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Exam Post-Mortem

Posted by Kyle 
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Exam Post-Mortem
November 02, 2010 02:25PM
Hey all,

So, what'd you think?

I thought it was quite a fair paper, couple of tough questions, some well directed theory questions - so I have no complaints.

I think the only thing I went "huh?" for, were the beginning questions in the MC - but that was probably from chapters 1 and 2 which I admit I didn't brush up on. Even time was great for me, I managed to draw all the relational schema's before attempting the diagrams, which means I probably did a much better job than if we had to do it straight off the bat.

All in all, I definitely think I passed (and well), but hey, time will tell.


Re: Exam Post-Mortem
November 02, 2010 02:32PM
Agreed, also thought it was fair. Some of the multiple choice questions seemed quite foreign, but they call it multiple-guess for a reason.
The ERD was good - came out of one of the assignments.
The 15 mark relationship diagram... seemed quite simple. Dunno why it was 15 marks, makes me feel like I've missed something.
Rest of the theory was alright.
Re: Exam Post-Mortem
November 02, 2010 02:34PM
Yea, I thought that ERD was from an assignment. I suppose it doesn't make a difference, you still need to apply the rules to get there. The DD was quite simple, but I'm sure there's "bonus marks" incorporated in there somewhere.
avatar Re: Exam Post-Mortem
November 02, 2010 03:46PM
I found it fair, some minor guess work in MC, some "making stuff up" in the theory, but overall had a nice time. Finished early.
avatar Re: Exam Post-Mortem
November 02, 2010 05:36PM
I really enjoyed that paper. The only thing I wasn't sure about, was the characteristics of a relational table for 6 marks,
and a couple of the MCQs.
Otherwise it was a great exam cool smiley
avatar Re: Exam Post-Mortem
November 02, 2010 06:22PM
Agreed. I enjoyed it, and as with you lot I also got a bit stumped on some of the MC questions. I too thought they must have been from chapters 1 and 2, but note that those two chapters were not part of the syllabus.
I had done and redone that ERD from the assignment atleast 3 times this morning, so I knew the thing really well. However, I didnt agree with some parts of the model answer (Indeed, I didnt agree with most of the modelling questions model answers from assignment 2).

The dependancy diagram was really easy, but honestly. Do they think its funny putting so many attributes for us to work with? So that it makes the answer run all over the place? I added "Oriente the page 90 degrees counter clockwise -_- " And wrote the answer down the length of the page. I put it in 3NF using exactly the dependancies shown, but I felt there could have been a further dependancy that was not shown for the JOB table (As I named it). Anyway, I didnt include that dependancy. I decided to rather stick with what they gave us.

I also ran out of things to say for NULL values. What I put was worth about 3 marks...not 6 (?!)
Re: Exam Post-Mortem
November 02, 2010 08:11PM
Exam Nov 2010 as far as I can remember: (any corrections please feel free to add) - Questions may not be in the correct place.

Q1 - 20 MCQ, hardly any from assignments, nearly all from http://www.cengage.co.uk/rcc_databases/students/stu_mcqs.htm
Q2 - 20 marks (Characteristics of a Relation, Null Values, Simple and Composite Attributes,Data Dictionary)
Q3 - 15 marks (ERD - same as Assignment 2 Q2 - Flyright Aircraft Maintenance)
Q4 - 15 marks (Dependancy Diagram - Chapter 7, Problem 11)
Q5 - 15 marks (Transaction Log, Database Recovery Processes, Distributed Databases & Distributed Processing,)
Q6 - 15 marks (XML, Web application Server,Data Replication)

Most of the questions were from Assignment 2.
Re: Exam Post-Mortem
November 02, 2010 08:29PM
Thanks for that link Karin - I checked all of those arbitrary questions from the MCQ I wasn't sure on and got all of my "educated guesses" right. Woop woop grinning smiley

@Scag -

For the DD's, I just followed their conventions - Didn't mind the structure at all, just let the dependency line wrap around the page. I did add a surrogate key in the Job's table though.

For the null values I ended up writing half a page, talking about why they should be avoided, in what circumstances they are useful, links to referential integrity etc. Hoping that covered around 4-6 of the marks.
avatar Re: Exam Post-Mortem
November 02, 2010 08:58PM
I just did the multiple choice questions on the site that karinliebenberg provided above.

When I did the question about "Which attribute(s) in the following relation is the primary key...."
I selected none because none of them were underlined :<

I thought it was a trick notation question. Oh well. 1 mark gone grinning smiley
avatar Re: Exam Post-Mortem
November 03, 2010 11:04AM
I also agree that that JOB table needed a surrogate key. Called it JOB_CODE. They did mention that we might have to add attributes.
avatar Re: Exam Post-Mortem
November 03, 2010 11:13AM
I also thought it was a trick question!
To be fair, there are two correct answers to that question.
Option 4 should not be there if they wanted the other answer.

Tip: when plagiarising make sure you eliminate the typo's and ambiguous answers smile
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