Welcome To A-Level Computer Science!
The resources located here are suitable for both AS and A-Level.
This subject is a beautiful extension from GCSE and challenges you to apply your knowledge to a new-world of Computer Science.
Do not worry if you haven’t taken GCSE Computer Science, Everything that is presented at GCSE is repeated at A-Level.
Paper One Resources will be released gradually from September 2020 to the first half of 2021. Paper Two resources are pretty much done, only a tiny bit of Unit 2.3 remain.
- GCSE OCR Computer Science | CGP Revision Guide (Fantastic for simplified and smooth understanding of specific topics as a building block for the A-Level)
- The Examer’s OCR AS/A-Level Computer Science Revision Guide (The typical school text book) Download: PDF
- Craig ‘n’ Dave | Essential Algorithms for A-Level Computer Science (Best programming textbook out there, it is suitable for all exam boards)
- The ‘My Revision Notes’ OCR A-Level Computer Science Revision Guide (Not the best organised revision guide, but has reliable information)
- The Muslim CompSCI Revision Notes (Not a textbook. These are the best notes I have seen out there for Computer Science. Best of all, they are free.)
Specification: (Online PDF)
A-Level Assessment Overview:
- Paper One – The Computer Systems Exam Paper – 140 marks – 2 hours 30 minutes | 40% of total A-Level
- Paper Two – The Algorithms and Programming Exam Paper – 140 marks – 2 hours 30 minutes | 40% of total A-level
- Coursework – The Programming Project – 70 marks | 20% of total A-Level
AS Assessment Overview:
- Paper One – The Computer Systems Exam Paper | 50% of total AS
- Paper Two – The Algorithms and Programming Exam Paper | 50% of total AS
Paper One Resources:
Key: Unit 1.3.2 = Paper 1, Unit 3, Part 2
- Unit 1.1 – The Characteristics of Contemporary Processors, Input, Output and Storage Devices | Components of a computer and their uses
- Unit 1.2 – Software and Software Development | Types of software and The Different Methodologies Used To Develop Software
- Unit 1.3 – Exchanging Data | How data is exchanged between different systems
- Unit 1.4 – Data Types, Data Structures and Algorithms | How Data is Represented and Stored Within Different Structures. Different Algorithms That Can Be Applied To These Structures
- Unit 1.5 – The Legal, Moral, Cultural and Ethical Issues | The individual moral, social, ethical and cultural opportunities and risks of digital technology. Legislation
surrounding the use of computers and ethical issues that can or may in the future arise from the use of
Paper Two Resources:
- Unit 2.1 – Elements of Computational Thinking | Understand What Is Meant By Computational Thinking
- Unit 2.2 – Problem Solving and Programming | How computers can be used to solve problems and programs can be written to solve them
- Unit 2.3 – Algorithms | The Use of Algorithms To Describe Problems and Standard Algorithms
Note: It is smart for the A-Level Students to do some AS-Level papers, the only difference between the AS and A-Level Papers is that only specific content will not appear on the AS. However, the content that is in both AS & A-Level make provide a more variety of exam questions. You shouldn’t just dismiss AS papers if you are a A-Level student or dismiss A-Level papers because you are a AS student.
Programming Project: (A-Level)
You will be told to design a piece of programming based on whatever language you are preferred using. The project can be based on whatever you wish it to be. However, keep in mind that the examiners will never see your actual program. It will be based on your writeup. For those who took OCR GCSE Computer Science, the programming project we did at GCSE did not account for anything. This time it does. It proceeds in a similar format. But your style of writing and organisation will be marked within this piece of coursework.
The only resources I can provide is how to program. These resources will include how to do basic programming techniques. However, I am a python user. This means that it will only be suitable for the programming language ‘Python’. I can also provide examples of previous years coursework.
I will also present you with my coursework. This should give you a good idea on what the exam board is asking for. (This will be released in the year 2021 as I am still a first year. However, I will be providing updates and examples in the A-Level discord)
The specification highlights exactly what you should write about:
- Unit 3.1 – Analysis of the problem (10 marks)
- Unit 3.2 – Design of the solution (15 marks)
- Unit 3.3 – Developing the Solution (25 marks)
- Unit 3.4 – Evaluation (20 marks)
- SHOOPLOOP | The Sorting Algorithm Visualiser
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