KS1 Computing Quiz - Algorithms - An Introduction (Questions)

This quiz addresses part of the requirements of the National Curriculum KS1 for children aged 5 and 6 in years 1 and 2 in Computing. Specifically it is an introduction to algorithms, giving a definition of the term and some simple examples. It is one of 20 quizzes to help you find out about how computers work, and how they affect all our lives.

Computers are machines. They use electricity to make decisions. Computers have to be designed and built. Then when they are built, they have to be told what to do. That’s where algorithms come in. Algorithm is a hard word to say, and a hard word to spell! The definition of an algorithm is a list of steps to solve a problem or to get something done.

1. Which one of these spellings is correct?
 [ ] Algorhythm [ ] Algaerithm [ ] Algorithm [ ] Algarhythm
2. Algorithms help us to solve problems or get things done. Algorithms are a list of _____.
 [ ] Steps [ ] Numbers [ ] Codes [ ] Letters
3. Connor is writing down a simple algorithm. He writes down all the steps. The steps must be:
 [ ] Backwards [ ] In the wrong order [ ] All jumbled up [ ] In the right order
4. Computers need algorithms to work. They need to be told the steps to make things happen.

An algorithm is like a list of instructions. But it’s not just computers that need instructions. We do, too.

Which one of these everyday examples is an algorithm?
 [ ] A cake recipe [ ] Loud music [ ] Bright colours [ ] A poem
5. There is a big red square painted on the school playground. Mrs Smith is a teacher. She takes her class out to the playground. Mrs Smith gives instructions about how to walk once round the big red square.

Mrs Smith asks Alice to stand at one corner of the big red square. Mrs Smith tells Alice to walk to the next corner of the square. She then tells Alice to turn right.

What is Mrs Smith’s next instruction to Alice?
 [ ] Walk backwards [ ] Turn right [ ] Turn left [ ] Walk to the next corner
6. Which one of these is an algorithm?
 [ ] Telling a robot how to walk once round a square [ ] Giving a robot a name [ ] Watching a robot [ ] Listening to a robot
7. Luke thinks about getting up in a morning. He writes an algorithm. Luke writes down the steps, one by one.

The first step he writes down is: ‘Wake up’. What is the next step?
 [ ] Brush teeth [ ] Put on clothes [ ] Have shower [ ] Get out of bed
8. Luke writes an algorithm just for brushing his teeth. Which one of these steps does he write down first?
 [ ] Spit out [ ] Rinse with cold water [ ] Brush teeth [ ] Open toothpaste
9. Computers can be told how to do sums. Which one of these is a sum?
 [ ] Colouring a picture [ ] Adding up tens and units [ ] Writing a story [ ] Running round the playground
10. How do you write an algorithm?
 [ ] As a story [ ] One step at a time [ ] As a poem [ ] In any order
KS1 Computing Quiz - Algorithms - An Introduction (Answers)
1. Which one of these spellings is correct?
 [ ] Algorhythm [ ] Algaerithm [x] Algorithm [ ] Algarhythm
It’s not easy! Try writing it out
2. Algorithms help us to solve problems or get things done. Algorithms are a list of _____.
 [x] Steps [ ] Numbers [ ] Codes [ ] Letters
Codes come later
3. Connor is writing down a simple algorithm. He writes down all the steps. The steps must be:
 [ ] Backwards [ ] In the wrong order [ ] All jumbled up [x] In the right order
If the steps are in the wrong order, the algorithm will not work
4. Computers need algorithms to work. They need to be told the steps to make things happen.

An algorithm is like a list of instructions. But it’s not just computers that need instructions. We do, too.

Which one of these everyday examples is an algorithm?
 [x] A cake recipe [ ] Loud music [ ] Bright colours [ ] A poem
The recipe is a list of instructions to make the cake
5. There is a big red square painted on the school playground. Mrs Smith is a teacher. She takes her class out to the playground. Mrs Smith gives instructions about how to walk once round the big red square.

Mrs Smith asks Alice to stand at one corner of the big red square. Mrs Smith tells Alice to walk to the next corner of the square. She then tells Alice to turn right.

What is Mrs Smith’s next instruction to Alice?
 [ ] Walk backwards [ ] Turn right [ ] Turn left [x] Walk to the next corner
Can you write down an algorithm for walking once round the big red square?
6. Which one of these is an algorithm?
 [x] Telling a robot how to walk once round a square [ ] Giving a robot a name [ ] Watching a robot [ ] Listening to a robot
This algorithm is just like the one with the big red square
7. Luke thinks about getting up in a morning. He writes an algorithm. Luke writes down the steps, one by one.

The first step he writes down is: ‘Wake up’. What is the next step?
 [ ] Brush teeth [ ] Put on clothes [ ] Have shower [x] Get out of bed
All the steps in an algorithm have to be in the right order
8. Luke writes an algorithm just for brushing his teeth. Which one of these steps does he write down first?
 [ ] Spit out [ ] Rinse with cold water [ ] Brush teeth [x] Open toothpaste
Luke needs to open the tube of toothpaste before he can put some on his brush
9. Computers can be told how to do sums. Which one of these is a sum?
 [ ] Colouring a picture [x] Adding up tens and units [ ] Writing a story [ ] Running round the playground
Computers can be told how to add up, take away, multiply, and divide
10. How do you write an algorithm?
 [ ] As a story [x] One step at a time [ ] As a poem [ ] In any order
It’s really good to write stories and poems, but it’s also good to be able to write algorithms