GCSE Computer Science Keywords

  • Created by: GSidhu
  • Created on: 24-08-18 16:31
Picking out the important bits of information
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The part of the ALU that stores the intermediate results when doing a calculation
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Active attack (networks)
A network attack where the hacker attempts to change data or introduce malwares
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Algorithmic thinking
Coming up with an algorithm to solve a problem
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A step-by-step set of rules or instructions
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The collective name for letters, digits and symbols
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Analogue signal
A continuous signal which can't be processed by a computer
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One of the Boolean operators
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Anti-malware software
Software designed to stop malware from damaging a computer or network
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A piece of software written to help users do various tasks, often through a graphical user interface with menus and toolbars
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Describes how the CPU works and interacts with the other parts of the computer system
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A value that a parameter of a sub program actually takes
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Arithmetic logic unit (ALU)
The part of the CPU that carries out arithmetic and Boolean operations
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Arithmetic operator
An operator that programs use to carry out simple mathematical operations
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A data structure where all the data is stored and defined under one variable name
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A 7-bit character set consisting of 128 characters
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A program that turns assembly language into machine code
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Assembly language
A low-level language
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Assignment operator (=)
Assigns the value on the right hand side to the name on the left hand side
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A process for checking the identity of the user
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A programming tool commonly used to make a summary of a program
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A vulnerability in a computer or network's security that a hacker could exploit
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The amount of data that can be transferred on a network in a given time
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A counting system using base-2 consisting of 0s and 1s
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Binary shift
Moving the bits in a binary number left or right and filling the gaps with 0s
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BIOS (Basic Input Output System)
Software stored in ROM responsible for booting up a computer system
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Bitmap image
A graphic that it made up of pixels
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A binary digit, either 0 or 1
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Bit rate
The number of bits used per second of sampled audio
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A logical system using the operators AND, OR and NOT. The Boolean data can take one of two values, either true or false
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A programming tool used to halt a program at a specific place
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Brute force attack
A network attack which uses software to crack security passwords through trial and error
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Bus topology
A network topology in which all devices are connected to a single backbone cable
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8 bits
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Cache (CPU)
Quick access memory inside the CPU
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A way of changing from one data type to another
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Cat 5e/cat 6 cable
Standards for copper Ethernet cables used on LANs
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The control (usually by a government or organisation) of what information other people can access
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Channel (Wi-Fi)
A small range of Wi-Fi frequencies
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A single alphanumeric symbol
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Character set
A group of character that a computer recognises from their binary representation
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Check digit
A digit added to a string of digits which is used to check if all the digits have been entered and read correctly
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A number used to check if a packet of data sent between networks has been received correctly
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A device which requests data from a server
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Client-server network
A type of network managed by a server, which takes requests from client devices
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Clock speed
The number of instructions a processor can carry out each second
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Cloud computing
The use of the Internet to store files and provide software. Also known as the cloud
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Code editor
Part of an IDE where you write and edit your source code
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Colour depth
The number of bits used for each pixel in an image file
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Command-line interface
A text-based user interface where the user types in commands
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A note added to source code to say what part of a program does
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Comparison operator
Compares two values and outputs either true or false
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Compiled code
An executable file created by a compiler
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A programming tool to translate source code into machine code
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The process of making the size of a file smaller
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Computational thinking
Tackling a problem through decomposition, abstraction and algorithmic thinking
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Joining strings together
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Condition-controlled loop
An iteration statement that repeats a set of instructions until a condition is met
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A named value which cannot be altered as the program is running
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Control unit (CU)
The part of the CPU which controls the flow of data
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A legal right that prevents others from copying or modifying your work without permission
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Core (CPU)
A processing unit found inside the CPU
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Count-controlled loop
An iteration statement that repeats a set of instructions a given number of times
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CPU (or processor)
The part of the computer system that processes the data. It contains the control unit
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Creative Commons licence
Permits sharing of a creative work as long as certain requests from the original creator are upheld
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Cultural issue
An issue which affects a particular religious, ethnic, national or other group
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Using social media to deliberately harm someone else
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A collection of data records (made up of fields) often represented as tables
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Data type
Tells you what kind of data it is e.g. integer, real, string, etc.
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Identifying and fixing errors in a program
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Breaking a problem down into a smaller problem
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Dedicated system
A computer system designed to carry out a specific task
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Defensive design
A method of designing a program so that it functions properly and doesn't crash
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Reorganising data on a hard drive to put broken up files back together and collect up the free space
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A number system using base-10. Also known as decimal
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Denial-of-service attack
A network attack which stops users from accessing a part of a network or website
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Device driver
A piece of software that allows applications to communicate with a piece of hardware
