When it comes to thinking ‘logically’, you should be able to:
- Identify the points in a solution where a decision has to be taken
- Determine the logical conditions that affect the outcome of a decision
- Determine how decisions affect the flow of the program.
Thinking Logically allows you to plan and prepare for different scenarios. It provides you with a foresight of different decisions that are made throughout a program. Good decision making will allow you to solve more complex problems effectively.
Remember to follow a ‘Structured Approach’. This allows you to improve clarity and maintainability of programs. There are three basic types of programming structures:
- Sequence – One statement following another.
- Selection – if & else statements.
- Iteration – While & for loops.
You should also use the most appropriate tool when designing an algorithm:
- Flow charts. This is a way of visualising an algorithm with different shapes that represent different processes. (Oval = Start/End, Diamond = Decision, Rectangle = represents a process, Parallelogram = Input/Output)
- Pseudocode. This is not a programming language but is used to plan algorithms. It allows a user to focus on the logics and steps of a program rather than language-specific syntax. It is intended to be very readable and easy to understand.
The easiest way you can test an algorithm is through the use of a trace table. This is when you go through each line of the program changing variables when needed, performing arithmetic/logical calculations when needed until an output/when the program ends.
In the end, the more algorithms you write out or solve. The more you will understand the logic of a program.
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