Controlled Assessment Write-Up (NEA)

Table of Contents

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1 Controlled Assessment Write up

The Report

  • You must produce a report detailing all of the stages you have gone through to solve the problem and to create and refine your solution.
  • This report is important because it provides evidence of the methods you have used to solve the problem you have been set.
  • You will be awarded marks for:
  • 1. Designing of the Solution – 9 marks.
  • 2. Creating the Solution – 30 marks.
  • 3. Testing the Solution – 21 marks.
  • 4. Potential Enhancements and Refinements – 10 marks.
  • 5. Overall Quality of the Report – 10 marks.

Total maximum marks – 80 marks

Part 1 - Designing of the Solution (9 Marks)

  • This section of the report could explain the designs for the sub-tasks and requirements you have identified.
  • In the design section there could be full algorithms for solving all of the sub-tasks displayed as flowcharts and/or pseuodocode. Use the AQA Pseudocode Guide
  • The algorithms could contain all of the variables and validation techniques identified in the analysis.
  • You may also want to condiser the data structures and text file/database structures.
  • The pseudocode should be fully commented to describe how the subsroutines (functions and prodecures) are called by the main program and why they are included.
  • The design should clearly show that the solution is modular and makes use of functions and/or procedures.
  • The design could contain features to ensure that you have taken account of:
    • Possible areas for misuse (e.g. entering erroneous data or selecting inappropriate options.)
    • Validation and Authentication.
  • There could be a consideration of a suitable user interface explaining how the user will interact with the system.
  • Consider whether your design is complete enough for another competent person to use it to code a successful solution.

Part 2 - Creating the Solution (30 Marks)

  • The report could include a full description and explanation of the coding of the solution.
  • Consider including the following:
    • Explanation of how you have made your code robust by including routines to counteract user misuse and to validate all of the data that is entered.
    • Explanations of testing that you have carried out on the subroutines as you have developed them.
    • Changes you have made in light of your testing.
    • Lists of the resources you have used (e.g. function libraries or program add-ins for developing a graphical user interface).
  • As a reminder, your code could:
    • Be modular, using fiunctions and procedures so that it is well organised.
    • Use meaningful variable names, all written in the same way (e.g. as camal case).
    • Be fully commented, so that each section is fully explained.
  • You solution will also be assessed for your coding skills and use of appropriate programming techniques.
  • Solving the problem with 20 lines of clear, concise code is more elegant that solving it with 100 lines of code containing unnecessary variables and constructs.
  • Elegant code is the result of a careful anaysis and thoughtful algorithms.
  • An elegant solution will make someone say; ‘Wow! Why didn’t I think of that?’
  • As you are developing your code, you might want to consider issues such as modularity, commenting, appropriate use of techniques, validation and error handling.

Part 3 - Testing the Solution (21 Marks)

  • Your report could show how you have throughly tested all aspects of your solution.
  • You could include a test plan listing all of the tests that will be carried out, these should be numbered, include a purpose of the test, test data, expected results, actual results and a screenshot of the outcome, the outcome.
  • The following table shows an example of a test plan:


  • The tests should show that you are aware of all the problems that could arise when the program is used by another user.
  • For example, it could check that data has actually been entered and that they are within the expected range.
  • You could do the following:
    • Ensure that it lists the test data to be used, plus the expected and the actual outcomes (You can show the actual examples and screenshots).
    • Explain how you took remedial action to solve any errors you found that were highlighted by your tests.
    • Explain how any unresolved issues could be solved given more time.
    • Present evidence of careful selected samples to show that thorough testing has been carried out.
    • Explain how the evidence demonstrayes the robustness of your solution and shows that the requirements of the problem have been achieved.

Part 4 - Potential Enhancements and Refinements (10 Marks)

  • You may want to discuss the efficiency and robustness of the solution, and suggest ways in which it could be improved.
  • Think about critically evaluating your solution.
  • No solution is perfect and you can demonstrate your ability by thinking of ways in which it could be improved.

Part 5 - Overall Quality of the Report (10 Marks)

  • Finally you should thoroughly check your report to ensure that it is presented to a high standard in a structured way with all of the sections clearly labelled.
  • It is worth checking the assessment scheme in the specification to identify what is required for the report.
  • However, in general it is good practice, when writing any report, to ensure the following:
    • It is complete.
    • The grammar and spellings are correct.
    • All of the content is revelevant to the task.
    • A range of technical terms have been used accurately.
    • All sections are structured consistenly.
  • Ways that you could make the structure of your report clear including using:
    • A table of contents.
    • Numbered sections and subsections.
    • Numbered captions for diagrams and screenshots.
    • References to any sources used.
  • A good way to ensure that your report covers all of the required items is to create a check list and tick off each item when you are sure it is covered adequately.