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Digital divide
The inequality created by the fact that some people have greater access to technology than others
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Digital signal
The representation of an analogue signal using binary data
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Disk management
Organisation and maintenance of the hard disk
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Domain name server (DNS)
A server which stores website domain names and their IP addresses
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A small piece of hardware which allow devices to connect to a network wirelessly
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Type of iteration statement
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Type of iteration statement
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Dynamic IP address
An IP address which is automatically assigned to a device when it connects to a network
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Embedded system
A computer built into another device, e.g. a Smart TV
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Coding ('encrypting') data so that it can only be decoded ('decrypted') with the correct key
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Environmental issue
An issue relating to how we impact the natural world
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Erroneous data
Test data that a program isn't designed to accept
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Error diagnostics
Information about an error once it's been detected
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Network protocol used on LANs
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Ethical issue
Something which raises questions of right and wrong
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Discarded computer material
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Extended ASCII
An 8-bit character set consisting of 256 characters
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Extreme data
Test data on the boundary of what the program will accept
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Fetch-decode-execute cycle
The process that the CPU uses to retrieve and execute instructions
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Fibre optic cable
A high performance cable that uses light to carry data
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An element of a record used to store one piece of data. A column of a database table
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File handling (programming)
Reading from and writing to external files
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File management
The organisation, movement, and deletion of files
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File sharing
Copying files between devices on a network
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Final testing
When the testing stage of the software development cycle is only done once to check the software meets all the initial requirements
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Permanent software stored on ROM, used to control hardware or embedded systems
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Flash memory
Solid state non-volatile data storage
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Flow diagram
A graphical way of showing an algorithm
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FOR loop
A type of count-controlled iteration statement
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The unit used to send data via Ethernet over a LAN
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FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
A protocol used to access, edit and remove files on another device, like a server
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Functionality testing
A type of testing that assesses how well a program meets the requirements
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A sub program that takes parameters and returns a value
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1000 megabytes
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Global divide
The digital divide between different countries
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Global variable (programming)
A variable available throughout the whole program
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GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
A circuit for handling the processing of graphics and images
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Graphical user interface (GUI)
Allows the user to interact with the computer in a visual and intuitive way
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Graphics card
A piece of hardware containing a GPU
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GUI builder
An IDE tool for giving a program a graphical user interface
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A person who tries to illegally access or attack a computer network or device
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Hard disk drive (HDD)
Traditional internal storage for PCs and laptops that stores data magnetically
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The physical parts of a computer system
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Heat sink
Pulls heat away from the CPU to help maintain it's temperature
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A counting system using base-16 consisting of the digits 0-9 and the letters A-F
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High level language
A programming language like C++ and Java that is easy for humans to understand
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Hosting (Internet)
When a business uses its servers to store the files of another organisation
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A location where people can access a wireless access point
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HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol)
Used by web browsers to access websites and communicate with web servers
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IDE (Integrated Development Environment)
A piece of software to help a programmer develop programs
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IF statement
Type of selection statement
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IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)
A protocol used to retrieve emails from a server
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Incremental backup
A record of all the changes since the last incremental backup
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Spaces put at the beginning of lines of code to help show a program's structure
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Input sanitisation
Removing unwanted characters from an input
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Input validation
Checking that an input meets certain criteria
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Insider attacks
A network attack where someone within an organisation exploits their network access to steal information
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Integer (data type)
A numerical data type for whole numbers
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Intellectual property
An original piece of work (or an idea) that someone has created and belongs to them
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The ultimate/biggest/best WAN in the world, based around the TCP/IP protocol
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Internet Protocol (IP)
The protocol responsible for packet switching
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A translator that turns the source code into machine code and runs it one instruction at a time
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IP address
A unique identifier given to a device when it accesses an IP network
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Iteration statement
A statement which makes the program repeat a set of instructions
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Iterative testing
Repeated testing done during the development of a program
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1000 bytes
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LAN (Local Area Network)
A network which only covers a single site
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Lawful interception
Checking data on a network for cyber security purposes
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Layers (network)
Groups of protocols that have similar functions
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Legal issue
An issue relating to what's right and wrong in the eyes of the law
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A programming tool which can combine different compiled codes
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An open source operating system
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Local variable
A variable that is only defined and usable within certain parts of a program
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Logic circuit
An electronic circuit for performing logic operations on binary data. It may have more than one logic gate and more than two inputs
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Logic error
When a program does something that was not intended
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Logic gate
An electronic circuit component that performs a Boolean operation (e.g. AND, OR or NOT)
