That Blue Square Thing

AQA Computer Science GCSE

July 2019: the AQA CompSci area is almost complete. Most of the content for units 3-6 is now up and there's quite a lot of Unit 7 material. There's still some work to do, particularly on Paper 1 units, but it's getting there.

This is the section for the AQA Computer Science (1-9 grades) GCSE. It's the current GCSE I teach, so if I teach you then this is the place you want to be.

Exams and Assessment

There are two exams for this GCSE which make up all of the assessment for the course. These will take place during May or June of Year 11. Both of them are formal, written exams that you go nowhere near a computer to do.

Paper 1 - Computational thinking: 1 hour 30 minute written exam worth 50% of the mark. This assesses Units 1 - 4 and focuses on programming style problems.

Paper 2 - Theoretical knowledge: 1 hour 30 minute written exam worth 50% of the mark. This assesses Units 3 - 7 and focuses on theory and includes some questions requiring more extended writing.

Note that units 3 and 4 get assessed on both papers.

In addition to these two exams you have to complete a programming project. This is set by the exam board and must be sent off but is worth no marks at all.

Why is it worth no marks? Some teachers cheated when the course first came out. This was so obvious that the government stepped in to stop it and, as a result, the coursework (which was worth 20% of the mark) is now worth nothing.
Is that fair? Well, I didn't cheat and the kids I taught did well, so I don't think so. In fact I think it's a daft thing to make you do. But I have no choice...

The Units:

Eventually the units will each get their own section on the left menu bar, but that will take a while. So here they are:

  1. Algorithms
  2. Programming - data types, operators, selection, loops etc...
  3. Data representation - including binary, characters, images and sound
  4. Computer systems - hardware and software
  5. Networks
  6. Cyber security
  7. Ethical, legal and environmental issues

PDF icon3 Year Scheme of Work


Pseudocode will be used in exams as they can't assume everyone will have used Python.

You need to be able to read the exam board style of pseudocode and understand what it means. When you write your own code you are allowed to write in any way you wish - so long as the logic is clear.