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Information Technology

A Level Information Technology

What is it about at sixth form level?

IT is the application of technology to process data and provide information. Our world is rapidly shifting in terms of the use of IT at home, at school and in business and this course is designed to give students a greater understanding of the impact of IT throughout society. Students will look at how components and systems work as well as why they are beneficial particularly in a business setting. Students should take this course if they enjoy using and working with computers and want to gain a better understanding of different systems. The course has both practical and theoretical elements so students will be able to demonstrate use of packages for problem solving in the terminal practical examination. IT A Level can be taken alongside any subject except for Computer Science A Level due to content overlap. Students may find this subject will help with degrees in Business Management and Information Systems.

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Lower sixth
Upper sixth

Why study it and what skills does it develop?

Students should study this if they have an interest in Information Technology. They will develop a broad range of IT skills including use of standard computing packages. Students will gain a good understanding of the use of IT systems in businesses and their impact on individuals and society. This will include the introduction of new systems including a product’s systems life cycle and introduction via project management as well as the benefits and risks of using new and emerging technologies. They will learn to apply their knowledge of IT to solve problems.

What prior knowledge and skills are required?

There are no specific GCSE requirements to take IT at A level but a knowledge of standard IT packages and/or a GCSE in IT will give students an advantage in taking this course.

How is the course assessed?

A level

Students sitting the A level will sit two papers at the end of the first year covering all the year one topics. Paper 1 (theory) is 1 hr 45 mins long (70 marks). It is a written examination including questions on sections 1-11 and students answer all questions. Paper 2 (practical) is 2 hrs 30 mins long (90 marks) and is taken on a computer; students will select the most appropriate software to solve each task using their studies of sections 8-11. All tasks are compulsory. Both papers are based on the AS level syllabus and make up 50% of the final grade.

At the end of the second-year students will have a chance to retake the AS units if needed and also sit papers 3 and 4 which covering all the year two topics. Paper 3 (theory) is 1 hr 45 mins long (70 marks). It is a written examination including questions on sections 12-20 with assumed knowledge of sections 1-11. Paper 4 (practical) is 2hrs 30 mins long (90 marks) and is taken on a computer; students will select the most appropriate software to solve each task using their studies of sections 17-20 but tasks from sections 8-11 can be included in the context of problem-solving. All tasks are compulsory. Both papers are based on the A level syllabus and make up 50% of the final grade.

Reading

Coursebook: Cambridge International AS and A Level IT
By Paul Long, Sarah Lawrey and Victoria Ellis
Published by Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 978-1-108-78247-0

Exam Board and Specification Codes

CAIE Cambridge International 9626

Christine Gavin
Head of Department

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