15-213/14-513/15-513 Introduction to Computer Systems (ICS): Exam

Final Exam - Date TBD

There will be a final exam, administered via Gradescope. (There is no midterm exam.) The date will be chosen by the registrar; we will post it here as soon as we know what it is. It will be three hours long.

The exam is closed book. You may bring two (2) double-sided 8½″×11″ (“letter”) or A4-sized sheets of notes, with anything you want written or printed on them, but you may not refer to any other book, document, or online reference during the exam.

You may also bring as many pens, pencils, and sheets of scratch paper as you want. Some pens and blank paper will be available from the exam proctors.

You are not permitted to use a calculator or any other electronic aid.

Everything covered in the course is fair game, including all of the assigned textbook readings (whether or not also covered in lecture) and lab material.

You may be asked to draw diagrams. You can do this either on paper, or using a drawing tool on your computer. If you choose to draw on paper, be aware that illegible handwriting will earn you zero points, and make sure you have a way of digitizing the diagram so it can be uploaded to Gradescope (phone cameras have worked just fine for students in the past).

Your TAs will hold an exam review shortly before the exam.

To study, read each chapter and work in study groups to review slides, review your own notes, work the practice problems in the book, and do problems from previous exams.

Questions will be broadly similar to those asked in the written assignments, but may be more difficult. They will also be broadly similar to the questions asked in the old exams which are archived below.

Note: Several of the old exams ask questions involving 32-bit x86 assembly language. This will not appear on the exam; we will use only 64-bit x86 assembly language. There are large differences between the two, particularly regarding procedure calls. A detailed comparison between the two architectures is available as one of the CS:APP web asides.

To save you from having to dig for them, here is a partial list of old exams with practice problems using 64-bit assembly language:

  • Fall 2012: Questions 3 and 4
  • Fall 2011: Questions 3 and 4
  • Spring 2011: Question 3
  • Fall 2010: Questions 3 and 4
  • Fall 2009: Question 5
  • Spring 2008: Question 3
  • Spring 2007: Question 2
  • Fall 2006: Question 4