Scheme of assessment

Find past papers and mark schemes, and specimen papers for new courses, on our website at aqa.org.uk/pastpapers

This specification is designed to be taken over two years.

This is a linear qualification. In order to achieve the award, students must complete all assessments at the end of the course and in the same series.

GCSE exams and certification for this specification are available for the first time in May/June 2018 and then every May/June for the life of the specification.

All materials are available in English only.

Our GCSE exams in Computer Science include questions that allow students to demonstrate their ability to:

  • recall information
  • draw together information from different areas of the specification
  • apply their knowledge and understanding.

Aims and learning outcomes

Courses based on this specification should enable students to:

  • build on their knowledge, understanding and skills established through the computer science elements of the programme of study for computing at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4
  • enable students to progress into further learning and/or employment
  • understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, decomposition, logic, algorithms, and data representation
  • analyse problems in computational terms through practical experience of solving such problems, including designing, writing and debugging programs
  • think creatively, innovatively, analytically, logically and critically
  • understand the components that make up digital systems, and how they communicate with one another and with other systems
  • understand the impacts of digital technology to the individual and to wider society
  • apply mathematical skills relevant to computer science.

Assessment objectives

Updated

Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all GCSE Computer Science specifications and all exam boards.

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles of computer science.

AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of computer science.

AO3: Analyse problems in computational terms:

  • to make reasoned judgements
  • to design, program, evaluate and refine solutions.

Assessment objective weightings for GCSE Computer Science

Updated

Assessment objectives (AOs) Component weightings (approx %) Overall weighting (approx %)
Paper 1 Paper 2
AO1 7 30 35–40
AO2 28 20 45–50
AO3 15 0 15–20
Overall weighting of components 50 50 100

Assessment weightings

Updated

Final marks will be calculated by adding together the scaled marks for each component. Grade boundaries will be set using this total scaled mark. The scaling and total scaled marks are shown in the table below.

Component Maximum raw mark Scaling factor Maximum scaled mark
Paper 1 80 x1 80
Paper 2 80 x1 80
Total scaled mark: 160