as in examination centres worldwide. British international schools in foreign countries generally offer the British A Levels as offered through Edexcel or Cambridge International Examinations. At select examination centres, the British A Level exams may also be available to private candidates.

See Also

The ultimate assessment bank (past papers from other boards)

Whatever board you are studying for it's useful to have access to a bank of all sorts of similar assessment resources and past papers. Here's that bank!

OCR assessment resources

AQA assessment resources

AS LEVEL

A LEVEL

EDUQAS assessment resources

How to excel at an A Level?

I've thought long and hard about this and, as with most things, the secret lies in an amalgamation of things. In other words, there's no one thing you can do to get an A*, but there are lots of little things you can do to work up to achieving your goals.

Image result for wikimedia commons exam success

Here are some things to consider:

1. Who you are will dictate what you do and what you do will dictate the outcomes in your life.

So, who are you? Are you determined? Do you have specific goals? Are you hard working? Disciplined? Eager to learn? Interested? Ready to put in the work? Excited about learning? 

2. Read around the subject and be inspired / interested by it!

Independent study not just for the specific learning objectives but around the subject will put you in good stead. The brain learns and remembers by associations and ironically the more you learn, the more you will be able to remember and access when the time comes to write it all down! 

3. Past Papers, Past Papers and more Past Papers

So...I know a student who did an experiment. No lessons, no studying, no real 'understanding', but brute force past paper memorisation. This is NOT recommended, but it did work. Most papers will be similar in their questions and answers and so if you memorise enough past papers and then tackle an exam you are guaranteed a decent grade (in the theory) The programming questions will of course require understanding and a ton of practice

4. Code, Code, Code ....and more code!

There's no getting around it. You're going to have to learn how to code and get good at it! The best way to do this is to go through tutorials (in your own time) but also set yourself a project and don't rest until you've finished it. Good projects to try are the GCSE controlled assessments. At A level you should be able to solve them without too much of a problem - it'll be fantastic preparation though! So get coding!

5. Youtube videos and power point presentations

Not everyone can read from a text book and not fall asleep! When you're struggling with a topic find it on youtube or khan academy or here! Also, go through the power points and try explaining them to your mum - or grandma! It'll help you remember. It'll also especially be helpful if you are a more visual learner.

Memory Training

Memory is important! Associations are key to remembering facts. Be interested in the subject and be creative. Use pneumonics. Create learning posters for each topic that you can easily go over  - these are preferrable for some as compared to hundreds of pages of notes. ONE LEARNING POSTER is easy to go over and revise!

Finally, exams are important but they are not all important. Life is important - God - relationships - family - friendships - and even fun! Remember to take breaks to give your brain a rest. Do things you enjoy. Do things that matter. Do things that you value and that are valuable.

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil."

~C.S Lewis

and ...

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

~Mark 8:36 (from the Bible)

Topic 6