This is a guide designed to help you cope with your ICT/computer project at GCSE or Standard Grade.  It will provide you with useful general  information about each stage of the project and alert you to common pitfalls.

If you really get stuck, you may email us using the homework help section for individual assistance, but please note that your teachers should be the first ones that you call on because they will be fully acquainted with the task and assessment requirements of the particular examination board. Also, due to high demands, not all questions will be answered.

At GCSE and Standard Grade level, your coursework / project wor is the key to a high grade for students of all abilities because coursework may account for up to 60% of the final mark..

It is recommended that you glance through the pages for each section so that you have some idea of what is expected of you (this will vary from exam board to exam board).  Discuss your project with your teacher, then produce a time plan to help you monitor your own progress. Use the pages to dip into as you need help with a certain stage.



Whew! you’ve now ready to start following your design to make your system. Most students enjoy this section the most even though they may meet all kinds of practical problems.  There will always be things that you have forgotten how to do, never knew in the first place or have to learn for the first time.  Things always take much longer to create than you originally estimated.

Don’t panic – work steadily and sensibly and you will be successful.  It’s usually only those students who mess about in the initial stages who don’t finish by the deadline. You may be given what sounds like a long period of time to complete a project but don’t calculate it in weeks, calculate how many hours you will actually have in total.  A six week project probably means only 15 hours altogether, of which, if you have to share computers, only 7 or 8 are for practical work.  Allow one week at the end to complete your documentation.

The Help facility and tutorials   in software packages can be very useful if you get stuck. Use the Internet to your advantage – software companies may be able to reply to technical queries or have message boards where you can post queries.  There are also lots of sites with tutorials on various software packages.

What should you do if you decide that your design is wrong? Make a note of reasons why and redesign that section.  It’s all part of the process.

  1. Write a report describing the implementation and illustrate it with some screenshots. The screenshots can be pasted into your word processed document and labelled. You could mention some of the difficulties that you experienced and how you overcame them.
  2. Produce a User Guide so that users will be able to install and use your system successfully.  This should be desk-top-published and preferably illustrated. You could leave this until after Testing if you wish.



All of us can always think of better ways of doing something after we’ve done it.  The trouble is that at the time we’re probably so busy trying to complete the task to consider alternative methods and the pros and cons of each one.  The evaluation allows you the opportunity of looking at your system objectively, assessing your degree of success and suggesting potential improvements.

What should your evaluation include?

  • Take each aim in turn, and discuss the degree to which it was completed.  Use a new paragraph for each aim.
  • You could point out any problems that you encountered and how you overcame them. 
  • You could suggest improvements that could be made in the future as part of maintenance or how you might have tackled the problem differently if you had to do it again.
  • You should justify your use of information technology for the task where appropriate.


Feasibility Study

In the real world, computer projects are undertaken when there is some commercial or other benefit.  A feasibility study is an investigation into the costs and benefits of the project. A feasibility report would present all the advantages of a new system, a choice of solutions with corresponding costs and a recommendation for one of them.

Companies footing the bill for the project need to know that the work they are paying for will be worth the expense.

Usually at GCSE or Standard Grade level, you are not required to carry out a feasibility study.  However, a section titled Feasibility Study in your project would be useful and may gain you additional marks.  Use this section to outline the social and economic benefits of the new system and possible costs involved.


Finishing your project

Some examination boards award marks for presentation, but you will have to check to see if this is the case with your course.  Assuming that you have word processed all your documentation as you have gone along and kept all output in date order, the task of assembling your project will be simple.

  1. Get all your sheets in order, corresponding to the stages of the systems lifecycle – specification, analysis, design etc.
  2. If your sheets are not numbered then the simplest way to do this is to create a blank Word document with the same number of blank pages as your project (just click on Insert, Page break in Word to get a new page) , but with page numbers on it.  Send your sheets through the printer, as if they were blank sheets of paper.  Each one will be printed with the page number. Alternatively, neatly number all sheets by hand.
  3. Printouts from testing should all be numbered to correspond the number of the test.  This can either be done by hand or all sheets can be run threough a printer as described in Step 2.  Test Data sheets should also be numbered.
  4. You will not require any expensive folders – they will not gain you any extra marks and are discarded.  Your teacher will tell you exactly what to place your project in.  Most examination board provide an assessment folder that your project is wrapped in. This contains a form for you to sign to confirm that the work enclosed is your own.
  5. Put everything together securely, and personally hand it to your teacher.  Do not just leave it on a desk in an empty room assuming that your teacher will find it – your project is much too valuable to take risks with.