Final Exam Study Guide

General Information

Where and When

Date/Time - Saturday, December 12, 7:00-10:00 PM (except for those that have been pre-approved for an alternate time)
Location - All students (1110 and 1111) should report to Wilson 402
Review Session - Friday, December 11, 5:30-7:00 PM in Rice 130


All conflicts should have been reported to Prof. Sherriff. If you have not received a response, you should contact Prof. Sherriff directly.

What to bring

You only need a writing utensil - pen or pencil. No laptops, calculators, scratch paper, backpacks, books, or anything else should be brought. These items will be left in the back/front of the room if you bring them. It is also highly recommended to dress in layers. It is likely to get quite warm in the room.

Test Specifics

We are writing the test to be 1 ½ times the length of the previous two tests. So, we are writing the test to take 1 ½ hours, but you will have all 3 hours.

The format of the test will be similar to what you have seen, but with basically a few more pages. You can expect similar multiple choice, short answer, code reading, and code writing questions to previous tests.

Major things you can expect:

  • A “long” coding question, one that asks you to solve a problem and will encourage you to use the various tools you’ve picked up this semester
  • Reading and evaluating methods / code snippets
  • Some questions related to material from the first two thirds of the class
  • Some questions specifically about the final third of the class

Things that we will definitely not ask:

  • How to use specific libraries, such as gamebox, cImage, Turtle, beautifulsoup4, IMAPClient, pyzmail, etc.
  • Chase activities
  • Professor AMAs


All topics from the previous two tests are fair game. You can find their lists here:

Additional Topics:

Under the Hood

  • How memory works; the stack and the heap
  • What does it mean for code to be “better?” - speed, easier to read, fewer bugs, quicker to write


  • We won’t ask you to code any gamebox/pygame code, but it would be good to consider some of the basic algorithms used
  • Such as taking a moving character and looping over all of the walls/platforms to see if it is touching any of them


  • The concept of a picture and pixel as represented in Python (basically, a 2D list of pixels, where a pixel is a single color point)
  • General complexity of most image algorithms we looked at (i.e. a double-for loop, looking at each pixel in the image)
  • General idea of the various image algorithms worked (you will not have to code them; you may have to read them)

Study Hints

Example questions to look at

Here are some questions from the Gaddis book that we think are good ones to review with:

  • Chapter 5 (p. 229) - 4, 5, 7, 13
  • Chapter 6 (p. 288) - 1, 4, 5, 10
  • Chapter 7 (p. 334) - 2, 3, 6, 7
  • Chapter 8 (p. 366) - 2, 4, 6, 9
  • Chapter 9 (p. 416) - 3, 4, 5, 7

Remember: You have more time!

Take the time to write out your code/algorithm on scratch paper FIRST! You’ve got the time on the final to really work through the options here and write better (and hopefully easier to read) code. So use it!

Check out the lab code

We will be adding example solutions to past labs - so check the Previous Labs page!

Practice coding on paper

You’ll be writing code on paper. This feels different than writing it in Eclipse. You don’t want to be surprised by how different it feels. Practice writing code by hand.

A few small syntax errors is OK. But if you are really off we will take off points. Try to write correct code.

We’ll give you any imports you might need - so don’t worry about memorizing those.

Try re-solving the POTD and Lab problems on paper without looking at your code or textbook.

You can find more sample problems in Programming Challenges in the textbook. We do not, however, have the answer key to share with you.

Practice reading code

We will show you code and ask you what it does. You won’t be able to have Python run it. Practice thinking through code without running it.

Review the Lectures

Not everything in the book is equally important. Review the lecture notes to see what we emphasized. If you are confused by some point, check the audio. You might want to listen to the audio of the other instructor (the one you didn’t hear in class) so that you can get a different perspective on the material.