GCSE Document Reference
Wired and wireless networks
Network topologies, protocols and layers
Ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns
Computational thinking, algorithms and
Producing robust programs
Translators and facilities of languages
Well done you, you’re almost over the GCSE hump! It’s been a long time coming but your GCSE exams may still feel like they’re all coming at you at once. Worry not! You’ll get right on track towards acing your exams in no time. The first thing you ought to do is write a detailed and well-structured revision plan. Got it? Great! Now all that’s left to do really is just follow your plan until exam day. If you start to feel anxious or worried again, take a look back at your plan to check on yourself and feel confident because you’re on track. Here’s all you need to know to prepare for the revision season and how we can help.
GCSE Computer Science courses don’t change much across different examination boards. They are standardised in order to give everyone an equal chance and to make everyone taking them equally prepared for further education. But there is still a trick to remember. Exam boards do differ in how they assess students at the end of the course. OCR exam questions are known for being the most context- and practical-based. This means that you need to be ready to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding in your GCSE exams not just by answering direct questions but also by knowing how to answer situational ones. The best way to prepare for such questions is to start reading past exam papers early on in your revision. That way you’ll be prepared for whatever comes.
About the Board
The OCR, also known as the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations board first formed in 1998 following a series of mergers, abolitions, as well as handovers that happened in the preceding years. One of the largest exam boards in the country, it continues to run under the wing of the University of Cambridge. Like most other courses, OCR GCSE Computer Subject is a ‘linear subject’. This means that students get assessed on their knowledge and understanding at the very end of the course and not throughout it (which would happen with a ‘modular’ subject).
How long will the course take to complete?
The OCR GCSE Computer Science course is designed to be completed in two years from starting the course. On average, that is how long most students take to complete it. However, it is not unheard of that students complete this GCSE in one year or alternatively in three years.
Is any prior knowledge required?
The OCR exam board does not require any prior knowledge and qualification from students taking the GCSE Computer Science course. However, it is stipulated that the course is designed in a way that assumes that learners have followed a Key Stage 3 (or equivalent) programme of study. This means that they assume that you’ll enter the course with some basic maths knowledge and skills
What will I study?
The OCR GCSE Computer Science course curriculum is very comprehensive. In your course you will cover systems architecture; memory; storage; wired and wireless networks; network topologies, protocols and layers; system security; system software; ethical, legal, cultural and environmental concerns; algorithms; programming techniques; producing robust programs; computational logic; translators and facilities of languages; and, data representation.
What is the examination
There are three compulsory components of your OCR GCSE Computer Science course assessment. The first is a paper (Computer Systems) which will last 1 hour and 30 minutes and count for 50% of your final grade. The second is another paper (Computational Thinking, Algorithms and Programming) which will last another 1 hour and 30 minutes and count for another 50%. Finally, you’ll have the third component, the Programming Project. The grade you get on this project will not be calculated into your final grade, but you are still required to complete it as this consolidates the learning across the curriculum through practical activity. Within the project, you will have to design a computer program and write a report based on 20 timetabled hours.
We advise you to study for a few hours each day ahead of your GCSE Computer Science exams. That way you’ll have enough time to cover all the topics before exams start and you’ll also have enough time to enter the deep learning stage in each revision session. To maximise your efficiency, you are also advised to stay away from distractions like social media or TV during revision hours. Instead, why not keep them as a treat for the end of a solid revision session? That way you’ll also feel like you’re working towards something each day.
You can also avoid low-efficiency revision by spicing up your revision routine. The secret is to avoid doing just reading, i.e. passive studying. It’s easy for your mind to wander after hours and hours of reading textbooks. Instead, combine reading sessions with writing up flashcards and drawing up mind maps to help you remember definitions and systems. During active learning, your brain is much more likely to retain information. Finally, as you get closer and closer to exams themselves don’t forget to do some practice papers under timed conditions. This way you’ll learn how best to strategise for real exams and how to manage your time under such conditions. At GCSE Computer Science we are rooting for your success. And to help you get the very best results we have a bunch of revision materials waiting for you. Let’s start!