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  • 1. Exam Questions
    Jordan O’Reilly ~GilbyRehbein
    May/June 2009 Scenario 2
  • 2. Scenario 2
    Questions 3 and 4
    The July 23rd Hospital in Cairo is improving its existing computer system to make it more efficient. They currently have separate systems for storing:
    • staff records
    • payroll records.
    One single database is required which will store all this data.
    A systems analyst is being employed to analyse the existing system and then design a new system.
  • 3. Question 3 (a)
    Scenario:
    They currently have separate systems for storing:
    • staff records
    • payroll records.
    A systems analyst is being employed to analyse the existing system and then design a new system.
    Describe three different methods the systems analyst could use to collect information about the existing system and describe situations where each could be used.
    Marks: [6]
    Lines: 14
  • 4. Mark Scheme 3 (a)
    Six from:
    • Interview employees/managers face to face
    • 5. Description of situations where interviewing is used – when there is sufficient time/when it isrelatively easy to get people together/interview a small number of workers to get a snapshotof the existing system
    • 6. Examining documents used in current system
    • 7. Description of situation where examining the documents is necessary – where there is lots ofpaperwork
    • 8. Observing employees and watching over the whole process
    • 9. Description of situation where using observation is needed – where gaining an accurate viewof what exactly goes on would be difficult otherwise/gaining a broad overview of processes would be difficult otherwise/where workers cannot be interrupted
    • 10. Distributing questionnaires to employees using written questions to gather responses/wherewhole workforce response is required
    • 11. Description of situation where using questionnaires is advisable – when it is difficult to get people together/to save time in gathering responses
    Allow only three methods
  • 12. Examiner’s Report 3 (a)
    Many candidates misread the question and thought it was a ‘discuss’ question. A number of candidates were able to describe three methods although some failed to notice that the scenario related to a payroll and staff record system and not a medical system. Very few went on to identify situations where each method could be used. A small minority gave one word or very simplistic answers.
  • 13. Question 3 (b)
    Scenario:
    The July 23rd Hospital in Cairo is improving its existing computer system to make it more efficient. They currently have separate systems for storing:
    • staff records
    • payroll records.
    The existing payroll system stores the data in an ordered sequential manner so that it can be updated monthly. Describe how the master payroll file is updated using a transaction file containing details of workers’ records for amendments, deletions and insertions.
    Marks: [6]
    Lines: 13
  • 14. Mark Scheme 3 (b)
    Six from:
    • The transaction file is sorted
    • 15. First record in the transaction file read
    • 16. Reads first record in the old master file
    • 17. If records don’t match computer writes master file record to new master file
    • 18. If it matches transaction is carried out
    if transaction relates to calculation of pay:
    • Pay is calculated…
    • 19. ….using data from the transaction file
    • 20. Processed record is written to master file
    if transaction relates to deletion, amendment or insertion:
    • If deletion or amendment old master file record not written to file
    • 21. If amendment, data in transaction file written to master file
    • 22. Process is repeated until end of old master file
    • 23. Remaining records of the transaction file are added to the master file
  • Examiner’s Report 3 (b)
    This was a difficult question for many candidates. Most were unable to define the steps involved in updating a master file. Many tried to give an overview but only succeeded in gaining a small number of marks.
  • 24. Question 4 (a)
    Scenario:
    One single database is required which will store all this data.
    A systems analyst is being employed to analyse the existing system and then design a new system.
    The systems analyst has decided that the staff records and the payroll records should be combined into a relational database.
    Describe what a relational database is.
    Marks: [5]
    Lines: 13
  • 25. Mark Scheme 4 (a)
    Six from:
    • A relational database consists of a number of separate tables
    • 26. For example a payroll table and a staff table
    • 27. Tables are linked to each other…
    • 28. … using a key field
    • 29. For example the employee ID
    • 30. This field is part of other table(s)
    • 31. Data from one table combined with data from other table(s) when producing reports.
    • 32. Can select different fields from each table for output
    • 33. SQL is used for queries and producing reports
  • Examiner’s Report 4 (a)
    A surprising number of candidates did not appear to know what relational databases consist of.
    Other candidates managed to gain marks by mentioning linked tables and key fields.
  • 34. Question 4 (b)
    Scenario:
    One single database is required which will store all this data.
