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Exam results?

Posted by RobM 
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Exam results?
November 20, 2008 10:53AM
Just checked and got provisional results (just for 3114) this morning..

If this subject is causing sleeping problems, you may be in luck and have some of your results already (exam results page on myunisa)
Re: Exam results?
November 20, 2008 11:17AM
I passed!
Well, at least for now.
65%, it sure didn't feel that way when I walked out of after the exam.
Would have liked to do better, I was actually beginning to look forward to the supp... smile

avatar Re: Exam results?
November 20, 2008 11:57AM
Yes! I passed - 71% smileys with beer

I'm now a graduate grinning smiley
avatar Re: Exam results?
November 20, 2008 12:07PM
Did say I'll be back. sad smiley
Better luck next year - won't qualify for a supp.
Re: Exam results?
November 20, 2008 12:40PM
85% woot!
avatar Re: Exam results?
November 20, 2008 12:48PM
Well done SanozOr and the rest.
Reanie - sorry about that. Best of luck for next year. And don't give up smile
avatar Re: Exam results?
November 20, 2008 12:50PM
Nope, won't give up, but might run out of time! smile
Re: Exam results?
November 20, 2008 12:59PM
88% provisional - yay!!
Re: Exam results?
November 20, 2008 01:20PM
Reanie, sorry about the exam.

I think you may be able to request a supplemetary exam under exceptional circumstances - in this case it's your final year and this is the last subject keeping you from your degree. But you'll probably need to have pass marks (no supps) for whatever other subjects you are doing now.

NB I may be totally wrong on this, but IMHO it maybe would be better to ask than to just leave it. Good luck & keep your fingers crossed for your other marks!

Anyway congrats to everyone else!
Re: Exam results?
November 20, 2008 02:13PM
Supp..Blah tongue sticking out smiley ...Anyone got a copy of this years exam they can mail me...

"Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." - Douglas Adams
"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils ..." - Louis Hector Berlioz
I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
avatar Re: Exam results?
November 20, 2008 02:38PM
Blanked that nightmare right out of my memory!!
Re: Exam results?
November 23, 2008 10:14AM
Also Failed sad smiley This sucks!
I am thinking of dumping this module and doing Cos340 next year, any suggestions from passed experience?
avatar Re: Exam results?
November 23, 2008 10:35AM
2nd time I did Cos340 (don't have results yet to know if it's going to be a 3rd time) - it's definately a very interesting subject to do - as well as the practical part. But, the exams have a lot of theory questions, although the practical questions are based on the practical you did during the year.
Re: Exam results?
November 24, 2008 07:52AM
I failed too - no supp. Not a surprise. I actually got more marks than I expected. And to compound things this module definitely cost me marks on some other modules.

I'm sorry for you Reanie. Good luck next year. I probably won't be joining you. I shall be looking at all the options before I sign up for this one again. It's not that I didn't enjoy it in the end, but rather the amount of time it takes during the year which meant I had to skimp on my other modules.

I haven't failed a paper before. It's very demoralising.

Re: Exam results?
November 24, 2008 09:57AM
In my opinion, COS340 is tons more difficult than COS311. If I were you, I would stick with 311 (maybe take some time these holidays to cover some of the work). Additionally, application programming is generally a more useful skill than graphics programming.
Re: Exam results?
November 24, 2008 11:06AM
Personally I found COS340 easier than COS311 (although admitedly last year I didn't pass COS340).

The biggest obstacle for me for most of the 3rd year subjects were the textbooks. (COS311,COS340,COS351) Not that they are bad or anything, in fact I find all 3 brilliant now I understand them. Initally it felt like they didn't explain anything, the author was on another planet etc. The trick is once you get the bigger picture everything makes sense. (this is more true for 351 & 340)

comp: If you go the COS340 route, the textbook doesn't hand hold you through the math. Catch up early on understanding matrices (they will be nightmares if you don't) and planes/vectors.

There are 3 parts to cos340. (1) math (2) a basic command of openGL (3) workarounds and general knowledge of how to get computer limitations to draw the stuff (e.g. antialiasing, z-buffer etc)

The math is simpler than it looks, but won't feel like it at the time! Half the math is understanding what planes,vectors are and how to define them. e.g. the define a plane you need 3 points, or a normal and a point etc. Then matrices, which doesn't ask more than adding x,y,z etc (and sin,cos for rotations). Lastly they ask procedures how you would apply the math to test for things (like if two planes intersect, if a object is convex)

Since you did 311 I'm sure the programming part of it will be a breeze (cos340 asks for much simpler programming). Use the internet to find tutorials (openGl superbible, nehe tutorials etc) to help you through the assignments. There will be openGL commands you need that the book doesn't even mention. Also stuff like moving the mouse and holding the button down is explained far simpler in some tutorials in the book. The textbook mentions things but doesn't make them look important or explain in much detail (thus you miss things making things seem a lot more difficult)

The other part of the theory is how to workaround the limitations of computers. e.g z-buffer. clipping etc. You won't have a problem with this part.
Re: Exam results?
November 24, 2008 03:43PM
Thanks RobM for the explanation on COS340, that really helped smile. Do you think it worth while to also purchase a book on openGL, I guess what I am asking is if openGL is a major part perhaps it is good to get more familiar with it.

