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Advice regarding ICSE Computer Applications Examination

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.

  • 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.

Check Also

Quick Advice/Suggestions for ISC Computer Science Practical 2017 and onwards

Important advice and suggestions for ISC Computer Science Practical (Paper 2) 2017 and onwards

87 comments

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am appearing for the ICSE 2017 examinations . I have some doubts regarding computer programs:
    1. Is split() function allowed in ICSE to avoid unnecessary looping ?
    2. Can we use StringBuffer and its methods(eg reverse()) ?
    3. Can we use Character.getNumericValue()?

    Thank you .

  2. Sir
    In our school we have been taught that string objects cannot be modified and to save changes a new object has to be created
    So if there is string s and I apply
    s =s.repalce(‘ ‘,’c’);
    Will this function work
    Please help

    • Yes it will work. You have been taught correct.
      What the above line is doing is creating a new String literal which the old String object is now pointing to. So no new object is created. The String object now points to a new value. The old value also remains in the memory, but is no longer pointed to by that object.

  3. are we required to give examples for section a

  4. Well, day after tomorrow i have board exam, so please reply early admin. Can i use reverse() method from the SubString class of Input-Output classes to reverse a string?? Is it in our syllabus??

  5. sir,can u please write a program to check for autmorphic number using scanner class…plz reply fast

  6. thank u for ur valuable suggestions……
    If I use Scanner class to take input in my program in the board exam ,should I use try and catch for exception handling ?? Will it carry marks ??

  7. Sir,
    What is the difference between using scanner statement and buffered reader statement?
    And also, I wanted to know how the floor and Ceil functions work. Please take these questions.
    Compute the results for the following:
    a) x= Math.floor(4.9)
    b) y= Math.floor(-7.9)
    c) z= Math.ceil(17.2)
    d) u= Math.ceil(-19.2)
    e) v= Math.floor(-10.8)
    f) j= Math.floor(-45.1)

    • A number, 3.4 can be rounded off to either 3.0 or 4.0
      ceil gives you the maximum rounded off value (Remember, ceil = ceiling = on top). So Math.ceil(3.4) will give 4.0
      floor gives you the minimum rounded off value (Remember, floor = at bottom). So Math.floor(3.4) will give 3.0

      In case of negative number, remember, that -3.4 can be rounded off to -3.0 or -4.0
      -3.0 is greater than -4.0.
      Hence, Math.ceil(-3.4) will give -3.0 and Math.floor(-3.4) will give -4.0

      a) x= Math.floor(4.9) ; x = 4.0
      b) y= Math.floor(-7.9) ; y = -8.0
      c) z= Math.ceil(17.2) ; z = 18.0
      d) u= Math.ceil(-19.2) ; u = -19.0
      e) v= Math.floor(-10.8) ; v = -11.0
      f) j= Math.floor(-45.1) ; x = -46.0

  8. thanks a lot for your tips……

  9. Hirshitha Rajee

    Thank u so much ….. is there any negative marks if I attend all the questions of Section B

  10. How do you convert integer data type to String data type?

  11. LoL ….
    Tomorrow is my computer exam (Boards)
    Nd i didnt even knew tat we gotta write comments and description also xD its beneficial !
    Thnkx to dis site 🙂
    My teachers never told…nd m sure they never did !

  12. Sir,is the pattern u hve written for programme the sme every year…..

  13. This question is with respect to the ICSE Computer Examination March’15:-is it compulsory to use a default/parameterized constructor for every single program in Section B(60) Marks?

  14. Hello 🙂
    My teacher thought most of all the programs using buffered reader itself can I also use Scanner class? I’m studying in 10th ICSE
    Should we only use BufferedReader or even scanner class is allowed?

  15. is variable description necessary??

  16. hi sir ,
    is it necessary to make the variable description table or else can we write it in comments itself
    which one is preferable ?

  17. sir, is it better to attend part 1 or part 2 first.

  18. sir,
    when should we use Math.exp().

  19. I’ve just now covered the whole topics and programs mentioned by you but I can’t understand what do you mean by data desc table can you please show what it is…plz reply fast….

    • Hello Maitreya,

      The Data Description Table consists of mostly 3 columns – Identifier/Variable Name, Data Type and Purpose.

      For example: The data description table for the below given code would be:

      Code:

      void isPrime(int n)
      {
         int c = 0;
         for(int i = 1; i<=n; i++)
         {
           if(n%i == 0)
              c++;
         }
         if(c == 2)
           System.out.println("The number is Prime");
         else
           System.out.println("The number is Not Prime");
      }
      

      Data Description:

      Identifier Name Data Type Purpose
      n int variable to store the number
      c int variable to count the number of factors of n
      i int loop control variable

      All the best.
      Regards,
      guideforschool

  20. Sir,
    can you explain how to use escape sequences while printing!

    • Escape sequence has to be within double quotes (“”) in System.out.println() statement.
      Example: System.out.println(“\t”);

      • sir could you please tell me what are escape sequences and the output of the program

        • These are certain non-graphic characters, which cannot be typed directly from the keyboard. these characters are represented in Java by using escape sequences, which begin with a backslash () and are followed by one or more characters. Some examples:
          1. \t for Horizontal tab
          2. \n for New Line
          3. \’ for Single Quote
          4. \” for Double Quote

  21. Sir,
    what is the difference between global and instance variable

    • Instance (or Object) variable:

      It is the data member which is created for every object of the class. Many copies of it are available in the memory as it is made for every object of the
      class.

      Example:
      class Sample
      {
      String name;
      int age;
      }

      Here, name and age are instance variables.

      Class (or Global or Static) variable:

      It is the data member which is declared once for a class and all the objects of this class shares this data member. Only a single copy of the variable is
      accessible to all objects in the memory for operations. The keyword ‘static‘ is used to make a variable a class variable.

      Example:
      class Sample
      {
      String name;
      static int age;
      }
      Here, the variable age is a class variable because it has ‘static’ before it, while the variable name is an instance variables.

  22. Sir, can you list for entering different data types by using buffer reader

    • I am listing down the method for the commonly used data-types:
      int data type : int a = Integer.parseInt(br.readLine());
      float data type : float f = Float.parseFloat(br.readLine());
      double data type : double d = Double.parseDouble(br.readLine());
      String data type : String s = br.readLine();
      char data type : char c = br.read();
      boolean data type : boolean b = Boolean.parseBoolean(br.readLine());

      Note: In all of the above declarations we have used ‘br’ which is the BufferedReader object declared as:
      BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(System.in));

  23. Sir,
    For inputting name in scanner class we should use .next() or nextLine() and for contact number datatype will be long or int

  24. Sir,
    If there are two parts to a question where initial values of a variable are given then in the second part too we will use the initial values or we will use the values which came out in the first part of the question?

  25. Sir,
    Does java uses BODMAS to solve arithmetic statements??
    how is the following arithmetic statement solved?
    double c = (0+10.25*-5/2.5);

    • No, Java does not uses BODMAS to solve Arithmetic statements. It uses a system of Precedence and associativity. It first tries to give importance to the operation having higher precedence. If there are operators having the same precedence, then it gives importance to the operators based on associativity.
      In the given expression double c = (0+10.25*-5/2.5); * and / operators have a higher precedence than + operator, so they will be evaluated first. Now, * and / have the same precedence, so associativity rule in this case is that we evalutae from left to right whiever comes first whether it be * or /.

      So, the evaluation of the given expression will be as follows:
      double c = (0+10.25*-5/2.5);
      c = 0 + (-51.25) / 2.5;
      c = 0 + (-20.5);
      c = -20.5;

      For precedence and associativity refer to your text book where the operators are discussed.

  26. SIr,
    What is the return type of Math.rint function

  27. SIr,
    If the return type of a particular arithmetical statement is not given what return type should we take to solve the statement

  28. Sir,
    Do we have to write examples along with definition/differences if the question is for 2 marks..I have been doing this and my theory part usually takes 1 hr..

    • No need for examples in 2 marks questions.
      If you are writing differences, write at least 2 differences. If you know only one difference, then write the examples as the second point in difference.
      Relax, it won’t take 1 hour.

  29. Sir, What is Escape Sequence ?

    • These are certain non-graphic characters, which cannot be typed directly from the keyboard. these characters are represented in Java by using escape sequences, which begin with a backslash () and are followed by one or more characters. Some examples:
      1. \t for Horizontal tab
      2. \n for New Line
      3. \’ for Single Quote
      4. \” for Double Quote

  30. Vinayak Dev Kuanr

    Does the ICSE syllabus certify the use of String Buffer on questions such as delete or insert a particular word in a sentence?

  31. Sir how to write cos x + cos b in java expression

  32. But what is the point of doing an extra question?? we can do the 4 and then check the rest of the paper…… what if one attempts 5 questions and gets 13 on both of them…… we can always check the paper after finishing it and we might be able to convert the 13 or 14 to a 15…… well its just my opinion……

    • You have to first do the 4 programs you are sure at. Next attempt the extra question(s).

      Consider 2 situations:

      Situation 1: You did 4 questions in which you were sure and you are getting 15, 15, 15 and 14. The marks can be deducted due to many factor(s). You may think at that moment that you applied the correct logic, but it may be that you skipped some part which were asked or you made an unintentional unrecognizable mistake which leads to a deduction in your marks. No matter how hard you revise, sometimes mitsakes aren’t that apparent. In such situation you are scoring 39/40. By the way, re-read the line “No matter how hard…..” again. See if you were able to catch the mistake in it. 🙂

      Situation 2: You did 6 questions and you are getting 15, 14, 15, 15, 15 and 14. In such situation you are scoring 40/40.

      It may happen that you score more marks in a program you did as extra compared to the one you were sure of.

      At the end of the day it is your choice to follow this advice or not. I have seen positive results from this practice by the students.

  33. Sir,
    i am an ICSE student and i find it very difficult to choose questions under section-B……can u help me by suggesting what are the questions that are better to choose and would fetch me marks easily?

  34. Sir,
    What is valueOf()?

  35. sir i am having a problem in writing variable description table
    will you please elaborate it to me ??

    • Hello Shivani,

      The Data Description Table consists of mostly 3 columns – Identifier/Variable Name, Data Type and Purpose.

      For example: The data description table for the below given code would be:

      Code:

      void isPrime(int n)
      {
         int c = 0;
         for(int i = 1; i<=n; i++)
         {
           if(n%i == 0)
              c++;
         }
         if(c == 2)
           System.out.println("The number is Prime");
         else
           System.out.println("The number is Not Prime");
      }
      

      Data Description:

      Identifier Name Data Type Purpose
      n int variable to store the number
      c int variable to count the number of factors of n
      i int loop control variable

      Hope this helps.
      Regards,
      guideforschool

  36. Sir wat is type casting ?
    It includes both implicit as well as explicit coversion OR Type casting means explicit coversion only ?

    • Type Casting refers to Explicit type conversion i.e. When the conversion takes place with the programmer’s intervention.
      Type Conversion includes both implicit and explicit conversion.

  37. sir, i want to know that if we are pretty much sure about our programs , do we still need to attempt an extra one, like can’t we just revise those nicely and the theory part, it never finishes within thirty minutes, some tips for that please if you can provide.

    • Hello Tejaswini,
      It will finish in 30 minutes. Even if you take 45 minutes, then you will still have 75 minutes and you can do 5 programs.
      It is for the good of students that I am asking them to attempt atleast one extra question. It may happen that you get 14 marks in a program and 15 in another.
      There is no harm in attempting an extra question. At the end of the day, you have to make a decision. Don’t think that we are forcing you to do so… 🙂 Relax.

  38. hello,sir May i know how can we write variabel dercrption and how we comment and also in our school we are always told not try to over attempt it will only cause harm to us please tell should i attempt more than 4 or at least 5 and i will get marks for best 4 or not please give me answere which is good!

    • The Data Description Table consists of mostly 3 columns – Identifier/Variable Name, Data Type and Purpose.

      For example: The data description table for the below given code would be:

      Code:

      void isPrime(int n)
      {
         int c = 0;
         for(int i = 1; i<=n; i++)
         {
           if(n%i == 0)
              c++;
         }
         if(c == 2)
           System.out.println("The number is Prime");
         else
           System.out.println("The number is Not Prime");
      }
      

      Data Description:

      Identifier Name Data Type Purpose
      n int variable to store the number
      c int variable to count the number of factors of n
      i int loop control variable

      Best 4 is considered in ICSE. So no need to worry. Teachers usually forbid doing this because they have to give extra time for checking your extra question. There is no harm in doing extra questions. There is only additional benefits in it.

      Hope this helps.
      Regards,
      guideforschool

  39. Hi sir
    Is it important to write comments and is it important that all the programs should use BufferedReader pls do reply me fast

  40. sir, u have said that we need to write variable tables but when i checked in the solution given by the council there is no mention of such
    please help and revert as soon as possible

  41. is it necessary to write variable or data description tables..do they carry any marks??

  42. Ok I will follow all the suggestion. Thank you for the same

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