How to get a H1 in Leaving Cert Computer Science

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Computer Science is a new Leaving Cert subject that will teach you useful skills, broaden your knowledge of technology and boost your skills as a computer programmer. Unlike some other subjects you study that might feel somewhat outdated or irrelevant for your long-term learning, Computer Science is of significant relevance with the prevalence of technology these days! You may plan to pursue a career in technology or elsewhere but the skills you'll learn from this subject will stand to you no matter where you end up! Aoife, who achieved a H1 in Leaving Cert Computer Science, has devised a guide full of explanations, tips and advice drawn from her own experience to help students succeed in this subject. We've included some excerpts from her guide below, check them out!



Remember the key dates

There are key dates for this subject that you should keep in mind when studying LC Computer Science: 

  1. Coursework Project: Worth 30% of your overall grade, this is completed over a 10 week period which usually takes place between January and March of 6th year.
  2. LC Computer Science Exam: This occurs outside of the traditional exam period in June, usually around three weeks ahead of the exams for your other subjects, which was May 22nd in 2021.

Short questions

The first section of your exam consists of 12 short-answer questions. You don't need to give a paragraph for every answer here! Concise, correct answers will be best rewarded! Many questions in this section are looking for definitions or an explanation of the role of a particular computer component, protocol, or system. You may also be required to answer questions on a piece of code provided. Flashcards are a great way to study for this section!


Section B: 3 Long-answer questions

Don't be mislead by the name of these questions! The questions are often comprised of multiple parts where some questions require a one-word answer. If an essay style question does appear, it's a good idea to adopt the Point, Example, Explain approach to keep it focused. If asked for your own opinion, you need to interpret the question and draw your own conclusions. Calculations can appear too, it's best advised to practise lots ahead of the exam to be prepared! There's no guarantee of topics that'll appear in this section. Aoife's full guide includes a breakdown of topics which tend to appear on the paper. 


Programming

This final element of the exam will include one question, which may be broken into several parts. It can be rooted in any of the three main languages, Python, JavaScript or HTML. On the day of the exam you'll open a file on the device you're using to complete the exam, and this is what you will edit in line with the question you are given. You'll receive a reference guide to help you with basic commands and operators you may need in your exam.


Top tips when programming!

  • Check which application you'll be using on exam day to familiarise with it in advance.
  • Be well acquainted with all basic commands and operators in the language being used. 
  • Practice using lists in your programming and make sure you're comfortable with appending values to a list, ordering lists, inserting items in a list and working with index values. 
  • Know how to use if, elif and else as they're used very frequently!

Top tips for a successful project!

  • Don't underestimate the importance of planning your project!
  • Track every step and detail of your work be that in a spreadsheet, word doc or even a notebook.
  • Make sure to note any challenges, issues or problems faced, including their resolution.
  • Manage your time wisely.
  • Keep your files organised, then you'll avoid panic when you're looking for files you're using for the project. 
  • Store your links for references safely in somewhere like a document.  

We hope these explanations, tips and advice will help you to achieve the best possible result in Leaving Cert Computer Science! Check out Aoife's full guide, which includes lots more detail and information, here

Wishing you the very best of luck in your studies and exam! We know you'll do great!

Aoife and the Studyclix team :)


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