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Author: labuscagnec Created: 9/24/2009 11:16 PM
IT Matters

NSC Supplementary Papers - March 2010

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Timetable for the 2010 National Senior Certificate examinations: October/November 2010.

Please note the dates for the practical papers. Also note that CAT and IT Paper 2 are written on the same day due to the fact that learners can no longer offer both the subjects.

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Once again with the compliments of Max Brock, subject advisor from Western Cape: PAT Phase 2...unpacked.

Thanks for supporting our IT teachers!

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Max Brock, subject advisor from Western Cape has compiled this document, upacking Phase 1 of the 2010 Grade 12 PAT.

Thanks Max for sharing this with us

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We always learn through experience. This is also the case with examinations. I came across this presentation onLessons learnt from the 2009 final exam.

Please share your experience and lessons learnt with other colleagues. It will enable us to rule out common mistakes made by learners and to improve results.

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Past exam papers always serve as excellent revision material to prepare learners for the final exams as well as to guide grade 10 and 11 teachers to what is expected by the end of grade 12.

Download the NSC IT exam papers (click on read more...)

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With the IT numbers declining, we might need some good motivation to convince learners to study IT at school.

Read the interesting post (posted to ComStudies mailing list) by Jak (Jakkaphan Tangkuampien) on IT and careers in IT.

Jak wrote:

US website CareerCast recently released their list of the top ten best jobs using the criteria of stress, working environment, physical demands, income and hiring outlook.


Best job was Actuary, followed by Software engineer and Computer Systems Analyst.


The full article can be found at:


If you dont have time to read the full article, here is an interesting quote:


".. what truly helps Software Engineer stand out from other career choices is its hiring outlook. With low unemployment compared to the national average and projected job growth of nearly 45% through 2016, Software Engineer currently has the best hiring outlook of any available job in 2010."


Not sure what these jobs are? Here's the article's (very brief) description of the two jobs:


·         Software Engineer:

Researches, designs, develops and maintains software systems along with hardware development for medical, scientific, and industrial purposes.


·         Computer Systems Analyst:

Plans and develops computer systems for businesses and scientific institutions.



Programmer is the 34th best job in the list of 200 best job (

This is why I keep telling my students to do well on Phase 1 and 2 of the PAT because its brings in more money. :P You will see that their description of what a software engineer does matches pretty well to the 4 phases of IT PAT: Researches, designs, develops and maintains - Well done PAT authors - proof that we are training students to be more than just programmers.


You may think that the job situation is not the same for SA, but in their latest report (Nov 09 - available at rated IT as the areas where recruitment is one of the most difficult (4000 advert and 8 potential jobseekers for every advert - NB there is an overlap here - usually people apply for more than one job).

Compare this to marketing with 250 adverts and 25 potential jobseeker for every advert).


But what do they mean by IT jobs? - check jobs listed as IT jobs here


No Jobs and money in IT? Another myth busted? Perhaps you can use it to convince more learners to do IT.

There are still incorrect perceptions out there. You can also use it to convince learners of the importance of all four PAT phases.


What am I doing is teaching, Luckily it doesn't feature in the list of the 20 worst jobs. (also available


Incidentally, the sixth worst job is garbage collector - luckily in Java you don't have to do this yourself :P.







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PAT 2010

The PAT is a project in which learners demonstrate their software development skills. 

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Hoërskool Uitsig in The Reeds, Pretoria hosted a very successful ICT Expo on 20 October 2009 where IT and CAT learners were afforded the opportunity to showcase their Practical Assessment Tasks (PATs). The learners competed for prizes sponsored by local businesses. Ms Ena Brits, Subject Advisor for CAT and IT from Tshwane South (D4) supported this wonderful event.

A few schools from the Centurion region participated and it was wonderful to see the effort that went into the PATs and how proud the learners were of their projects.

I spoke to the learners and there was general consensus on the following:

  • It was hard work, but they enjoyed it.
  • They have learned a lot about their programming skills and the way the different tools (SQL, database and Delphi) can work together to produce a useful application.
  • Some admitted that they have learned new skills that they were not taught because it was not part of the curriculum. They needed it and made an effort to find out how to do it. A grade 10 learner used text files to store some data. When I asked him whether their teacher has taught them this (as it is not part of the Grade 10 content) he said no, but he wanted to store the data and learned how to do this himself)
  • That the PAT prepared them well for the practical examination and that they have actually learned more in doing the PAT than in doing their day-to-day activities and exercises.
  • That though they were much more focused on the final product, they actually enjoyed the analysis and research and that the first two phases helped them to plan better and to produce a quality application in the end.
  • That if you worked hard and studied the assessment tool, it was actually “easy marks”

Overall, the projects were very good and the judges had a hard time in selecting the winners.

Congratulations to all the participants and their teachers and especially to the winners in the different categories!

I will upload some photos as soon as they are made available and will also try to source copies of the winning projects to upload.

However, what struck me is the very few girls that were there.  It seems that IT has become a “boy” subject. I wonder how one could address this?

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Learners should practise as much as they can to prepare for the November 2009 exams. It is always good to work through exam papers before an exam.

Find September 2009 papers from various provinces.

Please note

The contents of papers should be checked against the Content Framework for Information Technology

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