Thanks again
avatar Re: Exam results?
November 24, 2008 04:12PM
You can download the Red Book (which is the basis for OpenGL coding) from a lot of places - don't need a book on openGL as well.
Re: Exam results?
November 24, 2008 05:04PM
Maybe I'm not allowed to say this, but downloading the solutions for the COS340A assignments would probably be the biggest help to you if you take the subject next yearsmile It Will give you a good indication what you jumping into, but will save you from reinventing the wheel when doing assignments.

Red book is available even on osprey I think. Superbible is great but overkill (if you ever want a how-to-do-anything on openGl this is it). I'll check through my bookmarks for good internet tutorials I've found(or maybe you start a thread as well on 340 if you do the subject next year)

Some tutorials o the net gently explain topics in a easy step by step manner as opposed to a few hours decoding and figuring out Angel (textbook). e.g making menus (a simple task which is normally asked in cos340. If you know how to do them they are simple, but figuring out from scratch or from Angel will be extremely tedious as its easy to miss something important like a static variable for instance which is not in the sample code). Other examples are mouse,keyboard and special (e.g arrow key) callbacks. Check out old assignment sols you'll see what I mean.

No need to buy a book unless you serious about going into a specific field after your degree e.g. game development or something.

openGL is built to be stable but is not the latest technology. openGL is very backward compatible which in practice means you'll need to write most of the code yourself (implement your own shadow algorithms, mpeg/jpeg/tiff readers for textures etc), whereas DIRECTX goes hand in hand with latest hardware (a built in shadow-on function and the DX complaint hardware does it on a hw level - good for games and such.

openGL I would assume would be better suited to long term projects like science research for instance - its open source, all hardware complaint, and will work for a long time with support). The same can't be said for DX unless a minimum hardward std is set.

So the footwork of general 3D programming is provided by 340, but you might decide to ditch openGL and use DirectX. Which is when you spend bucks on books, dev software.

Hope it helps!

( btw in the case I fail 340 this year, will just take an INF subject and take easy road out. )
Re: Exam results?
November 24, 2008 05:12PM
Well I need either cos311 or cos340 to finish my degree and it is the only module I have this year, so I am stuck with one of them sad smiley, I guess I will try the COS340, and just work my butt off to get through smiling bouncing smiley
avatar Re: Exam results?
November 24, 2008 11:12PM
I've decided to take Cos361 and/or Cos321 additionally next year as a back-up for Cos311, but are going to repeat Cos311 because I think that the correct knowledge of design patterns would be helpfull in my career path.
Re: Exam results?
November 25, 2008 12:47PM
What I want to know is if Cos340 will take as much physical time as Cos311. My problem this year was that I was spending hours and hours on Cos311 and thus not putting in the time on some of my other subjects. At 6 to 8 modules a year, I simply can't afford to do this all over again on a new subject.

Re: Exam results?
November 25, 2008 02:15PM
JoJ, how many subjects do you plan on taking next year with either cos311 or cos340? I think you should consider that you already worked through the cos311 syllabus so it should be more familiar and *easier* to grasp the second time around.
avatar Re: Exam results?
November 25, 2008 02:48PM
Can't tell you how much time Cos340 takes, but the practical work does take up your time. At least you'll have C++ set up, so you don't need to worry about that. The theory questions in the assignments also needs some reading (between the lines) from the handbook as well as research on the internet (if you don't understand the handbook). It's not a quick-easy subject, but definately enjoyable.
Re: Exam results?
November 25, 2008 02:51PM
Thanks. But think I did grasp most of the design principles and got good marks for the first two assignments anyway. I just couldn't seem to put it all together for the exam. And there were things on there like the heap memory thing that I cannot see how we were supposed to answer unless we had prior knowledge.

My plan next year was to do 8 subjects but I don't think I can handle that if I have to spend hours and hours writing code like this year. As I said I am feeling totally demoralised and I'm not sure if I can get enough core credits from the third year modules to get computer science as my major if I don't somehow pass this course.

