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CARIBBEAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL

Caribbean Advanced
Proficiency Examination

Computer Science
Syllabus

Effective for examinations from May/June 2009

Correspondence related to the syllabus should be addressed to:

The Pro-Registrar
Caribbean Examinations Council
Caenwood Centre
37 Arnold Road, Kingston 5, Jamaica, W.I.

Telephone Number: (876) 920-6714
Facsimile Number: (876) 967-4972
E-mail address: cxcwzo@cxc.org
Website: www.cxc.org

Copyright © 2008 by Caribbean Examinations Council
The Garrison, St. Michael BB 11158, Barbados

This document CXC A19/U2/08 replaces CXC A19/U2/03 issued in 2003.

Please note that the syllabus was revised and amendments are indicated by italics and vertical lines.

Revised 2008

Please check the website, www.cxc.org for updates on CXC’s syllabuses.

Contents ContentsIntroduction

RATIONALE1

AIMS 2

SKILLS AND ABILITIES TO BE ASSESSED2

PRE-REQUISITES OF THE SYLLABUS4

STRUCTURE OF THE SYLLABUS4

UNIT 1: FUNDAMENTALS OF COMPUTER SCIENCE

MODULE 1: COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE AND ORGANISATION5
MODULE 2: PROBLEM-SOLVING WITH COMPUTERS 8
MODULE 3: PROGRAMMING11

UNIT 2: FURTHER TOPICS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE

MODULE 1: DATA STRUCTURES 13
MODULE 2: SOFTWARE ENGINEERING15
MODULE 3: OPERATING SYSTEMS AND COMPUTER NETWORKS19

OUTLINE OF ASSESSMENT23

REGULATIONS FOR PRIVATE CANDIDATES35

REGULATIONS FOR RESIT CANDIDATES35

ASSESSMENT GRID36

LOGIC SYMBOLS36

GLOSSARY37

Introduction

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T

he Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) is designed to provide certification of the academic, vocational and technical achievement of students in the Caribbean who, having completed a minimum of five years of secondary education, wish to further their studies. The examination addresses the skills and knowledge acquired by students under a flexible and articulated system where subjects are organised in 1-Unit or 2-Unit courses with each Unit containing three Modules.

Subjects examined under CAPE may be studied concurrently or singly, or may be combined with subjects examined by other examination boards or institutions.

The Caribbean Examinations Council offers three types of certification. The first is the award of a certificate showing each CAPE Unit completed. The second is the CAPE diploma, awarded to candidates who have satisfactorily completed at least six Units, including Caribbean Studies. The third is the CAPE Associate Degree, awarded for the satisfactory completion of a prescribed cluster of seven CAPE Units including Caribbean Studies and Communication Studies. For the CAPE diploma and the CAPE Associate Degree, candidates must complete the cluster of required Units within a maximum period of five years.

Recognized educational institutions presenting candidates for CAPE towards the award of the Council’s Associate Degree in nine categories must, on registering these candidates at the start of the qualifying year, have them confirm in the required form, the Associate Degree they wish to be awarded. Candidates will not be awarded any possible alternatives for which they did not apply.

Computer Science Syllabus

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* RATIONALE

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he widespread application of Computer Science, as embodied in the tools and techniques for gathering, manipulating, analysing and disseminating information, made possible because of dramatic improvements in computer and telecommunications technologies, has significantly changed society. A large proportion of business transactions is performed over computer networks. Multi-media computers have had a significant impact on the way in which people learn and on the way they seek entertainment. Moreover, the increased integration of computer and telecommunications technology, exemplified by the...
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