N5 Coursework – Ticket Agency

  • Mrs Janet McDonald

    Just a word of warning to anyone planning to use Ticket Agency as their N5 Coursework task this session. SQA reissued the task in October 2015 and it is not just the marking scheme that has changed, there are also a few (minor) changes to the task itself – notably that the data in the key fields has changed from text data to numeric data. However, in making this change, they have also introduced an error into the data…

    The Ticket Agency task provides candidates with a single table of data which they have to split to remove repeating data. They then have to identify primary and foreign keys. In the printed version of this table the “Customer Ref” field has the same customer ref for both of the first two customers. This means that the field appears not to be unique and candidates may be put off from choosing this as a primary key. This is the case in both the full pack (ie the pack for teachers with the marking scheme) and the “Instructions for Candidates” pack. The error has, however, been corrected in the electronic version of the data included in the “Supplementary Files” pack; here the “Customer Ref” field contains data that is unique for every customer.

    I’ve checked with SQA and it IS an error in the packs and I’ve been told I can alter the table so that the data in it matches the data in the “supplementary files” and the customer ref is unique. I’m planning to do that to avoid confusion for my candidates. However, since SQA also say they can’t fix the error until next session, I felt it would also be useful to warn others. Despite the fact that it’s not a big error, there doesn’t seem any point in causing any more confusion or making things any more difficult for candidates than it has to be!

    Colin Drummond

    The updated version of the task asks the pupils to “design the query required to identify all customers eligible for a discount”.

    What exactly would be expected here, in the design stage?

    Stuart Rose

    I’ve just had a run though this task. Although creating the two tables and linking them together with validation rules is sufficient for National 5, I figured the query would be a simple search with criteria >=2 on the Tickets Bought field… but it seems very simple for National 5.

    As for the query design, I usually ask the pupils to describe in a few sentences how they are going to create the query. Alternatively they could create a table to highlight the database table and field(s) and any search or sort criteria assigned to the field(s).

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