That Blue Square Thing

You can download Python from the Python websiteExternal link. You'll need to install it on your computer. Go for the most up to date stable version.
An alternative is to use an online tool such as Online-PythonExternal link or ReplitExternal link.

AQA Computer Science GCSE

This page is up to date for the new AQA 8525 syllabus for the 2022 exam.

Programming Exam questions

These are the questions from the AQA specimen paper that ask candidates to program using Python.

All of these questions require code to be written by hand. That means using a pen on the exam paper.

Lots of people find this hard - partly because they can't try the code out by running it and so figure out where they made a stupid mistake (I do this all the time). That's why it's super important to:

  1. Practice
  2. Know what the markscheme will reward

It can be ridiculously easy to get 3 or 4 marks out of, say, 7 - just by getting data entry sorted and using sensible variable names. You really don't have to be perfect to get most of the marks.

But there's no doubt these questions will seem quite hard when you first look at them.

I strongly suggest trying to do the answer for each question on paper first - by hand, like you will need to do in the exam. And then trying to code them in Python to check your syntax.

The Questions

Each question includes hints and suggested test data.

It's important that you do what the questions asks. Don't worry about anything else like fancy outputs. You don't even need text in most input strings. Just do what it tells you to do.

You won't be marked down for adding more stuff, but if you make an error it'll cost a mark.

Here's a hint.

Looking at other questions in the exam paper might remind you of Python code.

So, questions 4, 14, 15, 16 and 17 all have snippets of Python code. These include examples of using selection and different types of repetition, getting data input, changing data input from a string into another data type, using and printing variables, and using a range of operators (+, -, >, < etc...).

For example, I honestly think looking at the code for question 15 would help you answer question 5.

I'll try and add questions 4, 14, 16 and 17 at some point if I get the chance, but it's quite a long process.

This is a tip well worth remembering, as the exam board clearly wants to ask lots of Python questions, but some of those will need to feature code snippets.