Database Assessment Questions

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  • Gareth Rae

    I’m currently creating a bank of questions for National 5 Homework, Class Questions, Tests etc. To ensure they are set at the correct level I’m looking at the National 5 specimen paper, past Intermediate 2 Info Sys and past Standard Grade papers. The words “normalisation” or “removal of multi-value fields” do not appear in the mandatory KU content at National 5 under Database, but are there for Int 2 Information Systems in the Database Systems content statements. The National 5 content states “linked tables”, “primary and foreign keys”, and “good design to avoid data duplication and modification errors”.
    Question 20(b)(i) in the Nat 5 specimen paper askes candidates to “Identify a suitable primary key for each table”. To do this they would need to look carefully at the flat file database given and from that split this into two tables (INSTRUCTOR and COURSE) in their own head before they could come up with the correct answer. This would assume they are skilled in the art of removing multi-valued fields in records.
    If this is the case, and they should be able to spilt a flat table into two linked tables at Nat 5, would Question 14 from the 2007 Intermediate 2 Information Systems paper be a viable type of question, if you make assumptions from the mandatory content at National 5? Even if reworded not to include the words “normalise” and “remove multi-valued fields”.
    Does pupil knowledge and understanding basically need to be the same to answer both the Int 2 question and the NAT 5 question, even though the question wording is different? And if this is the case should I be teaching pupils carry out a normalisation process, even though this is not explicit in the Nat 5 documentation?

    I hope this all makes sense!

    Colin McAlpine

    I would agree with you, I reckon they will have to normalise to 1NF – without explicitly knowing that that’s what they are doing … Hopefully!

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