A-level Computing/AQA/The Computing Practical Project

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Please note, that the AQA Computing practical has since been updated, the proportion of marks allocated to the technical solution has been significantly increased to 42/75 (56%), compared to the 20/75 (27%) on the old specification.

As such anyone on the current specification will not need to do the following documentation:

  • i. System Maintenance
  • ii. User Guide

The following subsections are also no longer required:

  • i. Analysis: Realistic appraisal of the feasibility of potential solutions
  • ii. Analysis: Justification of chosen solution
  • iii. Design: Identification of storage media
  • iv. Design: Description of measures planned for security and integrity of data
  • v. Design: Description of measures planned for system security
  • vi. Design: Overall test strategy

This chapter aims to give you the skills to complete your A2 Computing project. Unlike the rest of the course this unit is entirely based on coursework submitted in May. This is great because if you work hard enough then you can make sure you get some really good marks, you have access to the mark scheme after all!

The classic waterfall model

Your project involves making a complex programming project that will likely involve data processing, and then writing a report about it. You have to make a program for a real user, this is very important, you can't just make them up. It doesn't have to be incredibly complicated, but you need a degree of complexity in order to write a good report. You can write a computer game but they can be an awful lot of work (2–3 years with a team of 40+ people for the latest console games) and it's often difficult to find a real life user and a real need.

Over the course of the project you will be creating a report. This is really important and lots of people spend so much time coding that they forget to complete the write up. The write up is worth 44% of the mark and will take you through a waterfall model of system development. There are many other forms of system development out there and you might find yourself completing sections of the course not necessarily in the order given, the important thing is that you make it a cohesive whole and complete everything.

Please use the links below to get you started and note where all the marks are awarded, you might create a brilliant bit of code but if you don't complete your writeup your grade will suffer.

Chapter Marks Percentage
50% developed  as of March 25, 2011Picking a project - -
75% developed  as of September 18, 2011Analysis 9 11
50% developed  as of January 17, 2011Design 12 16
75% developed  as of January 17, 2011Technical Solution 42 56
75% developed  as of March 24, 2011System Testing 8 10.7
50% developed  as of January 17, 2011System Maintenance N/A
50% developed  as of January 17, 2011User Manual N/A
100% developed  as of January 17, 2011Quality of Writing part of
user manual (3)
75% developed  as of April 07, 2011Evaluation 4 5
TOTAL: 75 100