Tips for computer science exams?

In summary, In the class, we were given a problem to solve and then we were given a programming language to write the code in. We were also given a website to practice on. The website had a lot of programming problems that we were to solve. I found the website to be helpful, but I think the programming problems were harder than the ones we were given in class.
  • #1

opus

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Well I just took my midterm for Intro Computer Science and got a 59%. This is very frustrating because I've received 100% on all assignments and I feel like I am starting to get an understanding of the subject.
However, this isn’t like mathematics or science where you can grind problems. It seems more like a history exam where you need to memorize a lot of stuff which I have no problem with, but I don't know what to memorize.
Most of the questions were of the type- “what statement would you write in this blank space to have your program do XYZ.”
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to prepare for these exams? I haven't asked my professor yet but I am just putting my feelers out to get some different ideas.
 
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  • #2
Can you post your memory of the problems? The one you paraphrase sounds like a programming question (in C?). "Computer Science" is a very broad subject, and IMO, doesn't involve lots of rote memorization...
 
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  • #3
@opus, what programming language are you using? Were they all programming language questions?
 
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verty said:
@opus, what programming language are you using? Were they all programming language questions?
Python.
No not all. But around half and I got every one wrong. Got a couple multiple choice wrong but the rest were not bad.
 
  • #5
I don't know Python but here is my advice:

1. Start with the official tutorial. Start at the start and try to practice everything it says.
2. Study the textbook for your language. I assume you have one of those O'Reilly books. Once you know what is in the tutorial, you should learn anything extra that is in your book.
3. Practice on a site like hackerrank.com where you can solve problems using Python. This is just for fun, to learn the language.
4. I see there's a book called "Programming Python 4th edition" that looks good to read afterwards. Or you may feel that you know enough about Python not to need another book. That is up to you.
 
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opus said:
Python.
No not all. But around half and I got every one wrong. Got a couple multiple choice wrong but the rest were not bad.

opus said:
However, this isn’t like mathematics or science where you can grind problems. It seems more like a history exam where you need to memorize a lot of stuff which I have no problem with, but I don't know what to memorize.
Most of the questions were of the type- “what statement would you write in this blank space to have your program do XYZ.”

I don't agree with the underlined part at all. Learning programming, in Python no less, is really just about putting in the hours (and lots of them) on many, many problems and projects of interest until things become almost muscle memory.
 
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  • #7
StoneTemplePython said:
I don't agree with the underlined part at all. Learning programming, in Python no less, is really just about putting in the hours (and lots of them) on many, many problems and projects of interest until things become almost muscle memory.
I guess what I meant to say was that its not like math in that there are hundreds of exercises in the back of the book to drill what youve learned in a math book. But I am not sure on where to get this practice for programming. I think its real fun and I play around with the assignments, but once the assignment is done, there’s not much more to get out of it from what I can tell.
Im still looking for something like Schaum’s book of exercises but nothing promising yet. I am going to try that hackerrank website and see if that will let me grind stuff out.
 
  • #8
opus said:
I guess what I meant to say was that its not like math in that there are hundreds of exercises in the back of the book to drill what youve learned in a math book. But I am not sure on where to get this practice for programming. I think its real fun and I play around with the assignments, but once the assignment is done, there’s not much more to get out of it from what I can tell.
Im still looking for something like Schaum’s book of exercises but nothing promising yet. I am going to try that hackerrank website and see if that will let me grind stuff out.

past suggestions I've made to people include

MIT's 2 courses on edX: 6.00.1x and 6.00.2x. Here's the first one:
https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-to-computer-science-and-programming-using-python
(currently going though you could catch up. I think there's one in archive mode as well.)

https://projecteuler.net/
@Arman777 has become a fan of this one

- - -
when I first got into programming my primary interests were coding a poker simulator and various option pricing models. Find some personal projects and just jam on them at any chance you get... and you'll learn a ton.
 
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Nice! Thanks!
 

1. What are some effective study tips for computer science exams?

Some effective study tips for computer science exams include creating a study schedule, practicing coding problems regularly, reviewing lecture notes and textbooks, and seeking help from professors or teaching assistants.

2. How can I manage my time effectively during a computer science exam?

To manage your time effectively during a computer science exam, it is important to read the instructions carefully, prioritize your time based on the point value of each question, and budget your time accordingly. It can also be helpful to make a rough outline or plan before starting to answer each question.

3. What should I focus on while studying for a computer science exam?

While studying for a computer science exam, it is important to focus on understanding the fundamental concepts and principles rather than just memorizing specific details. It can also be helpful to practice solving different types of coding problems and familiarize yourself with the programming language or tools that will be used on the exam.

4. How can I stay calm and focused during a computer science exam?

To stay calm and focused during a computer science exam, it is important to take deep breaths, stay positive, and avoid getting stuck on difficult problems. If you encounter a challenging question, it can be helpful to move on and come back to it later. It is also important to take breaks and stay hydrated during the exam.

5. Are there any specific tips for multiple choice questions on computer science exams?

Some specific tips for multiple choice questions on computer science exams include reading the question and all options carefully, eliminating obviously incorrect options, and using the process of elimination to narrow down the choices. It can also be helpful to answer the questions you are most confident about first and then go back to the more challenging ones.

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