Ten Exam Tips for ICT
1. Organising files: Learners are expected to show the ability to organise their
work into folders, with suitable folder names. Some assessments may make
specific demands for folders, and others will not, but learnerss should have an
understanding of how to organise their work.
2. Finding information: Make sure that internet searches are efficient. Searches
should make use of a range of keywords in the search box to reduce the number
of irrelevant results. Learners should save evidence of the search terms used.
3. Email: Make sure that emails are composed correctly, including a correct email
address, and a relevant subject line. Although allowances are generally made for
small errors in emails, learners should check their work before sending.
4. Documents, posters, flyers etc.: Learners should show the examiner what
they are capable of. Given a page of basic text and images, the learner can
make use of a whole range of ICT tools to develop the document. This might
include text formatting, columns, tables, text boxes, text and page borders etc.
5. Images: These rarely come in the right size, or they are not in the right place.
Learners should be well practised in inserting, re-sizing and positioning images,
and there are a range of formatting tools in common applications. Learners must
also exercise some design skills however, making sure that images are effective.
6. Working with numbers and calculations: The obvious choice for such work is a
spreadsheet. Learners should be familiar with the use of formulae and cell
references. Learners often put ‘SUM’ at the start of any formula, but depending on
the level, learners should understand the different formulae for calculating
additions, multiplications, divisions, maximum/minimum, averages and
7. Charts and graphs: Many learners are not fluent in the use of axes titles or
data labels. The result is charts that only give part of the required information.
Particularly at level 2, learners may also need to select data that is not in
adjacent rows or columns.
8. Databases: The principles of a database are expected to be understood. For
example the basic structure of a database and the facilities for producing queries
and reports. Some database style features can be completed in a spreadsheet,
e.g. filters and sorting, and learners should be familiar with these, as well as the
nature and purpose of large databases.
9. Security and safety: Learners need to have a broad knowledge of issues
regarding personal safety online and the protection of data from risks presented
by viruses etc. Wider reading or the use of quiz-type material in lessons would
10. Practise: The most reliable preparation is practise, with exposure to a range of
information search requests, document styles and spreadsheet problem-solving
scenarios. Make sure that learners have taken practise assessments. When
using the online assessment, the use of a sample online test is particularly
important to ensure that learners are familiar with the on-screen environment
and navigation through the questions.