N7 Question & Mark Scheme Creation Guide

A guide for teachers and content developers


Code Blocks

Code blocks are suitable for the following content:

  • Code / pseudo-code
  • ASCII or other character based graphics

For example

|                Results                |
|             |        Contestant       |
| Competition +-------+--------+--------+
|             |  John | Andrea | Robert |
| Swimming    |  1:30 |   2:05 |   1:15 |
| Running     | 15:30 |  14:10 |  15:45 |


Before sharing your pseudocode question markschemes:

  • Check your logic by writing and running pseudocode solutions in a programming language of your choice
  • If any errors are discovered, fix your code and amend your pseudocode accordingly

For example, the following pseudocode copies all distinct city names from a collection called CITIES and into an array called LIST

loop while CITIES.hasNext()
    CITY = CITIES.getNext()
    FOUND = false
    loop INDEX from 0 to COUNT - 1
        if DATA = LIST[INDEX] then
            FOUND = true
        end if
    end loop
    if FOUND = false then
        LIST[COUNT] = DATA
        COUNT = COUNT + 1
    end if
end loop

Functions, methods & procedures


Use the pseudocode function key word only when, by definition, values / objects are explicitly returned. For example:

function largestValue(a, b)
    largest = b
    if a > b
        largest = a
    end if
    return largest
end function


Use the pseudocode method key word only when functions belong to Classes. For example:

class number
    number = a  // an instance variable
    method largestValue(b)
        if this.number > b
            largest = this.number
            largest = b
        return largest
    end method


Use the pseudocode procedure key word only when a "function" does not return any values / objects (though may affect items in a global scope). For example:

largest = 0
procedure largestValue(a, b)
    largest = b
    if a > b
        largest = a
    end if
end procedure

Meaningful variable names

To model good coding practices, even in pseudocode use appropriately meaningful varible names

Atomic Terms

Command TermAppropriate Response
Calculatedetermine a numerical result from facts, figures or information (show workings)
Commentprovide an informed judgement / opinion / review
Constructmake a diagrammatic or logical / coded representation
Definegive an accurate and complete definition
Demonstrateshow how and / or provide an example
Developelaborate on / build upon / advance
Identifyname / select / recognise
Sketchmake a simple freehand drawing showing key / essential elements

Composite Terms

Command TermAppropriate Response
Analyse / ExamineDESCRIBE and DISCUSS
Assess / EvaluateDESCRIBE, DISCUSS and COMMENT (focus discussion and comments on criteria as per context)
CompareDESCRIBE, DISCUSS and COMMENT on similarities
ContrastDESCRIBE, DISCUSS and COMMENT on differences
Describe / OutlineIDENTIFY and DEVELOP key concept characteristics
DiscussIDENTIFY and DEVELOP how key concepts relate to both each other and their context
ExplainDESCRIBE why and/or how (support your explanation with evidence / reason)
JustifyDESCRIBE, DISCUSS and COMMENT to justify a position (support your arguments with evidence / reason)
PredictDESCRIBE, DISCUSS and COMMENT to predict an outcome (support your prediction with evidence / reason)
StateDESCRIBE in clear terms
SuggestDESCRIBE, DISCUSS and COMMENT to make a suggestion (support your proposal with evidence / reason)
SummariseIDENTIFY and DEVELOP essential elements / main points (omit detail)

A note on Copare vs. Contrast

Be sure to use the correct term

Languague & Grammar

American or British English

N7 Education have opted to use Brish English / spelling

Metric (rather than imperial) units

Full stops

Full stops at the end of setances, except where mark scheme example lines correspond to one mark - these should end in a semi colon

Identify FALSITY bias

For multple choice questions, strongly preference a falsy bias. That is, have students identify the false statement rather than the true one in order to expose students to more truthful statements to support learning