IT (now ICT
, an acronym which I neither like nor use, since it implies that you communicate electronically in the course-which you don't, unless you sneak ICQ
onto a computer) is the lowest qualification
one can get in the British education system
The course is roughly 40% theory exam
, and 60% coursework
The theory exam is rather simple: you must sketch spreadsheets
, suggest IT solution
s for certain types of company and such. A lot of it is common sense
, really, and anybody who frequents Toms Hardware
will have half the answers right off the bat.
The coursework is the hard part
. You must produce a long project
on a certain IT problem. You must invent a new company (or use an existing one) and "solve" one of their problems with an IT solution. Examples include planning stadium
s with a spreadsheet
, or administering a sales department
with a database
The thing is, the examiners want you to jump through certain metaphorical hoops
, and one hoop is one mark. You must jump through the hoops in exactly the right order
, in exactly the right way
. I'll tell you now that:
a) The hoops are on fire
, and one slipup will send you crashing down and losing marks, and possibly losing half your scalp
b) It is nigh on impossible
to do the hoops.
The strange thing is, my school insists on doing the database/spreadsheet first, and then doing the planning
-meaning you write in the future tense
all throughout the project. Also, you aren't allowed to say the name of the product you'll use to make your database/spreadsheet. Anyway, the only database really suited to GCSE is Access
, as it's the only one with a graphical frontend-thus making the whole product thing painfully bad. And you have to take screenshot
s anyway, making it obvious which product you're using!
A few tips. Jump through the hoops, avoid the fire, which will burn you (trust me
, it will) and work like no tomorrow. Otherwise prepare for failure. I missed the hoops, plunged headfirst into the fire and slacked off
. Now look where I am...