Re: Just asked someone who did GCSE IT last year
Sorry, no. That's a "Higher Tier" paper, something that you don't expect the average student to ever see. Additionally, look at the mark allocation. You get as many marks for a handful of "OCR stands for what?"-type questions as you do the ones at the VERY end of the Higher Tier paper that you link.
You could get an A in that course without even bothering to do more than answer the 1-mark questions and take a stab any question over 2 marks.
"The temperature sensor sends information to the computer via an interface device. Name this device." [1 mark]
"Explain why it's needed" [2 marks]
It's still pathetic. And the average student? You'll be lucky to get a C, so the information that they have in their heads to pass with a C is what will pass into "common knowledge/skills" in the fresh workforce in a few years to come. So, still, totally pointless.
Sure, they may be assigned coursework but it's the sheer quality of the qualification that's pathetic. When I left uni, A-level students started to do the same Graph Theory that I was taught in Uni (my brother is a teacher, state and private and I've had a career exclusively managing IT for schools). Nowadays, they are learning things in GCSE ICT that are literally quiz-type questions for 8-year-olds. What does OCR stand for? Really? How pathetic.
It reminds me of when I read the 1960's A-level Physics papers while studying Physics. God, my course was so dumbed down compared to back then, I was so relieved not to have lived in the 1960's. The same is happening in ICT but we don't have lots of historical papers to refer back to.
99% of that cruft, I could push a class of GCSE students through with a day of training to the exam. That shouldn't be possible.