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Tips from a Band 6 Information Processes and Technology student (2 Viewers)

Katsumi

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Hello, I'm Katsumi and managed to achieve a final HSC mark of 91 and a band 6 in the Information Processes and Technology course. At the beginning of 2014 i absolutely despised this subject and everything about it, sitting at a mediocre rank and dreading each class i was made to attend. However through changing up how i approached the subject it became one of my favorite subjects and favorite class to attend very quickly, eventually leading to me achieving the second best HSC mark for this subject in my school. Below you will find a study guide that i actively utilized and a few tips that will hopefully assist to in maximizing your marks throughout the preliminary and HSC IPT courses

Tips
  • In my opinion IPT is a subject largely based around consistency, cramming will only get you so far. I recommend that you continually make notes on a regular basis and do weekly content reviews, constantly keeping the content fresh in your mind. You will find that after a while the knowledge just sticks with you and becomes more or less second nature
  • The 7 Information Processes make up the framework of the IPT course. Go back to your preliminary content and relearn them if you have forgotten, it will make the subject much easier if you actually know each process well. Look at real life information systems and constantly relate the information processes to them in order to get a good grip of how they work... chances are you will get at least 1 or 2 high mark questions in the HSC exams about the Information Processes so it is absolutely pivotal to know them. An easy way to remember such processes is C.O.S.P.A.T.D. (Cos-Patted)
  • Learn your diagrams. Many of my classmates where completely screwed over during exams due to not knowing how to create a context diagram, data flow diagram, storyboard or many of the other diagrams associated with this course. Once you spend a few hours learning how to do them you really wont forget for the rest of your HSC
  • Study using the Davis Textbook and the Excel textbook. A large majority of students say that Davis is the worst textbook for the subject as it goes into things way too extensively. However his examples and activities are absolutely excellent and go a long way in allowing you to gain an in depth understanding of the content. Excel on the other-hand is great for both cramming and learning the content in a concise manner
  • If you use the Davis Textbook have the syllabus next to you and refer to both the "students learn about" and "students learn to" sections and highlight what is relevant
  • Relating your content to real life situations helps tremendously in the learning process.
  • Don't neglect social and ethical issues as they will very likely come up in the HSC examinations, i noticed that many students in my year failed to treat them with adequate respect. While many of them are common sense at a minimum should know what each of them are, however it is highly recommended that you actually know them comprehensively. After a while you will notice that they really just repeat themselves across most topics (especially the core ones) and they will come to you quite easily.
  • IPT is largely an extremely simple subject which has a very strong facade of complexity. Think of things in a simple manner and try not to use too much IT jargon, it goes a very long way when revising and retaining content. For example, i personally had trouble remembering the difference between Asymmetric and Symmetric encryption, as such i stopped thinking of it in a complex manner, remembering the content as so (Asymmetric has one more letter, so it has one more key. A stands for anyone so the first key is public, S stands for security so the second key is private. Due to having 2 keys Asymmetric is more secure than symmetric. Symmetric does not have an A hence 1 key is used for both encryption and decryption).
  • Pay attention in classes and constantly ask your teacher questions regarding anything you don't know. If you have good teacher, they will most likely clarify it well and explain it in simple terms in which you can understand. Once they have explained a concept, pose a follow up question using a real life example (i.e. So an example of storing and retrieving is saving and loading content in a video game?) that should act to re-enforce your knowledge and guarantee that it is correct
  • Keep a cool head, even when cramming. In IPT there will very likely always be something that you may not know completely well, just keep calm and go over it in due time. Think of the content methodically and not as separate pieces of information.
  • Don't think of your content in isolation. This took me a while to realize but everything in IPT is interrelated across topics, just knowing this really helps you better understand the subject as a whole.
  • Don't restrict your study to just rote learning notes, while this can work in many other subjects it can largely back fire due to the general exam style of IPT. Do practice questions and link your content to real life IT situations.
  • Be familiar with the exam style of this subject, unlike many other subjects that may ask you straight questions on the content, Information Processes and Technology attempts to test all your content in relevance to real life IT situations. To achieve a high mark in this subject you need to know how to apply your content to such situations on the spot in relevance to all included variables
  • When completing assignments, remember that everything they are looking for is contained in the syllabus. Map out what content you are going to include before you start your project, it largely helps to know what you have to do as it is easy to get lost/confused. After that i personally recommend following the Davis textbook in line with that content. While his extensive detail is frowned upon for general study purposes its absolutely invaluable when completing a project. Also remember that the more detail is better if you don't have a restrictive word limit. Show the marker that you know what you are talking about in a holistic manner
  • Exam Technique is key. Do past papers under timed conditions, a lot of them. Read the markers guidelines for HSC exams to figure out how to best answer questions and consistently hand in papers to your teacher for marking. I suggest starting with papers as soon as you finish Communication Systems as you can do Sections I and II. Papers will help you learn both diagrams and the practical application of content
  • Collaborating with friends can bring you a long way provided that you hang out with the right crowd. Prepare practice questions and test eachother and ask for explanations regarding content that you do not know. Gaining a second insight into content that you don't understand can be extremely helpful for all subjects in the HSC

