CS 1102: Preparing for the Final Exam

Goals for the Final

The final tests your skills at identifying and implementing languages, as well as working with the other concepts introduced since the midterm. The exam is not cumulative in the sense that all questions on the final will focus on material since the midterm. However, it is cumulative in the sense that you can expect to write some Scheme functions on the final.

The exam is open book (but closed laptop). The open book policy (further down on this page) details what you may and may not bring, and suggests which materials you may find more useful to have on hand.

On Wednesday, Oct 15, all three lab sessions will be run as review/Q&A sessions for the final. Attendance is optional and you can go to as many sessions as you'd like. The TAs can go over sample exam solutions or any other questions during this time.

Exam Topics

All material covered since the midterm is fair game for the final. In particular, we expect that you:

Some of the posted lecture notes have included lists of "what we expect you can do" at the end -- you should have all the skills listed in those sections.

What I Care About on the Exam

What I DO NOT Care About on the Exam

Open Book Policy

The final is open book/notes, but all materials you bring must be on paper. You may bring:

You may NOT:

I realize that those of you who've taken notes on your laptop or other electronic device may find this policy inconvenient. I follow this policy so that everyone has equal access to material during the exam (i.e., a student with a laptop could grab material from the web during the exam, while a student without a laptop could not).

Suggestions on Using Notes During the Exam

Notes could be helpful to you during the exam in the following ways:

As mentioned above, you will not be asked to look up data definitions or other specific example details during the exam. The exam is designed to require no notes. I let you bring them in so that you don't waste time memorizing material instead of learning how to work with it. However, if you don't understand the concepts coming into the exam, you won't have enough time during the exam to figure them out and answer the questions.


  1. Is the exam open or closed book/notes?
    Open. See the
    open book policy for details.

  2. What's the best way to prepare?
    Practice, practice, practice! If you can reproduce the examples from class and redo the homeworks without referring back to your previous solutions, you should be fine on the exam. If you can read the programs we've written but not write them, you're going to have trouble with the exam.

  3. Will you post solutions to the sample exams?
    No. Over the years we've found that posted solutions hurt studying, because many students look at the solutions too quickly and then get fooled into thinking they could reproduce the answers. Feel free to come see any of us during office hours, or make an appointment to see me at some other time, if you want to go over your answers to the practice exams. All three labs on Wednesday are devoted to exam review, so you have plenty of time to get help.

  4. Are computers allowed during the exam?
    No. Pen(cil) and paper only.

  5. Do we need to write contracts on the exam?
    Each problems should state clearly whether you need to write contracts (we tend to write them down for you, when possible, to avoid confusion during the exam).

Any other questions or concerns, post to the discussion board.

Good luck!