Last Friday was my first exam in CSE-109 Systems Software. Like I said in a previous post, this is my primary programming course. We are learning the C++ language. For the exam, we were allowed to bring 2 sheets of paper with notes on them. I typed up notes with font smaller than I could read. I made sure I had previous coding examples we did in class that I knew we would be tested on and other notes taken in class; all crammed in there.
The exam was pretty predictable, in terms of the material we were going to be tested on. We were tested on pointers, functions, arrays, declaring arrays, creating classes, Makefiles (which are separate files that are created to compile and link multiple classes together all at once), different parameter passing (pass-by-value, pass-by-reference, pass-by-array, passing pointers), overloading operators both as member functions and friend functions.
I was well prepared and knew all the topics, but time was my worst enemy. We had only two 50 minute periods to complete 2 sections, each with 2 questions, of the exam. We were asked to write on paper entire classes with all the necessary variables and functions in order to accommodate and successfully run a given “main().” For two of the questions (one in each section), I ultimately ran out of time and did not finish my classes to completion, which was a bummer because I knew everything that I still had to write and how to code it. If the exam was on the computer, I most definitely would have finished on time and most likely with time to spare. It took me about 5-10 minutes to think each problem through on how to solve it, but writing code by hand takes forever I felt. Because not only do you have to write every little detail of syntax, you need to make it legible. So, unfortunately, I do not believe I’ll get the best grade on the exam like I had hoped. However, a positive I took from it is I did know the material and content. I’ll just have to practice writing code by hand for the next exam so I can go at a much faster, efficient pace.