Computer Applications Technology (CAT)

Computer Applications Technology is the study of the integrated components of a computer system (hardware and software) and the practical techniques for their efficient use and application to solve everyday problems.

The solutions to problems are designed, managed and processed via end-user applications and communicated using appropriate information and communication technologies (ICTs). ICTs are the combination of networks, hardware and software as well as the means of communication, collaboration and engagement that enable the processing, management and exchange of data, information and knowledge.

Who should take this subject?

Computer Applications Technology (CAT) has been reintroduced to Maritzburg College for the boy who is passionate about technology and possesses a good work ethic to meet the requirements of a demanding syllabus. This subject is a good alternative for those who enjoy working independently in both theoretical and practical tasks. The approach is more practical, and centres around both relevant and current ICT topics. It is considered as a gateway subject for some tertiary institutions, but not all of them accept it as a core curriculum subject.

Specific aims of CAT

In Computer Applications Technology, a learner will:

  • use end-user software applications proficiently to produce solutions to problems within a defined scenario;
  • understand the concepts of ICTs with regard to the technologies that make up a computing system;
  • understand the various technologies, standards and protocols involved in the electronic transmission of data via a computer-based network;
  • use the internet and understand the role that the internet plays as part of the global information superhighway;
  • find authentic and relevant information, process the information to draw conclusions, make decisions and communicate the findings in appropriate presentation media; and
  • recognise the legal, ethical, environmental, social, security and health issues related to the use of ICTs and learn how to use ICTs responsibly.


Continuous assessment (CASS) counts 25% of the year mark, a Practical Assessment Task (PAT) counts 25% and the final exam counts the remaining 50%. The CASS is made up of tests, assignments, investigations and the June Exam.

Exams consist of two papers. Paper 1 is the Practical Examination which assesses the proficiency of End-User skills. Paper 2 is the Theory Examination and it assesses the ability to apply ICT concepts and solutions to solve familiar & unfamiliar challenges.