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Supp Exam

Posted by Gilgamesh 
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Supp Exam
January 09, 2008 04:22PM
Anyone out there wish to share their thoughts on the upcoming supp?

I thought I was worried about just getting through the work thoroughly enough. But now, after looking at the forum for last year's supp, I'm really feeling the fear of facing another year of study!

Anyone know about last years supp? Was it really as bad as some of those posts made it out to be?


"To understand recursion you must first understand recursion" -Anon
Re: Supp Exam
January 17, 2008 09:21PM
Just want to wish everyone writing tomorrow's exam the best of luck! May you all slay the beast!hot smiley


Note to self:

Stop posting to self in public threads...
Re: Supp Exam
January 18, 2008 06:46PM

Just FYI the supp was no big deal. More than enough time to write it and check it thoroughly. Whatever happened in last years supp (2007 archive) did not happen again.

The format was identical to what we received in the tutorial, with several questions coming directly from the assignments as usual. Also the assembly routines we had to write were fairly trivial compared to the work we had to revise with.

All in all it was positive experience. Thanks to all involved, and well done to all who aced it!


Note to self:

-see last note
Re: Supp Exam
January 18, 2008 07:23PM
I'm doing this subject this year, how much time should I spend on this subject?
Anything I should know that might help me?
Re: Supp Exam
January 19, 2008 12:33PM
**update: sorry this has turned into quite a long post. I hope it helps cause I learned this the hard way...smile

I had to invest a fair amount of time into this course. At first I found the structure very confusing so I'll list a few things that would've saved me a lot of hassle if I knew them before.

The course can be broken down into three components. (I'll include the methods I used to get to grips with each):

1) Theory (prescribed book)

I overestimated the importance of this aspect. To prepare for the theory questions in the exam you should pay thorough attention to the objectives at the start of each chapter in the study guide. Those objectives basically translate into exam questions, so I continuously referred to them when I made study notes. Unfortunately I discovered this way too late. For the first 7 chapters I was reading them in great detail and trying to 'spot' potential questions! That was a great waste of energy. So I recommend to study to meet the explicit objectives from the start!

The theory ranged from 30 - 45% of the total mark based on a few old papers.

2) Assembly programming (taught a bit haphazardly in the study guides)

I totally underestimated this aspect at first. When I wrote the third assignment I got a huge wake-up call as to what the instructors actually expected from us. The only way to learn this aspect is by actual practice. There's no way around it -and it can be very frustrating. I got quite good by just following the examples in the SG and by a lot of messing around doing my own thing -but I saw some other people recommend various on-line resources as an aid. Whatever way you choose, avoid making the same mistake as I did in thinking that this course is about the prescribed book -it's not. It's very much about assembly programming as a means to facilitate your understanding of computer architecture.

The assembly program you must write counts 33% of the exam. Furthermore, the rest of the exam asks many small questions about the nuances of assembly.

3) Calculations

The first chapter and assignment dealt with conversion between binary, dec and hex as well as Boolean algebra only very briefly. This led me to foolishly believe that this was not such an important part of the syllabus. I was wrong.

There is a lot of calculation required in the exam. I'd estimate about 20 -30% of the mark. It's easy enough though.

From the above I'd suggest you spend about 50% of your efforts practicing assembly, 30-40% of your time meeting the theory objectives and 20-10% of your time practicing calculations.

That's it then! I hope you enjoy the course and find every success in your studies for 2008!
Re: Supp Exam
January 19, 2008 01:41PM
Thank you so much for that! I know how to approach it now.
All the best for 2008.
avatar Re: Supp Exam
January 19, 2008 02:10PM
@Gilgamesh Thanks for your help!

@Tracey Looks like the two of us are taking a lot of the same subjects?smile
Re: Supp Exam
January 19, 2008 09:03PM
CountZero what subjects are you doing?

I'm doing COS211, COS214, COS221, INF303 and MAT112
avatar Re: Supp Exam
January 21, 2008 05:36PM
Hi Tracey,

I'm doing COS221, COS214, INF207, AUI202, MNE202.

Sorry I thought we were doing more?
Re: Supp Exam
January 22, 2008 02:45PM
Im also doing COS221 and COS214, as well as COS211 and INF320...comments from everyone about how the subject is, has really provided some useful info.
Anonymous User
Re: Supp Exam
January 29, 2008 11:56AM
I failed this subject in 2006 and I'm redoing it this year, I'll just echo what Gilgamesh said about the amount of time required, especially for the assembly language part, dont underestimate it.

Just to add that the study guide is actually useless when it comes to teaching assembly. In the 2006 forum, the following link to a usefull book was provided

I dont know if the link still works but I've got the book if anyone wants it.
Re: Supp Exam
January 29, 2008 01:19PM
Thanks for all the advice! Really puts the whole module into a bit more perspective. =)
avatar Re: Supp Exam
January 29, 2008 01:48PM
Mmmm, also doing this for a 2nd time.

I've got some older tut's in pdf that I'm willing to share - dating from 2004. They include old exam papers, but unfortunately only solutions to assignments, not the exams.

Pop me an email if interested (which everyone most probably will be).

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