Paper 1 Revision Unit

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An example of a "design" question focus:

An example of a "write" question focus:

An example of a "refine" question focus:


Most students struggle with paper 1. Therefore all the dedicated programming lessons in year 11 on our scheme of learning are for paper 1 revision.

Students have learnt how to program independently using our resources and activities in year 10. In year 11 we change the focus to honing these computational thinking and programming skills by preparing them for the exam paper. All our activities are designed to tackle one of the four “question focus” areas from the specification: Design, Write, Test and Refine.

Examples of activities include:

  • Identifying appropriate data types
  • Designing solutions to problem by producing pseudo-code and flowcharts
  • Refining algorithms written in the AQA Exam Pseudo-code, flowcharts and natural English and high-level code
  • Using trace tables
  • Identifying appropriate test data
  • Creating test plans
  • Writing algorithms from scratch based on scenarios

Full solutions are provided, if the exercise is asking for a solution in a high-level language we have provided those solutions in:

  • C#
  • Python (version 3)
  • Visual


The student's ability to design, write, test and refine both algorithms and programs in general is now entirely assessed through a written exam in paper 1.

The exam board will only recognise one of three official languages. Depending which option you choose, exam papers will be delivered to your school for assessment which match the language chosen.

In paper 1 students will be expected to write syntactically accurate code in their response to questions. They will be directed in questions to:

  • Write in a specific high-level language
  • Use meaningful variables names
  • Use correct syntax
  • Use appropriate indentation

These questions are designed to test both a student’s programming logic and understanding of core programming structures. Answers written in pseudo-code, natural English or bullet points will not be awarded marks.

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196 page Essential Algorithms for Computer Science PDF
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Pseudo-code cheat sheet
Visual Basic Programming Guide
Python Programming Guide
Student Programming Progress Check list
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Computational Thinking cheat sheet
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A set of scalable vector based logic gate symbols
Key definitions database

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