Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

Frequently Asked Questions

Which of the following is preferable (both in A2 coursework and exam units) that joins are used for queries across tables?

SELECT DISTINCT Employee.EmployeeNumber, EmployeeName, DepartmentNumber FROM Employee inner join ProjectSalary on Employee.EmployeeNumber = ProjectSalary.EmployeeNumber where ProjectSalary.HourlyRate "

SELECT DISTINCT Employee.EmployeeNumber, EmployeeName, DepartmentNumber FROM Employee, ProjectSalary WHERE Employee.EmployeeNumber = ProjectSalary.EmployeeNumber and ProjectSalary.HourlyRate

Both are acceptable.

The explicit join emphasises the existence of other types of join which might be required. For example to find the customers who have not made orders this year.

It is recommended to teach it as the more complex queries may contain a variety of joins and it is an easier step to make then.

What resources are advised for the UML area of A2 SSD. There are about many different diagrams that can be sourced online, one particular site listed 16. Do students need to know them all?

The UML is based around Use Case diagrams, so that would be a good start, since it sits on top of everything else. If they haven't done OOP they might have problems with class diagrams, which would be the next most logical diagram. If the concepts of objects, etc are covered, I would stick with those two to start with.

But if you need an alternative, activity diagrams are usually easy enough to model, as they resemble older forms of diagramming.

It would be expected at A2 level to cover more than two UML diagrams but probably not sixteen. Given the requirement for differentiation the specification could not be prescriptive.

It is the challenge when devising specifications but the focus is that by considering a range the students can apply the skills to any UML.

What is the classification code for this specification?

The classification code for this specification is 0610.

What grades can students achieve with this award?

We award AS qualifications on a five grade scale from A to E, with A being the highest. We award A Level qualifications on a six grade scale from A* to E, with A* being the highest. To be awarded an A*, candidates need to achieve a grade A on their full A Level qualification and at least 90 percent of the maximum uniform marks across the A2 units. If candidates fail to attain a grade E, we report their results as unclassified (U).

Can students resit individual assessment units?

Students can resit individual AS and A2 assessment units. The better result for each assessment unit counts towards their AS and A Level qualifications.

Are students assessed on the quality of their written communication?

Students must demonstrate the quality of their written communication, ensuring that spelling, punctuation and grammar are accurate so that their meaning is clear. Examiners and teachers assess the quality of students' written communication in their extended writing and responses to questions.

What skills can students develop through studying this specification?

This specification provides opportunities for students to develop the following
skills:

  • information and communications technology;
  • communication; and
  • application of number.

With regards to AS Level and Data Structures do the pupils need to know all of the following: Static Array; Linked List; Hash Table; String; Queue; Stack? Following on from this, sorting and searching too?

Not the Hash Tables, Linked Lists, Queues or Stacks.

Static arrays only. Sorting and searching of these. String or numbers.

As the pupils are using SQL within Visual Studio, there are slightly different statements used than those shown on the Specimen Mark Scheme. Will the pupils be penalised if they use a visual studio version of the statements or are they expected to produce the statements shown in the marks scheme?

i.e. to declare a foreign key in VS -

CONSTRAINT Link_To_Stock FOREIGN KEY (StockID) REFERENCES (STOCK)StockID
But in the exam paper marks scheme it shows:
FOREIGN KEY StockID REFERENCES STOCK.StockID

The preference is for the first sample. It is more correct and the one recommended to teach. The naming format would be FK_ as opposed to Link_ but that is not an issue. The option used is acceptable as are other forms. Variations are discussed by the Examination team at the Standardisation meeting after the series examination.