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Computing - Good balance

The Advanced Higher exam gave candidates plenty of opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding and offered good progression in problem-solving contexts, said Frank Frame, principal teacher of computing at Bannerman High in Glasgow.

Section 1, the compulsory paper, contained plenty of "banker" questions on areas such as a feasibility study and an operational requirements document.

The second paper, in which candidates can choose from a list of options, included an artificial intelligence question biased heavily towards problem-solving. "There was a very imaginative context for the question and a good opportunity to show your problem-solving abilities," he said.

It is difficult to come up with imaginative contexts for questions on computer architecture, but this option contained a good selection in a fairly straightforward context, he thought. Candidates and teachers tend to "get thrown" when an exam does not follow the arrangements documents - but that was not the case in the Advanced Higher paper.

Nor was it an issue in the Higher paper, which had a good balance of knowledge, understanding and problem-solving questions.

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