This article will consist of few of the basic things which you need to take care of for your ICSE Computer Applications Examination. This advice is just to make sure that you have brushed the critical points before your exams.
The paper will consist of 2 sections divided into 40 marks Theory + 60 marks Programming. You will be allotted 2 hours in all apart from the 15 minutes reading time.
1) Being Smart In the Exam center – Some Important Advice
So you have in all 135 minutes (15 minutes reading time + 120 minutes for writing the answers). You have to make good use of the 15 minutes you are allotted for reading the question paper. No, I don’t mean by this that you read the question paper 3-4 times.
When you get the paper. Turn to Section B and go through the programs first. Decide 4 programs you are going to attempt. It will take hardly 5 minutes to come to a conclusion.
Next, start reading Section A. As and when you get questions whose answers are just one word, quickly make up the answer in your mind. Do this for the output questions as well.
So, when this 15 minutes finishes you will have most of the questions solved mentally.
Now you have 120 minutes in your hand.
Begin writing from Section A onwards. Don’t waste time and be quick. Complete Section A in 20-30 minutes. Now don’t panic. This is no big deal as the questions are really easy and require short answers. Yes I know the students can. And they have been doing so. It is just that it feels that you can’t.
You will have 90 minutes left with you (if you took 30 minutes for the theory part). Start writing the programs.
Don’t waste time in writing detailed comments or data descriptions. Just few lines (7 – 8 comments and 7 – 8 lines in data description) will do. It hardly matters. But don’t skip writing them.
Now I would suggest the student to attempt all the 6 questions if they know. Only the best 4 is selected. So if you attempt 6 questions in 90 minutes, which comes to around 15 minutes per program. Which I think is enough. If you cannot attempt 6 questions, then at least attempt 5 questions.
2) What to cover for the theory part?
Now in this portion you get questions from all parts of your syllabus. So, you need to go through your text books or class or tuition notes for brief theory of every chapters.
Remember, short output questions and fill in the blanks of small programs are also included in this theory portion. Give importance to the various Character, String and Mathematical functions.
I have tried to list down few of the important topics from the theory part which should be taken into consideration while going through the theory part:
- Elementary Concept of Objects and Classes.
- Objects encapsulate state and behavior – numerous examples; member variables; attributes or features.
- Classes as abstractions for sets of objects; class as an object factory; concept of type, primitive data types, composite data types. Variable declarations for both types; difference between the two types. Objects as instances of a class.
- Features of Java
- Features of OOP
- Compiler, JVM, Byte Code
- Tokens and types (Keyword, identifier, literal, operator, separator/punctuator).
- Operators – types and calculations using pre-fix or post-fix
- Data types and their size, range.
- Type Conversion – implicit, explicit
- Writing java expression for a given equation.
- Loops (while, do while and for), nested loops, break and continue.
- Simple output questions based on loops (includes nested loops)
- Converting from one form of loop to the other form.
- Functions and its types
- Need of functions. Types of functions (pure and impure). Function declaration and definition, ways of calling functions (call by value and call by reference)
- Returning information/messages from the functions and use of multiple functions and more than one function with the same name (function overloading).
- Use of static data member with static member function. Discuss invocation of functions on objects (through the reference).
- Constructor and its types – Default constructor, parameterized constructor, constructor with default parameter and constructor overloading.
- Writing prototypes of functions
- Access specifiers and scope and visibility
- Scope of variables, instance variables, argument variables, local variables.
- Class as a composite type, distinction between primitive type and composite or class types.
- Class may be considered as a new data type created by the user, that has its own functionality.
- Wrapper class.
- Some wrapper class functions. The following methods are to be covered:
- int parseInt(String s), int valueOf(String s),
- long parseLong(String s), long valueOf(String s),
- float parseFloat(String s), float valueOf(String s),
- double parseDouble(String s),
- double valueOf(String s), boolean isDigit(char ch),
- boolean isLetter(char ch),
- boolean isLetterOrDigit(char ch),
- boolean isLowerCase(char ch),
- boolean isUpperCase(char ch),
- boolean isWhitespace(char ch),
- char toLowerCase (char ch)
- char toUpperCase(char ch)
- Library functions. The following functions have to be covered:
String library functions:
- Char charAt (int n)
- int compareTo(String1, String2)
- String concat(String str)
- boolean endsWith(String str)
- boolean equals(String str)
- boolean equalsIgnoreCase(String str)
- int indexOf(char ch)
- int lastIndexOf(char ch)
- int length( )
- String replace (char oldChar,char newChar)
- boolean startsWith(String str)
- String substring(int beginIndex, int endIndex)
- String toLowerCase( )
- String toUpperCase( )
- String trim( )
- String valueOf(all types)
Mathematical Library Functions:
- pow(x,y), log(x), sqrt(x), ceil(x), floor(x), rint(x),
- abs(a), max(a, b), min(a,b), random( ), sin(x), cos(x), tan(x).
- Arrays – storing, retrieving and arranging data
- Arrays and their uses, sorting algorithms – selection sort and bubble sort; Search algorithms – linear search and binary search Example of a composite type.
- Scanner classes functions.
3) Types of programs to practice:
(Given in order of the importance to be given while practicing, Examples are just to make you understand the type of question)
- Function based program. You get 2 questions from here.
One of the question is a simple function program where data members, and member methods are given and what needs to be done in each function is mentioned clearly in the question.
For Example see Question 4 of ICSE 2013 Question Paper.
The second question is based on Function Overloading concept.
For Example see Question 8 of ICSE 2013 Question Paper.
- String based program. You get 1 question from here.
The program can be based on character operations or word operations in a given String.
For Example see Question 6 of ICSE 2013 Question Paper.
- Table (Slab) based questions which involve the use of if-else construct.
In this type, you are provided with a table and told to calculate taxes, bill charges or discounts or grades etc based on the given table.
For Example see Question 5 of ICSE 2012 Question Paper.
Note: This question can come merged into either the function based program or Array based program.
- Array based program.
You get one question from here which involves the direct use of either linear search, or binary search, or selection sort or Bubble sort.
For Example see Question 7 of ICSE 2013 Question Paper.
- Patterns and Series based programs.
In this program you can get to print a given pattern using nested loops or /and a series to calculate.
For Example see Question 8 of ICSE 2013 Question Paper.
- Named programs.
These are programs which are mostly based on number or digit operation.
For Example see Question 5 of ICSE 2013 Question Paper.
- General Programs.
In this program you can get a combination of different programming concepts. Like an if-else and array combination or String and arrays, or patterns and overloading etc.
4) What to write apart from programs?
You have to write the program in your answer sheet along with:
- Comments on the program
- Data Description table
Don’t forget to number the questions you are attempting.
So, this is it for now students. Hope this helps. Relax and prepare.