CS 416 Exams: what to expect

This page contains information about taking exams in this class.

Answering questions

Short-answer choice questions

You will not get credit for a brain dump. Pretend that a friend who pretty much knows most of the subjec matter is asking you a question about one specific item.

Keep your answers short but accurate (a few sentances or a short paragraph, as necessary). I will not have the patience to read long essays and you will lose points even if you have some of the right information. Conversely, make sure that your answers are precise and accurate. For example, do not give answers such as

"we use QFS because it's more efficient".

Instead qualify it as

"QFS is used in this case because it's more efficient in its use of network resources. Each transaction requires an exchange of two messages and data is cached locally, whereas TFS requires a multi-message authentication sequence for each transaction and no local caching is performed".

Do not turn an answer into an essay:

"QFS, developed at the University of Southern North Dakota, comprises two client processes, a name server, and a storage server....".

Multiple choice questions

For multiple-choice questions, you will be asked to pick the best answer. This means selecting the most appropriate answer for the question. For example, suppose you have a question such as:

A key feature of multi-level feedback queue scheduling is:
(a) Having multiple queues at different priority levels.
(b) Giving low priority processes a longer time slice.
(c) Taking process deadlines into account when making a scheduling decision.
(d) The process' execution time in its last time slice is used to determine its priority queue.

In this case, (a) is correct but too general. It applies to multi-level queue scheduling as well. (b) is a specific example of using variable-length time slices but not a core definition of multi-level feeback queue scheduling. You do not need to have this but can still have a multi-level feedback queue. Moreover, some schedulers take the opposite approach. (c) is completely wrong. Only certain real-time scheduling algorithms take deadlines into account. (d) is the correct answer. It points out that there are multiple queues and that feedback (how much of its time slice a process used) is used to determine which queue it is placed on for future scheduling.

Old exams

Spring 2014

Spring 2012

Spring 2011

Fall 2010

Study guide