Study Guide

This study guide contains most of the core content that you need to study before an examination, but does not cover the entire syllabus. It is intended to be used as a basic checklist/guideline for your studies




Well hopefully this at least helps a few future HSC Students out. I avidly enjoyed this course and hope that each of you can maximize your marks and enjoy it just as much as i did. Feel free to message me with any IPT related questions and i will attempt to get back to you in a timely manner
 
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swagmeister

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Thanks Katsumi, very very helpful! Any tips for summarising info from the Davis textbook into your notes? cause I keep thinking 'what if they ask that in the HSC' even if its like really specific
 

Katsumi

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Thanks Katsumi, very very helpful! Any tips for summarising info from the Davis textbook into your notes? cause I keep thinking 'what if they ask that in the HSC' even if its like really specific
Refer to the syllabus and attempt to determine what parts of the textbook are relevant for you to hit that specific key point.

I also recommend that you go through a couple of past HSC papers and sample answers and see how much detail they are really expecting you to go into (when you get back to school i recommend going over questions that you already know, answering them and getting them marked by your teacher. If you get full marks, that is the amount of depth you need to go into. By doing that you eventually get a good taste of how much detail you need in your notes).

My typical process of summarizing Davis was
1. Read over the page slowly
2. Check both the "students learn about" and "students learn to" section of the syllabus
3. Read over the page again
4. Highlight the information that i determined relevant
5. Make notes in my own words
6. Completed the activities if applicable

Comparing your notes with other people's notes such as previous band 6'ers and BOS'ers also helped me tremendously
 

Kittyrules

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these are really good tips! highly recommended you read through them! I would add to it, but Katsumi did a great job going through it all. If you need any help though, dont hesistate to ask me, as i got 95 in IPT last year, and didnt throw it all out of my head yet (cuz i need it for Software Design xD)
 

Katsumi

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these are really good tips! highly recommended you read through them! I would add to it, but Katsumi did a great job going through it all. If you need any help though, dont hesistate to ask me, as i got 95 in IPT last year, and didnt throw it all out of my head yet (cuz i need it for Software Design xD)
Feel free to post below and i'll add whatever additions you want to make, a 95 is quite the impressive mark.

A uni subject that i am doing in my first sem (Introduction to Information Systems) is IPT on a much larger and broader scale actually. So i quite extensively apply my IPT knowledge these days haha
 

BLIT2014

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Feel free to post below and i'll add whatever additions you want to make, a 95 is quite the impressive mark.

A uni subject that i am doing in my first sem (Introduction to Information Systems) is IPT on a much larger and broader scale actually. So i quite extensively apply my IPT knowledge these days haha
I'm doing introduction to Business Information System at MQ :)
 

swagmeister

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these are really good tips! highly recommended you read through them! I would add to it, but Katsumi did a great job going through it all. If you need any help though, dont hesistate to ask me, as i got 95 in IPT last year, and didnt throw it all out of my head yet (cuz i need it for Software Design xD)
if you could offer any additional tips that would be sick :)
 

Katsumi

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Just to note, if anyone wants to input some more advice I'm more than glad to edit this into a collaborative advice thread as opposed to just my own tips. This applies to both past students and 2015ers when their hsc ends/is close to ending.
 

pkisbest

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So, with Context Diagrams and DFDs, what is the actual difference between the two. I know Context Diagrams work with processes and DFD's show a flow of data, but ive never been able to get the 2 handled well and efficiently
 

astroman

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So, with Context Diagrams and DFDs, what is the actual difference between the two. I know Context Diagrams work with processes and DFD's show a flow of data, but ive never been able to get the 2 handled well and efficiently
 

pkisbest

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Yep that helped. So essentially, a Context Diagram, is a simplified version of a DFD.
 

seremify007

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Without trying to repeat everything which Katsumi said, this subject was definitely all about consistency even when I did the HSC over a decade ago. For what it's worth, the content and syllabus was surprisingly ahead of it's time - no, I'm not referring to the 80's IT terminology/definitions, but quite a few of the concepts and processes like drawing process flowcharts, understanding of relational databases, writing queries, etc... even though my professional career was in accounting and finance, these have proven invaluable in my professional life in the modern business environment where organisations always need help with changing their processes and adapting to new technologies (e.g. how to integrate the cloud and offshore booking/processing centers whilst meeting regulatory and legal requirements in various jurisdictions).

My tip to youngsters doing this subject is to really try and live and breathe this content. Unlike the other HSC subjects where it's just a rote learning exercise, if you can truly understand/appreciate the subject matter then it'll help you in various ways later on in life.
 

meetdas12

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Hi Katsumi,
If you have independent past papers for IPT from 2001-2015 and their solutions, could you please post them on this thread.
 

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