The format of the exam for 2017 will change - as discussed in the
lectures and by agreement with students the exam will be an
all-compulsory paper. The past papers below are still useful, given
the following comments:
Format: 4 compulsory questions, between 15-25 marks each. The whole
paper will be worth 75 marks. The paper will
focus on wide-ranging knowledge of the topics covered. Obtaining an
excellent grade will require a solid understanding of the principles of
language design and how they impact on language use.
Question 1 will cover the earlier part of the course: fundamental
material on language design,
on procedural vs object-oriented languages, on abstraction, encapsulation,
information hiding, on use of variables, on scope and lifetime (and
other bindings), on storage allocation (stack vs heap), on garbage, on
references and pointers and related problems in language implementation,
on types, on parameter passing.
You should note that these elements may be present to some degree in the
remaining questions, although they will most likely not be the main
The remaining questions will be drawn from the rest of the course:
declarative languages (Prolog and functional programming), scripting,
syntax and semantics, generics, iterators and collections,
redefinition and overloading and inheritance, how language design
facilitates good software engineering. There will be a mixture of
bookwork-type questions, problem-solving questions, and short discussion
questions where you may be asked to argue for or against certain
For revision purposes you may find the following
paper 2010 and
paper 2013 helpful.
Exam technique hints:
- Generally, it's a good idea to read all of the questions before
you start. While you do not have to select questions in this exam,
reading the whole paper gives you a good picture of the way questions
are asked, and ensures you do not inadvertently answer later questions
- For CSCU9Y4 we often find students have not written enough, or that
they have written some rather generic waffle instead of answering the
question we asked. Therefore, after answering a question, reread both
the question and your answer carefully.
Did you really answer what was asked? Have you written enough
to gain the full marks available?
Dr Jones' excellent exam technique hints.