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  2. OCR GCSE J277
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  4. Unit 2 Revision Unit

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An example of a “design” question focus:

An example of a “refine” question focus:

An example of a “test” question focus:


Most students struggle with unit 2. Therefore all the dedicated programming lessons in year 11 on our scheme of learning are for paper 2 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 pseudocode and flowcharts
  • Refining algorithms written in the OCR Exam Reference Language, flowcharts and natural English
  • Using trace tables
  • Identifying appropriate test data
  • Creating test plans
  • Writing algorithms from scratch based on scenarios in the OCR Exam Reference Language and a high-level language


As a student’s ability to program is now entirely assessed through a written exam there is a much greater emphasis on accurate coding than in the previous specification. OCR have formally defined their own language for use in all exam papers, the OCR Exam Reference Language.

Notice should be paid to the following three extracts from the specification:

All programming code given in examination papers will be presented using the OCR Exam Reference Language.

In Section B, questions assessing students’ ability to write or refine algorithms must be answered using either the OCR Exam Reference Language or the high-level programming language they are familiar with.

Where a response requires an answer in OCR Exam Reference Language or a high-level programming language, a student’s level of precision will be assessed. These questions are designed to test both a student’s programming logic and understanding of core programming structures. Answers written in pseudocode, natural English or bullet points will not be awarded marks. Responses in OCR Exam Reference Language or a high-level programming language test a student’s ability to form an answer using precise programming commands but will avoid penalising them for minor errors in syntax. This reflects real-life scenarios, where often minor errors would have been flagged within their development environment.

Our resources will help prepare your students for these new focus questions.


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