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Loop (programming)
A set of instructions that a program repeats until a condition is met or count is reached
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Lossless compression
Temporarily removing data from a file to decrease the file size
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Lossy compression
Permanently removing data from the file to decrease the file size
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Low-level language
A programming language that is close to what a CPU would actually do and is written for specific hardware (i.e. CPU type) e.g. machine code and assembly languages
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MAC address
A unique identifier assigned to a device that cannot be changed
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Machine code
The lowest level programming language consisting of 0s and 1s. CPUs can directly process it as a string of CPU instructions
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Magnetic storage
Hard disk drives and magnetic tapes that hold data as magnetised patterns
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Mainframe (or supercomputer)
An extremely powerful (and expensive and reliable) computer for specialist applications
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A characteristic of defensive design that helps programmers modify and repair programs
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Malicious software created to damage or gain illegal access to computer systems
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1000 kilobytes
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Hardware used to store data that a CPU needs access to
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Memory Access Register (MAR)
A CPU register that holds memory addresses (locations) for data and instructions that the CPU needs
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Memory Data Register (MDR)
A CPU register that holds data and instructions
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Mesh topology
A network topology where every device is directly or indirectly connected to every other without a central switch or server
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Extra data stored in a file which gives information about the file's properties
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The main circuit board in a computer that other hardware connects to
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Multi-tasking (OS)
When an operating system runs multiple programs and applications at the same time
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Multi-user (OS)
When an operating system allows multiple users at the same time
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Nested IF statement
A selection statement made up of multiple IF statements inside each other
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Network forensics
Investigations that organisations undertake to find the cause of attacks on their network
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Network Interface Controller (NIC)
An internal piece of hardware that allows a device to connect to a network
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Network policy
A set of rules and procedures an organisation will follow to ensure their network is protected against attacks
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Network security
Protection against network attacks
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Non-volatile memory
Memory that retains it's contents when it has no power
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Normal data
A type of test data that stimulates the inputs that users are likely to enter
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One of the Boolean operators
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Open source (software)
Software that can be modified and shared by anyone
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Operating System (OS)
A piece of software responsible for running the computer, managing hardware, applications, users and resources
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A special symbol like +,*,=,AND,==, that carries out a particular function
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Optical disc
CD, DVD, or Blu-Ray disk that is read/written to with lasers
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Optical drive
Device used to read and write to optical discs
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One of the Boolean operators
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Running a CPU at a higher clock speed than was intended
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Overflow error
An error that occurs when the computer attempts to process a number that has too many bits for it to handle
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Packets (networks)
Small, equal-sized units of data used to transfer files over networks
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Packet switching
The process of directing data packets on a network using routers and the IP protocol
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A variable that a sub program requires in order to run - it's only defined within the sub program
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Parity bit
A bit placed at the end of binary data to show if it's been received correctly
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Passive attack (networks)
Where a hacker monitors data travelling on a network
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A string of characters that allows access to certain parts of a computer or program
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A licence that protects new inventions, ideas and concepts
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Payload (network packets)
The part of a packet with the actual data
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Peer-to-peer (P2P) network
A network in which all devices are equal and connect directly to each other
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Pentesting (penetration testing)
The process of stimulating attacks on a network to identify weaknesses
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External hardware connected to a computer
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1000 terabytes
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When criminals send emails or texts to someone claiming to be a well-known business
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Small dots that make up a bitmap image
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Platform (OS)
A computer system that other applications can run on
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A protocol used to retrieve emails from a server
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Power supply
A piece of hardware that gives the other pieces of hardware the energy they need to run
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Primary storage
Memory that can be accessed directly by the CPU
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A sub program that carries out a list of instructions
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The execution of program instructions by the CPU
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Program Counter (PC)
Holds the memory address of the next CPU instruction
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Program flow
The order in which statements are executed in a program (controlled with selection and iteration statements)
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A set of instructions that can be executed on a computer
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Proprietary software
Software where modifying and sharing is not permitted
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Protocols (networks)
A set of rules for how devices communicate over a network
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A set of instructions in the style of a programming language but using plain English
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Public domain
Describes content which has no copyright attached to it
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A request to retrieve data that meets certain conditions from a database
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The main memory of a computer
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A type of malware that uses encryption to lock a user out of their files
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Real (data type)
A numerical data type for decimal numbers
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A data structure used to store multiple items of data about one 'thing' together. A row in a database table
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A temporary data store inside a CPU
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Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
A health problem caused by doing repeated movements over a long period of time
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The density of pixels in an image, often measured in dpi
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Ring topology
A network topology where the devices are connected in a ring, with data moving in one direction
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ROM (Read Only Memory)
Memory that can be read but nor written to
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A piece of hardware responsible for transmitting data between networks
