FAQs for IGCSE Information and Communication Technology (0417)

Do candidates take all three papers on a computer?

No, only Papers 2 and 3 are taken on a computer as these are practical tests.

When can we take the practical tests?

You have a one-day window to conduct practical tests. The dates that these examinations must be taken are given in the Key dates and activities monthly calendar, available to download from the Cambridge Exams Officers’ Guide area of the public website.

The data files for each practical test will be available to download three days before the test, from the digital file despatch area of our website. Further information is available in the Cambridge Handbook, also in the Cambridge Exams Officers’ Guide area of the public website.

What are the hardware and software requirements for the practical tests?

The Cambridge Handbook has full details on the requirements of the practical tests, including the hardware, software, network, security and invigilation requirements.

Administrative instructions for the practical tests are sent to centres in the Cambridge Exams Officer eNewsletter. They detail the administrative tasks you must carry out before, during and after the tests. It is essential that you read, understand and follow these instructions. If you do not have a copy of the instructions please email

Can brand names be given in answers about types of software?

No. Where a question requires a type of software to be named candidates must use the generic term such as word processing, spreadsheet, database management systems, etc. They must not use terms such as Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.

Where the question asks to circle two or three answers will candidates be penalised for circling more than the number asked for?

Yes, for every ‘extra’ answer given they candidate will lose a mark but they will never be awarded a negative mark for a question. The same applies for questions where candidates have to tick a number of boxes.

Do candidates need to know HTML?

Yes, a working knowledge of HTML is important. In the practical tests, candidates are able to use a WYSIWYG editor but they must be able to edit HTML manually and have a limited understanding of HTML.

Is it useful to study RGB colours for the website authoring?

RGB colour codes may appear in either of the practical papers so candidates need to have an understanding of common component colours and their hexadecimal format.

In my country, decimal point settings are commas and thousand separators are full stops. Can I amend the CSV source files to give semicolon separators?

Yes, you can convert the csv file to your regional settings environment.

When I open the csv file in Excel all the data appears in one column. Why is this?

This is to do with regional settings. If all data opens in column A, highlight the column and on the Tools menu select 'convert text to columns' and then save the spreadsheet. Ensure that the candidates are not faced with the problem during the practical tests.

What preparation or testing of hardware and software should we do before the practical tests?

We recommend that a tutor or supervisor works through a past paper before the examination day, and in plenty of time to make changes should they be necessary. They should use the hardware and software that will be available to the candidates to check the local facilities. The outcome of this exercise does not need to be sent to Cambridge.

For more information and materials on this syllabus, please visit our School Support Hub here.

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