Computing - Writing skills below par

30th April 2010 at 01:00

Grade boundaries were altered to take into account the more difficult nature of this year's Higher assessments - both coursework and exams. However, the standard of written English was described as "poor", while it was clear candidates were not reading the questions properly.

Overall, "the standard of many responses was well below that expected in Higher computing", and candidates gave "rather simplistic" responses that lacked the technical details expected.

Poor handwriting from some candidates also made marking difficult and schools were encouraged to consider using scribes, or word processing.

Assessors also noted that, although the paper was fair and "within the grasp of a prepared candidate", resulting in fewer blank answers, many candidates appeared to be "poorly prepared" and they urged schools to be sure that they were entering candidates for the most appropriate level. Some candidates were, for example, answering questions by saying simply "it's easierquickersimpler" when more information was needed about why something was easier, quicker or simpler.

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