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Is your kid looking at GCSE in computer science? It's exam-only from 2022 – Ofqual

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>They used to give you a made-up programming language on the paper, IIRC.

I quite like the (AQA) course - it's difficult in comparison to some of the other GCSEs my daughters are doing. They use psuedo-code and flow charts for sketching - then write it in C, Java and Python. Most of the content is really fundamentals of computer science though, the programming project is only 20 hours officially.

You get a sense of the course priorities and weightings here:

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