GCSE Computing/Computer systems and programming

2.1 Unit A451: Computer systems and programming This topic introduces computer systems and provides a foundation for the remaining topics in this unit. Candidates should develop a mental model of a computer system which comprises hardware and software and in which:

  • data is input and converted into the computer’s internal representation by input devices
  • the data is processed
  • the results of the processing are converted from the computer’s internal representation and output by an output device
  • the data may be stored for later use or transmitted to another computer system while it is still in the computer’s internal representation.

This model applies to the personal computer, but candidates should be aware of how it also applies to equipment which uses computer technology.

This unit is assessed in a 1.5 hour written exam paper and counts for 40% of the overall GCSE. It covers the following topic areas: