IT past paper examples

  • Created by: Howzat
  • Created on: 11-01-19 10:34

User access levels question

Case Study- A collage with a system set up by IT Technicians

Discuss how user accounts impact on different user groups of the system (8 marks)

File access rights-

  • All users will be able to access their own files (edit/delete them)
  • Also allowed to access specific files in the shared area (allowed files)

Students will not be able to-

  • Access all other users files
  • Delete/edit files in the shared area

Teachers will be able to-

  • Add files to the shared area
  • Delete/edit files in the shared area
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User access levels question

Admin staff can- 

  • Access/edit files relating to their particular role e.g pupil admin, finance etc.

Application/software access rights-

  • Access to applications and software will be limited to what is deemed necessary to carry out the users role.


  • Access to certain printers/scanners
  • Logging on to a PC may be limited for students
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User access levels question

Network Administration-

Generally restricted to IT Technicians, although some teachers can carry out some simple tasks.

IT Technicians do most administration tasks on the system-

  • Install new software
  • change system settings
  • add/delete users
  • setting quotas e.g printing, user space
  • access everyone's files and folders
  • restricting internet access/restricting to particular websites
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Collecting Information Question (6 marks)

Case Study- Leisure Centre aimed at all ages. Aim- improve services. Aim survey at young adults.

Discuss the implications to collecting this information online rather than via face to face meetings


  • Most young adults are IT literate
  • Young people enhoy using technology more and therefore may be more willing to take part.
  • Participants may feel more comfortable and willing to offer opinions/ideas online
  • Questions can be structured
  • Questions are more focused than face to face which can go off topic.
  • No need to book a room
  • No travel involved
  • Can analyse results effectively
  • Collecting feedback from multiple participants can be automated
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Collecting Information Question (6 marks)


  • Not all young people have the technology/internet connection
  • May create a stigma for those without the required technology
  • The results could be skewed as those without the technology may be from poorer families.
  • Those without technology may be the ones who would gain most from these services
  • Need an effective system for recording/summarising the main points of the discussion
  • The style of questions needs to be considered so responses are not restricted/limited

Must keep answers to questions in context (always link back to the question!!!)

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Interface Question

Case Study- Online Survey at a leisure centre collecting first names, postcodes etc. (6 Marks)

Explain 3 different error reduction methods that can be used when collecting personal information

  • Dropdown menu's for gender for example to restrict time for each user (mention validation)
  • Format check/input masks for postcodes/DOB/Mobile number to ensure correct input.
  • Length check for mobile numbers (mention validation)
  • Presence checks- Make sure data has actually been entured into a field (mention validation)
  • Verifcation- Check a number, number etc actually exists
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Interface Factors Question

Discuss the factors, other than error reduction, that Joseph should consider when setting up the interface. (6 marks)

Ease of use- 

  • Obvious places for users to input data
  • Logical flow through the questions
  • Pop-up boxes if users are stuck
  • Consistent layout throughout


  • Provide text alternatives
  • Allow "zoom" facility
  • Make it available to assistive technologies
  • Allow screen readers
  • Text must be readable (fonts)
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Interface Factors Question


  • Is all the functionality keyboard accessible?
  • Consider other ways of accessing
  • Provide ways of "undoing" incorrect responses.


  • No lag between submission and next question


  • Consider different platforms e.g tablets
  • Operating systems e.g Windows and IOS
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PC security question

Describe one method you could use to restrict access to your laptop. (3 marks)

Biometrics (figerprints, voice recognition etc) which compares the imput  to the saved data and therefore, only allows that specific user access.

Two/multi factor authentication- security questions- compares input with saved data. Only gives access if it matches saved data. 

Restricting physical access- locked away at home. While travelling, locked bag etc (Use physical examples if you cant think of anything else).

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Ethernet question

Explain two advantages of using an Ethernet cable to connect to a laptop. (6 marks) 

Provides greater bandwidth/faster network connection. Faster transmission of fileswhich will improve productivity.

Improved security- does not radiate signals/provides a fixed connection which makes hacking much more difficult. No need to give out wireless access keys. 

Wired signal strength is more stable- not affected by environmental/external factors which can reduce packet/signal loss.

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VPN Question

Two benefits of using a VPN (4 marks)

Device connection will be encrypted even when using a non secure network, which helps prevent hackers.

Can use public networks securely which could save money (4G etc).

Improved privacy when using shared PC's as all traffic is kept inside the secure VPN "tunnel".

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Anti-Virus software question

Describe how the features of anti-virus software will protect devices against suspicious activity. (4)

The software monitors activity/scans PC files

Compares activity against a database of definitions

Analyses the code of the suspicious program

Determines the nature of the threat

Requests actions from the user

Give options to remove the threat

Give option to quarantine the threat

Log user actions to deal with similar future threats

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Digital certificates question

Explain why websites use digital certificates (3 marks)

To verify if a company owns a website and that the information is valkid so that it can be trusted by users.

Users anti-virus software will allow access to sites with certificates as the certificate verifies that a website is authentic and can be trusted by users.

Provides encryption for communication, ensuring that data transmitted is protected allowing for an encrypted response.

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Social Media question

Describe how a business owner could use "Status updates" and "Data analysis tools" to assist a business on social media. (4 marks)

Status Updates-

To provide information to customers on new products to enhance sales

To provide regular updates (brand, events etc) to maintain and increase in customer interest to maintain a high profile of brand.

Data analysis tools-

To identify demographic trends and to enable targeted marketing to adapt a business.

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Podcasts (file choice) question

Explain one way that making a podcast available to download will affect a choice of file type. (4)

Need to choose a common/popular file type (MP3) to ensure it is compatible with a wide range of devices which will maximise an audience and reduce the need for users to install additional software/codecs.

File size should be kept small. Need to choose a common file type. Maximise her audience as well as maintain quality.

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Online services question

Explain one way subscribing to an online service will impact on a business (3 marks)

Low start up costs as there is no need to buy hardware,software etc except for offset subscription charges.

Will not have to maintain the site so no need to employ staff saving ongoing costs.

The site will be maintained to a higher standard (most likely), which would promote a business well leading to an increase in customer interest.

However,  there is a lack of control (reliant on 3rd party security). They may be more subject to cyber attacks.

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10 mark question example

Discuss the factors you should consider when implementing a new server. (10 marks)


  • How long will the installation take?
  • Is there a target completion date?
  • External company?


  • Has it been thought through?
  • Will it work with their current needs (compatibility) such as OS plus Software etc.
  • Security 
  • Stability
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10 mark question example


  • Will the changeover result in the current server being down for a long time?
  • Could there be unplanned downtime?


  • Data during changeover?
    Setting up systems on new server (little protection)


  • IT staff
  • Users
  • COST
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How to tackle a factors question?


  • user experience – ease of use, performance, availability, accessibility
  •  user needs
  •  specifications
  •  compatibility
  •  connectivity
  •  cost
  •  efficiency
  •  implementation – timescales, testing, migration to new system(s)
  •  productivity
  •  security.

If you can't think of anything in the exam- USE COST (but try to avoid if possible)

Question the case study (persons) decisions for changing systems or whatever it is!

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10 mark question example (Impacts)

Discuss the immediate and long-term impacts that unequal access to IT has on students in developing countries. (10 marks)


  • Limited access to up-to-date materials may mean that students are disadvantaged in terms of quality and accuracy of their knowledge.
  • May limit their choice of educational course that they can follow


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