iGCSE Computer Science Grades

The grade descriptors below are used when setting term grades and predicting performance in examinations.  Due to the criterion assessed nature of these grades pupils can expect their grades to increase as they progress through the course.

Grade A

  • Systems Architecture:  Candidates communicate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the characteristics and methods of operation of a broad range of computer hardware, software and communications.  An A grade candidate will demonstrate their knowledge by scoring 70% or more in theory assessments.  They will also show evidence of accessing all the marks in long answer questions that require them to explain the principle operation of devices. They will be able to apply their understanding of the principle operation of a device to a real life scenario.
  • Problem Solving:  They systematically analyse problems and identify efficient methods to solve them.  Pupils who gain an A grade in this topic will require no support or prompting when structuring pseudo-code or flowcharts to solve a problem in class.   Will typically gain 80-100% in the logic gates and data representation questions. They will use decomposition and abstraction techniques to design solutions to problems.
  • Programming:  They apply knowledge, understanding and skills to design and write effective computer programs that solve these problems. In their solutions, they effectively validate input data, sequence instructions, manipulate, store and process data and represent the results of the processing in an appropriate format.   They should also be able to read pseudo-code and suggest its purpose.  Pupils will use a full range of programming constructs including: Arrays; functions; sequence; selection; repetition; totalling and counting.
  • Testing:  They plan thorough systematic testing of programmed solutions. They amend their own programs as well as those written by others when requirements change.  They can suggest and justify a full range of test data for a given program.  They can dry run algorithms that use a full range of programming constructs.  The can identify and correct errors as a result of dry running algorithms.
  • Evaluation:  They work systematically, and critically evaluate the way they and others produce and use computer solutions. They understand and adopt safe, secure and responsible practices.  In class they will be able to critically evaluate their classmates code and suggest improvements.  They can comment on the efficiency of code.

Grade B

  • Systems Architecture:  Candidates communicate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the characteristics and methods of operation of a broad range of computer hardware, software and communications.  An A grade candidate will demonstrate their knowledge by scoring 60% or more in there theory assessments.  They will also show evidence of accessing most of the marks in long answer questions that require them to explain the principle operation of devices. They will have shown evidence that they can apply their understanding of the principle operation of a device to a real life scenario.
  • Problem Solving:  They systematically analyse problems and identify effective methods to solve them.  Pupils who gain a B grade in this topic will require only occasional support or prompting when structuring pseudo-code or flowcharts to solve a problem in class.   Will typically gain 70% in the logic gates and data representation questions. They will generally lose mark due to inaccuracy as opposed to a lack of understanding. With support, they will use decomposition and abstraction techniques to design solutions to problems.
  • Programming:  They apply knowledge, understanding and skills to design and write effective computer programs that solve set problems. In their solutions, they effectively validate input data, sequence instructions, manipulate, store and process data and represent the results of the processing in an appropriate format.   They should also be able to read pseudo-code and suggest its purpose.  Pupils will use a full range of programming constructs including: Sequence; selection; repetition; totalling and counting.  With a little support they will also be able to use arrays and functions.
  • Testing:  They plan thorough systematic testing of programmed solutions. They amend their own programs as well as those written by others when requirements change.  They can suggest and justify a full range of test data for a given program.  They can dry run algorithms that use a full range of programming constructs.  The can identify and correct errors as a result of dry running algorithms.
  • Evaluation:  They work systematically, and critically evaluate the way they and others produce and use computer solutions. They understand and adopt safe, secure and responsible practices.  In class they will be able to critically evaluate their classmates code and suggest improvements.  They can comment on the efficiency of code.

Grade C

  • Systems Architecture Candidates communicate a good knowledge and understanding of the characteristics and methods of operation of a broad range of computer hardware, software and communications.  Candidates will generally gain 50% and above in questions requiring them to describe the principle operation of a computer.  The may struggle to access marks in questions that ask them to explain how a device operates but will be able to describe the role of the device and how it affects the performance of the computer.
  • Problem Solving: They analyse problems and identify methods to solve them.   They occasionally require teacher intervention to sequence commands and decompose problems.  They can construct truth tables and understand the roles of each gate but struggle to apply this knowledge consistently.
  • Programming:  They apply knowledge, understanding and skills to design and write computer programs, which solve these problems. In their solutions, they select input data, sequence instructions, manipulate, store and process data and represent the results of the processing in a mostly appropriate format.  Their solutions lack any validation.  Pupils will use a basic range of programming constructs including: Sequence; selection; repetition; totalling and counting.
  • Testing:  They plan testing of programmed solutions. They amend programs when requirements change.   They can produce trace tables with occasional errors but struggle to specify the purpose or to amend errors.
  • Evaluation:  They evaluate the way they and others produce and use computer solutions.  The will comment on readability of the code but will not suggest improvements to the efficiency of the program.  They work using safe, secure and responsible practices.

Grade D

  • Systems Architecture:  Candidates communicate a basic knowledge and understanding of the characteristics and methods of operation of a limited range of computer hardware, software and communications.
  • Problem Solving:  They struggle to solve problems independently and rely on the support of the teacher or their peer.
  • Programming:   They apply limited knowledge, understanding and skills to design and write basic computer programs, which solve simple problems. In their solutions, they input some data, use simple instructions to process data and represent the results.
  • Testing: They plan simple tests to programmed solutions and make simple modifications to programs when requirements change.
  • Evaluation:  They provide comments on the way they and others produce and use computer solutions. They demonstrate some awareness of the need for safe, secure and responsible practices.