    A systems analyst is being employed to analyse the existing system and then design a new system.
    (b) Explain why the systems analyst has decided that a relational database would be preferred to two separate files.
    Marks: [3]
    Lines: 8
  • 35. Mark Scheme 4 (b)
    Three from:
    • Data is not repeated so less storage capacity needed
    • 36. Data retrieval is quicker/easier to search for information
    • 37. If data was duplicated hackers would have easier access to data
    • 38. Easier to expand
    • 39. Data only needs to be amended once
    • 40. Easier to produce reports with cross-tabular data rather than separate files
  • Examiner’s Report 4 (b)
    Candidates often managed to get one mark for faster data retrieval, less storage space or security issues but very few were awarded more than one.
  • 41. Question 4 (c)
    Scenario:
    The July 23rd Hospital in Cairo is improving its existing computer system to make it more efficient. They currently have separate systems for storing:
    • staff records
    • payroll records.
    (c) Validation rules will need to be designed. Using examples of fields that would be found in the hospital’s payroll file, describe the validation checks which could be needed.
    Marks: [6]
    Lines: 14
  • 42. Mark Scheme 4 (c) [Part 1]
    Three from:
    • Description of length check
    • 43. Works number/tax code/social security number/sort code/account number
    • 44. Description of format/picture check
    • 45. Works number/tax code/social security number/sort code/date of birth
    • 46. Description of invalid character check
    • 47. Tax Code/sort code/account number/number of days
    • 48. Description of length check
    • 49. Works number/Social security number/sort code/account number
    • 50. Description of range check
    • 51. Income tax/gross pay/net pay/number of days
    One mark for description of validation check
    One mark for matched field
  • 52. Mark Scheme 4 (c) [Part 2]
    Three from:
    • Description of check digit
    • 53. Account number
    • 54. Description of Boolean check
    • 55. Gender
    • 56. Description of presence check
    • 57. Works number/tax code/sort code/account number/social security number/gender/rate of pay/date of birth/number of days
    • 58. Description of existency check
    • 59. Works number
    One mark for description of validation check
    One mark for matched field
  • 60. Examiner’s Report 4 (c)
    This was a much more poorly answered question than expected. Many candidates failed to even demonstrate a basic IGCSE level of knowledge of validation. Quite a number of candidates ignored the question which asked them to use examples of fields found in a payroll file and were therefore unable to gain marks. A number managed to link a field with a validation check but were unable to describe the validation check in any detail.
  • 61. Question 4 (d)
    Scenario:
    A systems analyst is being employed to analyse the existing system and then design a new system.
    (d) After the system has been created it will need to be tested. Using examples of payroll data, describe this testing and how any needed improvements would be identified as a result.
    Marks: [6]
    Lines: 14
  • 62. Mark Scheme 4 (d)
    Six from:
    • Testing (each module) with normal data including appropriate example
    • 63. If error produced – description of improvement required
    • 64. Testing (each module) with live data including description
    • 65. If difference between live and actual results – description of improvement required
    • 66. Testing (each module) with abnormal data including appropriate example
    • 67. If error not produced – description of improvement required
    • 68. Testing (each module) with extreme data including appropriate example
    • 69. If error produced – description of improvement required
    • 70. Testing whole system including examples of data
    • 71. Description of improvements required
  • Examiner’s Report 4 (d)
    Again, most candidates gave IGCSE level answers. Most candidates just gave definitions of
    normal, extreme and abnormal data. Candidates ignored the requirement of the question which asked for examples of payroll data to be used. The vast majority of candidates failed to identify the
    improvements which might be needed.
  • 72. The End
    General Comments
    “It was encouraging that there were a larger number of candidates, than had been the case in previoussessions, who appeared to have been well prepared for this assessment; however, there are still a large number who were not.”
    “There were a number of very high-scoring candidates but still very many who did notperform well.”
    “In this paper, as with any exam paper at this standard, candidates are required to show a level of understanding as well as a depth of knowledge.”
    “Candidates are required, in ‘discuss’ and ‘explain’ questions, to expand on the bullet points given in the mark scheme not just repeat them. They need to show an understanding of the scenario.”
    “Centres are reminded that this is ‘Applied ICT’ and candidate are expected apply their knowledge to the context of the scenario.”
    Jordan O’Really? ~GilbyRibeinajuice