What I am thinking now is to get all the other modules I need and then spend a final year just taking this one on its own and perhaps try Cos340 as a back up.

avatar Re: Exam results?
November 25, 2008 03:12PM
Jo - don't take too many subjects. 3rd year Cos subjects does take a lot of your time because they have a lot of practical work. Rather break your planned schedule into 2 and do 4 subjects next year and 4 in your final year. That way you can be certain that you'll pass everything. Of course, this is assuming that you are studying part-time and have a daytime job. For full-time studying, you could consider it with carefull planning.
Re: Exam results?
November 25, 2008 11:17PM
I have to travel a lot but in between I can study 4 - 6 hours per day. I haven't had a problem until I took Cos311. But's it is very hard to sustain that kind of momentum week in week out. I think I must be getting tired.

Thanks for the advice. I've got a lot of hard thinking to do over this vac.

Re: Exam results?
November 26, 2008 05:32PM
JoJ you may want to wait for someone more knowledgable than myself for a 2nd opinion on what i say as Im not the sharpest pencil in the box (50%-79% + fails) but here's my experience if it helps your decision.

Out of all the 3rd year subjects, 311 would be my first choice if i had to do one over, then 340. All others after that would be an equal draw (excluding cos361), but inf308 is more useful the inf30_ (the SQL one)

Possible risks and disadvantages (or just my experience of the hardships you need to know you'll face) to doing 8 subjects in one year as opposed to 4 each year could be:

(1) worktime and holidays
if you do 8 subjects, that's 8 days leave + probably another 8 for study the day before. So you won't have any holiday that year. (if you determined and know you not going to give up/cancel subjects in the year or get depressed then this is a non-issue). You seem to have a good relation with your work so this shouldn't be a problem.

(2) exam timetable
It's not predictable when you register.
Basically this is just luck, but exams close together or on top of each other will bring your exam marks bigtime. Less subjects per year lowers the risk of this.

Late nights and stress also mean less marks. e.g. 3 exams in a week = !!!

e.g. you might get 311,340 on the same day and 351 two days after that which means you'll get terrible marks - but only because limits to your focus on learning and sleep recovery.
If the same subjects are a month apart you'll get much better. Don't quite know if I'm explaining it right.

(3) subject combinations

some are easier, so require less attention.

In 2007 spent more time revising on cos351 than all my other ones combined. If there was no 351 the other marks would be at least 10% higher.

For me most work went into 311,340 and 351. IMHO these 3 together are more tedious than doing all of cos321,cos361,inf303,inf305,inf307,inf308 at once. If you are lucky enough to gel with 351 and 340 they will go quick though (I did for me 2nd time this year & took little time)

(4) time for assignments during the year
Timewise 8 subjects/year will leave you with the problem where the whole year you come home from work then do an assignment (which will be extra stress in your life right to the deadline) and as soon as the assignment finishes you start the next. (NB this is only if you are getting stuck with a textbook that isn't making sense)

ASSIGNMENT WORKLOADS (my experience for each assignment)

cos311 =WEEKS takes the most time. (understanding book/very long assignments)
cos340 =DAYS/WEEKS half the work of 311. (understanding work/planning program/getting it to work)
cos351 =DAYS/WEEKS can't remember but probably the same as 340. (most time spent decoding the textbook, assignments aren't long)
cos321 =2 DAYS ((easier than 221)) (essay questions, just mechanical writing time (2 nights per assignment)
inf305 =2 DAYS same as 321 explanation
inf308 =2 DAYS same as 321 explanation
inf303,inf307 =one is 2 DAYS MAX the other is 2 HOURS MAX (multiple choice)

(5) spread too thin
8 subjects will definitely mean you can't focus on the subjects. (or for me that was the case).
e.g. since moved from rushing to finish 351, then rushing to start 340 I personally didn't retain that info long term. 8 subjects means you'll finish about 15 august where you go back to old subjects to revise.

(6) Failing even one subject defeats everything in one go. All that sacrifice will be for nothing. Then again this is subjective (It could be I failed 340 and got a second chance)
avatar Re: Exam results?
November 26, 2008 07:26PM
Next year is going to be my 9th year studying through Unisa.
Everything that Rob mentioned is valid concerns.
Please think it through carefully before you register for 8 subjects next year.
Re: Exam results?
November 27, 2008 12:18AM
it is my tenth year already. I have to pass the supp. How long more can we study tru unisa. I just need to pass cos311 and i will be done finally. Oh i hate this module. I still dont understand it, si i don`t get my hopes up for the supp. But still let`s see.
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