Category Archives: Revision

Parameters and data flow

This is always a hot topic at this time of year. It’s been a while since we did procedures, parameters, byVal, Byref & Data Flow

From Shawlands Acc

  • Data flow within a program is handled by parameters
  • A parameter is a value or a variable which is passed into or out from a subroutine
  • The parameters used in a procedure call are ACTUAL parameters
  • The parameters used in a procedure definition are called FORMAL parameters
  • A parameter is passed BY REFERENCE if it is to by passed into and back out of a procedure
  • A parameter is passed BY VALUE if it is to by passed into but NOT back out of a procedure
  • Arrays are ALWAYS passed by reference
  • The use of parameters means that variables can be kept local to subroutines
  • This leads to programs being more reliable and robust

Targeted Past Papers


  1. Topic Questions
  2. Past Papers
  3. Past Paper Marking Instructions

Ways to use them

  1. Do the topic questions in order or random. Use e-copies to check answers.
  2. Use Acrobat reader to search the past papers or marking instructions for course content, then do those questions. i.e. “Binary” brings up 4 questions, “CLUT” brings up 5 hits.
  3. Use both the past papers and marking instructions to both test your knowledge (past papers) and revise parts of the course (Marking Instructions).

A week to go!

I hope your revision and exams are going well.  Seven more sleeps till your Computing exam, I know a few of you will have other exams between now and then but this post is only focused on Computing. I’m not here today to get you wound up or to cause you any more stress, but this post, is to focus your attention on what you should be doing between now and then.

Here is what I would do with a week to go.

  1. I wouldn’t study outside – its hot and full of distractions
  2. I would start at 9 and do the following
    1. Past Paper
    2. Break
    3. Marking Past Paper
    4. Break down wrong answers into core and non core (using the list below – core is likely to come up the exam)
    5. Revise core
    6. Lunch
    7. Revise core
    8. Break (its about 2pm if the above tasks took you 2hr for the paper and 30 mins a task)
    9. Revise non core answers
    10. Look over the topics from the units by picking a half dozen topics each day.
  3. Download this document. and use this as the basis for some questions on the topics I found hard, as well as, using it to aid revision of the topics in the units (List of Topics at bottom)
  4. Use the blog, Scholar and other school’s notes to learn the core information I am not sure about.
  5. I would learn the two images below and be able to describe and compare each of the aditdem elements with each other – E.g. what is the difference between Procedural and Event Driven Languages?
  6. I would make sure that I can describe two differences of the attached.
  7. I would look over and memorise the standard algorithms
  8. I would buy a £1 calculator that does binary and learn how to use it.
  9. If I was tired, I would take a break and I would cut down on caffeine.
  10. I would give my mobile/tablet/games console to my parents when I was studying and get it back at breaks (when I was your age this was not an option :) )

The above is not a roadmap to success! However, it might help get you the marks you need to change a grade.

Good luck in the exam! Remember ask questions here or to my email account, I will be checking them over the coming week and will try and get a response out ASAP. If you are finding it too warm to study, the class room has air con and I’m sure I could squeeze you in at a desk.

Core – likely to come up in the exam

Computer Systems

  • Systems
  • application based tests
  • Bit map graphics
  • CCD
  • fetch execute cycle
  • file, print and web servers
  • hub, switch, router
  • Interface functions
  • MIPS
  • Network topologies
  • operating system functions
  • peer to peer Vs client server
  • RGB
  • software compatibility issues
  • standard file formats
  • Two’s complement
  • utility programs
  • Vector graphics
  • virus software detection techniques
  • Viruses – types, code actions

Software Development

  • by value and by reference
  • local and global variables
  • concatenation and substrings
  • design notations
  • Evaluation – robustness, reliability, portability, efficiency and maintainability
  • iterative
  • macros
  • maintenance
  • module library
  • one-dimensional arrays
  • personnel
  • procedural, declarative and event-driven
  • real, integer and boolean variables
  • Scope
  • scripting languages
  • software specification
  • stages
  • standard algorithms


  • Authoring software
  • Bluetooth
  • CLUT
  • codec and container file
  • dithering
  • MIDI
  • MPEG
  • RLE, LZW
  • Sound file size
  • vector graphics
  • Video file size
  • anti-aliasing
  • re-sampling

Unit / Topic

Computer Systems
Data representation
Computer structure
Computer software
Software Development
Software development process
Software development languages and environments
High level programming language constructs
Standard algorithms
Multimedia Technology
Development process for multimedia applications
Bit-mapped graphic data
Digitised sound data
Video data
Vector graphics data
Synthesised sound data
Implications of the use of multimedia technology


I’m afraid there appears to be a problem with Akismet getting updates on Glow just now. As a result I have 600+ comments and no way of sorting out the rubbish from the requests. Can you drop me an email to my Glow account if you want a question answered.

Fitting in studying for Computing

So you have a lot of exams between now and Computing and you might even have some after Computing, how can you fit in some extra revision?

Well the best way to revise is a little and often, however, let assume you have left it too late and are cramming.

  1. Print out a Computing past paper
  2. When you get bored cramming for the exam you have next, take out the past paper
  3. Do about 10/15 marks worth of the paper using one of the text books to verify your answer. Don’t use the Marker Information, use the text book, that you you need to search for it, further stimulating your brain.
  4. Get back to studying the next exam.

You should be able to do this for multiple subject and if you rotate them you should avoid feeling bored. Remember though when Computing is your next exam, give it your full attention 🙂


Computer Systems & Software Development

  • Anti-Virus software
  • Benefits of modular programming
  • Download speeds
  • Find Maximum
  • Software Compatibility
  • Software documentation
  • Software Evaluation
  • Software Reliability
  • Software Testing
  • Types of maintenance

Multi Media

  • Anti Aliasing
  • Authoring software
  • Calculation of image file sizes
  • Calculation of sound file sizes
  • CLUT
  • Codecs
  • Common file types for sound
  • Container files
  • Dithering
  • Embedded file types
  • Features of a sound card
  • Features of MP3 compression
  • Image file types
  • Implications of video usage
  • Normalisation
  • Object oriented file types
  • RIFF file format
  • RLE compression
  • The software development cycle as it relates to multimedia
  • Transparency
  • VRML