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Run-time environment
Allows code to be run and tested from within an IDE
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Sample size
The number of bits available for each audio sample
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The process of converting analogue signals to digital data
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Sampling frequency
The number of audio samples that are taken per second
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Sampling intervals
The time between each sample
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Sanitisation (programming)
Removing unwanted characters from an input
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A type of malware that creates false messages to trick the user into following malicious links
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A simple program, often run on command-line interfaces to automate tasks
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Search algorithm
A set of instructions that you can follow to find an item in a list
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Secondary storage
External data storage used to store data so that the computer can be switched off
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Selection statement
A statement which causes the program the make a choice and flow in a given direction - e.g. IF and SWITCH-CASE statements
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A device which provides services for other devices (clients), e.g. file storage/web pages/printer access
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Sharing economy
Where people make money from things they already own
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Single user (OS)
When an operating system only allows one user to use it at any one time
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SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
Used to send emails and transfer emails between servers
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Social engineering
A way of gaining illegal access to data or networks by influencing people
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Social media
Web applications which allow people to communicate and share content with others online
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Programs or applications that can be run on a computer system
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Software licence
A legal agreement that states how software can be used and distributed
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Solid State Drive (SSD)
Alternative to a traditional magnetic hard disk drive that uses flash memory
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Sorting algorithm
A set of instructions which you can follow to order a list of items
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Source code
The actual written code of a program
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Spoof website
A fake website that tricks users into thinking it's another well-known website
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A type of malware which secretly monitors and records user actions
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SQL (Structured Query Language)
A programming language used to manage and search databases
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SQL injection
A piece of SQL code which can be typed into an input box and try and attack the SQL database
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Somebody who has an interest in or is affected by the decisions of an organisation
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Star topology
A type of network topology where all devices are connected to a central switch or server which controls the network
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Static IP address
A permanent IP address
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Storage device
A device used to read and write data to a storage medium
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Storage medium
A thing that holds data. It can be part of the storage device(e.g. magnetic disks inside a hard drive) or separate (like a CD)
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A data type for text
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A set of code within a program that can be called at any time from the main program
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The act of monitoring what people are accessing on the Internet
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SWITCH-CASE statement
A type of selection statement
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Switch (network)
Connects devices together on a LAN and directs frames of data to the correct device
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Syntax error
An error in the code where the rules or grammar of the programming language have been broken
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System software
Software designed to run or maintain a computer system
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A set of protocols which dictate how data is sent over the Internet. Made up of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP)
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1000 gigabytes
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Tertiary storage
High-capacity external storage used mainly for back ups
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Test data
Inputs that are chosen to see if a program is behaving as intended
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A way of checking if a program functions correctly and meets certain requirements
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Test plan
A detailed plan of how a program is going to be tested including what test data will be used
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Topology (networks)
How the devices in a network are connected together
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Traffic (networks)
The amount of data travelling on a network
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A program that turns a programming language into machine code
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A type of malware which is disguised as legitimate software
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The act of trying to provoke public arguments online
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Truth table
A table listing all possible binary inputs through a logic circuit, with the corresponding outputs
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A large character set that attempts to include all possible characters
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URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
An address used to access web servers and resources on them
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User access levels
Controls what files or areas of the network different groups or users can access
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User interface
Provides a way for the user to interact with the computer
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Utility software
Software designed to help maintain a computer system
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Checking that an input meets certain criteria
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A storage location which can be changed
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Content on the Internet which has spread rapidly via social media
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Virtual memory
Area of secondary storage used by the OS as extra RAM
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Virtual network
A software-based network that exists between devices on a physical network
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Virtual server
A software-based server
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A type of malware which spreads by attaching itself to files
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Volatile memory
Memory that loses it's contents when it has no power
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Von Neumann
A type of CPU architecture
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WAN (Wide Area Network)
A network which connects networks in different geographical locations
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WHILE loop
Type of iteration statement
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The standard used for wireless connections between devices
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A GUI based on windows, icons, menus and pointers
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Wireless Access Point (WAP)
A piece of hardware that allows devices to connect wirelessly
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World wide web (www)
The collection of websites hosted on the Internet
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A type of malware which replicates itself
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


The part of the ALU that stores the intermediate results when doing a calculation



Card 3


A network attack where the hacker attempts to change data or introduce malwares


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


Coming up with an algorithm to solve a problem


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


A step-by-step set of rules or instructions


Preview of the back of card 5
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