Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

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#1 uperkurk  Icon User is offline

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Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:52 PM

So our module is split into 2 seconds. Assignments and exams, the assignments make up 40% which are practical and the exams 60% which "should" be theory.

I just looked at last years exam paper for Python and all the questions are things like:

Write a full definition for two separate versions of a function called compare, which
takes as arguments two strings and a positive integer n, and returns True if the first n
characters in the first string are the same as the first n characters in the second string
and returns False otherwise. You may assume that both strings have at least n
characters. The first version should use a loop to compare the characters individually; the second
must not use a loop.

I mean how the hell do they expect you to remember code right off the top of your head like this? With just 1 chance to get it correct because obviously it's pen and paper so you can run it to test it.

It's so much bollocks the questions are so tough and they are only worth like 8% each

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Replies To: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

#2 sepp2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:36 PM

I agree with you that questions like that are hardly theoretical, but as far as difficulty is concerned that seems pretty term. Having to write code in exams using pen and paper is pretty standard. And if that question is representative of the exam's difficulty, my introduction to programming exam was harder than that.

Quote

I mean how the hell do they expect you to remember code right off the top of your head like this?


I'm not sure exactly what code you're referring to that you need to remember. The assignment you quoted doesn't require calling any library functions, so all you'd need to remember is the language syntax.

This post has been edited by sepp2k: 03 May 2012 - 11:37 PM

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#3 Nikitin  Icon User is offline

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:26 AM

Your exam is extremely easy, compared to what students at some other schools have to do for their introduction class exams.

No one expects you to remember the code off the top of your head, since no code memorization is required to come up with the solution.
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#4 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:05 AM

Yeah man. That's pretty common. Get used to it. I remember having to hand-write assembly, PHP, Java, and C code for exams. But usually, it's not a lot code. It's more like "you know it or you don't." You'll probably get a majority of the points if you can't remember Python syntax exactly.
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#5 uperkurk  Icon User is offline

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:12 AM

One of the questions, the last one, is worth 25% but it was given to us before as a complete assignment..

It has about 6 def's and about 100 lines of code total.... we had 2 weeks to do it and now they're giving it to us as an exam question? pfft a theory paper should be theory, I've already proved myself on the practical aspects by completing the 2 assignments -_-
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#6 darek9576  Icon User is offline

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 04 May 2012 - 05:32 AM

Maybe you should switch degrees and stop whining. I wish my exams were so fucking easy.
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#7 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:54 AM

If comparing strings is giving you this much heartburn there's probably room in an MFA program somewhere, or an English degree out there with your name on it.
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#8 wordswords  Icon User is offline

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:05 AM

Python's core syntax is relatively easy to learn compared to some other languages, as it is minimal. It might be worth just memorising a full set of keywords such as found here:

http://en.wikipedia....antics#Keywords

There aren't very many of them. They are your vocabulary. I doubt you'll need to use many of the built in libraries, your exam will probably just consist of those.

Practice by going through as many past papers you can, and using that vocabulary.
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#9 uperkurk  Icon User is offline

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:19 AM

Ok look so this for example. Using no compiler remember this question in last years paper was worth just 5%

Write a full program that will prompt the user for two integers, n and m. Then make a loop that will add all the numbers from n to m. For example if the user input 4 and 8 the output would be 30. (4+5+6+7+8)

Here is my attempt.

n = int(input("Enter first number: "))
m = int(input("Enter second number: "))
total = 0
for i in range(n, m+1):
        total = total + i
print(total)



Which printed out:

8

which is incorrect. So i'll probably get 1% out of 5 because all the syntax is correct but the program is wrong.

This is harder than you think :/

This post has been edited by uperkurk: 04 May 2012 - 09:28 AM

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#10 sepp2k  Icon User is offline

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:38 AM

Your program is correct. When I enter 4 and 8 into it, I get 30.
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#11 uperkurk  Icon User is offline

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 04 May 2012 - 09:48 AM

Oh I must have copied and pasted the working version from the answer paper and not my attempt, my attempt is very similar but it just prints 8. Anyway I've come to the conclusion that all I can do is try my best.

I only need around 35 - 40% to pass so I'll just keep practicing until then I guess. Try to guess the type of questions that will be in the exam
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#12 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:06 AM

Quote

Anyway I've come to the conclusion that all I can do is try my best.


True enough. The test is not meant to torment you, it's meant to tell you something about your understanding of the language. IF you have trouble with these things, you're probably not where you need to be, and you probably need to practice. Write a lot of little programs, to get your mistakes out of the way. You'll get there.
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#13 digitaldevelopment  Icon User is offline

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:38 AM

I don't see your problem in those exam questions... I myself just started out with python three weeks ago and I fixed those questions in no time...
maybe try to memorize some keywords? http://cdn2.dreaminc...t/sweatdrop.gif
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#14 The Architect 2.0  Icon User is offline

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:19 AM

...did you even try it?

its really not that hard.
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#15 uperkurk  Icon User is offline

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Re: Python exam so difficult..... should programming exams be like this?

Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:38 AM

Yes I did try it and given the fact that programming is my weakest area I found it really hard. I found the assignments hard aswell.
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