in the hsc (i havent done it yet) but in previous ones ive seen/tried, they tend to ask questions where you have to solve a problem and they ask you to either use a flowchart or pseudocode to create a (programming) solution
i'll agree with most here, sdd is quite a boring subject because of the theory. The amount of crap you learn in the subject, and the rellivance to the actual exam, well let's just say, if you know it, you know it, if you don't, good luck learning it.
If you have past knowledge in coding, whether that be web design, actual programming, or even something like mIRC scripting, you will do quite well in this subject (the project side), but if you don't, i suggest you sit down for a week or so, look at some of the basic codes online (say visual basic as that will be something that is commonly picked as the program you study), and see if you can work out the general structure. If you can, do software design, if you can't, i might opt for another subject.
I'm sure most who have done software will agree, the exam itself could be studied the night before, or a whole week, and you could end up with the same mark. The big guns, like algorithms, diagrams and coding debugging are things that can be learnt, but need to be constantly revised. If you already know them, as in had past experience, and know that you can code, then you will do quite well in the huge mark questions.
I've just started the yr 12 course of SDD.
I would suggest you go and talk to your teacher first.
Take my experiences for example.
For me, ive found software FUN and laidback.Theres a hell of a lot of theory, for us mainly which was just posted on a online moodle site that we had to independantly read, because being a combined class of 9 students (yr11 and yr12) our teacher focused almost all of time with the yr 12s.
This meant we had to take an independant approach and was quite laid back.
Yr11 consisted of a major project in which we were asked to code a single player multi user dungeon!
We had very little help in this, but in the end we all produced working code except one person, who coded absolutely nothing but was still able to pass because they were able to produce the pseudocode and documentation.
We started off not nowing anything about qbasic or coding in general.
All you have todo is take an intrest and you will suceed.
Software is not just about theory or code, its about a systematical approach to taking on a big project.(a valuable life skill)
For example, Breaking the task down into stages and defining what needs to be down so that in the end everything will work
Ie Coding a parser to receive input (recognising 2 words such as go east ) then building a case structure to respond to input, Adding rooms and objects via arrays etc.
For each stage, we very quickly learnt thatspenind 10 minutes writing an algorithm out (what you will be asked to do in your HSC test for sure) , saves a hell of a lot time, than spending 30mins typing out code and not having it work, and having to start the process again.
So far, thats basically what SDD has meant to be. anyway
Atm in yr 12, we are just messing around with lego robokits How that fits into the syllabus, and How the hell im going to pass all the theory ATM i dont know.
But speak to your teacher hey, Find out what they plan to cover, whether the teacher actually knows their stuff or is just setting you work out of a text book..because it makes all the difference
I do both IPT and SDD as well.
If u can work on ur own, and enjoy theory, then do them.
Otherwise, if you can't stay focused and genuinely don't have any interest in the technical and perhaps mundane areas of computing, then don't waste your time...
I've been lucky to have an awesome computer teacher since Year 9, I've had the same teacher for IPT and SDD through both Year 11 and Year 12 too.... as the Muirfield fellow said, talk to your teacher about it Then you'll be able to guess if the teacher will make the subject fun, enjoyable while also properly teaching you... or if they are a dropkick who will let you sit at the computers all year and not learn anything. (That being said, my SDD teacher did that a lot in Year 12.... but in the end we all caned the HSC exam... hahaha)
I would say that SDD in general is kinda boring, especially when you have a teacher that drones on about this and that and doesn't teach anything, however, its not hard, it just requires lots of work and in the case of bad teacher, self study is essential to do really well.
Lol.. some pretty gnarly opinions in this thread I've just started doing the HSC course (seriously, just started 2 days ago), so i don't know too much about that yet. But, the prelimary course i know is piss easy.. Maybe it's because i do the course by correspondence on my own, meaning i have no teacher or class, but i don't find it boring or hard in the slightest! Also, not being restricted by other students means that i just have an extra free period and can do software work whenever i feel like it..
I didnt start the prelimary course until half way into the second term, and i finished it with ease (and no trouble from teachers at all ), so it's not like theres a lot of work behind it.. In fact, there was only 17 title pages for some reason, when its meant to be one per week in a 31 week year :S Perhaps it was because of that that i left it until week 9 until i started the HSC course
Anyway, the point is, i strongly recommend Software Design
btw, i got 85% in my final preliminary exam, so imagine if i made a decent effort in the subject! Thats how easy it is..