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Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 09:02AM
I agree. The problem with university programming subjects is that they are nowhere near real-world. I've been a programmer for four years and in that time, I've never had to write code on paper: there's always a compiler along with code completion. I can understand that it is really important to know how pointers work as well as lists, array, trees etc but how does writing out some function on paper to print out values in a binary tree help with the understanding?
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 09:12AM
i wanted to curse the lecturers.
why did they do the quicksort with the first digit for e.g.?
there will be a very low passrate!
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 09:16AM
haha oh yeah that one i got 0 for.
Anonymous User
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 09:34AM
praying for a sup as well... you spend the entire year busting your butt, putting in the hours and feeling positive about it only to fail because of time issues. The mark allocation was disproportionate, and the diagrams simply ridiculous. I just don't see the lesson there. What a waste and a let-down.
Anonymous User
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 10:03AM
Hey - I found the exam pretty chalenging myself - I could also not finish all my questions. But in all fairness - This degree is not suppose to be easy - in the end we shall reap the rewards.Just keep going!!
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 10:15AM
The paper coding thing is an annoyance, but I do think it's better for studying than using a pc - for me anyway. I found that I tend to spend too much time altering existing code at work (when on pc!) while planning a program on paper results a much more "pure" brainchild.

Hey, think about it - it used to be an industry standard to code on paper, where you had one day a week to type it into a computer and compile it, we're just spoilt with cheap pcs nowadays!
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 10:26AM
Even though it used to be an industry standard, we live in the 21st century here, people don't code on paper anymore ... and with the .NET framework, less coding takes place, even on computer! spinning smiley sticking its tongue out
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 01:07PM
The exam definitely was on a different level to the 2005 paper and I felt that there were a lot of questions that weren't appropriate to the exam situation. For example the draw the binary tree question. It tests whether one understands the different traversals but requires a lot of time and thought. A question giving you the tree and asking for the traversals would have tested the exact same knowledge but been a lot quicker to complete.
The exam was definitely too long and I found a number of the questions to be ambiguous.
I found the exam paper to be very difficult to read, everything squashed together, questions over pages and the english and afrikaans so muddled!
I also felt a number of assumptions were made which shouldn't have been. Such as the mathematically what should happen if a negative number was passed into the recursive function. I'm fine with the coding but what is the "correct output?"
I mean who knew that the correct mathematical answer would be something like
return 1/functionName(a, -b);

I was extremely disappointed with the paper as I felt it didn't give me the opportunity to show what I have learnt.
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 01:15PM
I feel some of the questions were a bit vague as well.

The quick sort.
Did they only want the first iteration or did they only want the result of each iteration?

The sentinel sort.
How exactly do we save any comparisons with this method (compared to sequential sort)?
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 01:19PM
blink Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The exam definitely was on a different level to
> the 2005 paper and I felt that there were a lot
> of questions that weren't appropriate to the exam
> situation. For example the draw the binary tree
> question. It tests whether one understands the
> different traversals but requires a lot of time
> and thought. A question giving you the tree and
> asking for the traversals would have tested the
> exact same knowledge but been a lot quicker to
> complete.
> The exam was definitely too long and I found a
> number of the questions to be ambiguous.
> I found the exam paper to be very difficult to
> read, everything squashed together, questions over
> pages and the english and afrikaans so muddled!
> I also felt a number of assumptions were made
> which shouldn't have been. Such as the
> mathematically what should happen if a negative
> number was passed into the recursive function.
> I'm fine with the coding but what is the "correct
> output?"
> I mean who knew that the correct mathematical
> answer would be something like
> return 1/functionName(a, -b);
>
> I was extremely disappointed with the paper as I
> felt it didn't give me the opportunity to show
> what I have learnt.


Well said, I couldn't agree more.
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 01:31PM
Regarding the sentinel sort: with selection sort there are 2 comparisons for every loop - 1 to check if the end has been reached and one to check if the number is the one you're searching for. With sentinal you add the search item to the end so you're guaranteed that it's in the list so you eliminate the "end list check". Once youve found the item you can do one comparison to see if it's the end of the list, and if not, remove the item you added at the beginning (to eliminate duplication). Anyways, that's how I interpreted it.
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 01:51PM
Thas is also how I interpretet it but I just found the question vague as they mentioned comparisons and that implies checking the value in the array not the index comparison.
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 01:52PM
Wasn't the question about sentinel search rather than sentinel sort? I'm pretty sure it was sentinel search which is an extension of sequential search, still, I had no idea how this search method was supposed to work, missed the boat completely on this one smiling smiley

By the way, has anybody e-mailed any of the lecturers about this exam?
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 02:00PM
Yes, was the sentinel search and not sort! (I hope winking smiley )

I just implemented the best version of the sequential search hoping that I'll at least get some marks. Also didn't understand what they meant as the sequential search is straight forward looping through a list, I'm not sure what they mean by a second comparison...
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 02:10PM
stevenv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wasn't the question about sentinel search rather
> than sentinel sort? I'm pretty sure it was
> sentinel search which is an extension of
> sequential search, still, I had no idea how this
> search method was supposed to work, missed the
> boat completely on this one
>
> By the way, has anybody e-mailed any of the
> lecturers about this exam?

Sorry, I meant search.
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 02:15PM
Damn! what a paper! I mean did these lecturers consider time allocation when they set the paper. Or did they think we were supposed to submit it after a few days like an assignment. Damn!!! There was so much to answer in a limited time. The quicksort was just unfair with the pivot as first position, and as for sentinel search i just didn't have time to do it. I think for me the main problem was the time factor despite the difficulty of the questions. If i had attempted each and every question i think i would be fine, but then we just have to wait and see. I'm really disappointed with the paper, lets just hope the lecturers really consider time when setting papers. This is an exam and not an assignment 2b submitted over two days. Anyway i agree with all of you who are disappointed. It really was a difficult paper. Lets hope they'll reconsider when marking our papers. sad smiley
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 03:04PM
i think for me time was the main issue, strange that some people left waaaaay before the end of the 3 hours. but i've learnt not to worry by being one of the last people to leave.
avatar Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 03:09PM
Let me stick my neck out:

I felt that the exam paper did cover all the areas / subjects that we were surposed to study, although requesting a bit more complicated application of each.

That does not imply that I did not think it hard or that we were given too little time - I agree with all of you on that part.

Reanie
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 05:12PM
I thought I had been quite prepared for this exam. Did well on the assignments, mastered all the concepts, felt confident, bla, bla, bla. But I definitely did not reflect any of it on that exam. Bloody hell. I dread seeing my results.
Re: The Hardest 211 exam paper ever
October 10, 2006 05:18PM

WHAT HAPPENS IF 80% OF ALL APPLICANTS FAIL?

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