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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Wednesday 10 November 2004 (Day View) – Exam – COMP3502

10.11.2004Wednesday 10 November – Information Security Exam

Today saw me heading into uni by nine o’clock, doing some last minute studying, printing a few files, running up to POD when all the printers in GPS ran out of paper, and attending my COMP3502 exam.
The exam was three hours long and open book, meaning we could take in any written material. The exam had sixteen questions, all of which had subparts. My answers ended up being twenty-five pages long. I ran out of time (but it was entirely my own fault for spending too much time on other questions while avoiding those that I didn’t know the answers for). My comprehensive indexing helped heaps – by the end of the ten-minute perusal period I had located the relevant sections in the tutorial answers, lecture slides or my notes for questions one through ten. I don’t know if we can get bonus marks for spending too much time and effort on small questions – but I’d like to hope we can. I even cited sources for one, using the correct IEEE citation style. Unfortunately, this also meant that I had more difficulty with the questions after ten, skipping some, nearly forgetting one, running out of answer booklet, having my arm die, and getting entirely sick of the whole thing around the 2-hour mark, at which point I discovered the interesting deco above the doors. After pondering the wisdom of drinking my bottle of coke first and having only water left, attempting to locate friendly faces without looking suspicious, and checking that my pencil still had lead as I’d snapped it roughly two hundred times, I finished off the remaining skipped questions. There were a few I wasn’t confident about, one stupid statistical one I couldn’t be bothered working out so approximated a roughly correct answer (John said later that I’d get an approximately correct mark for it), and one question about something I hadn’t heard of before but apparently guessed correctly. While I did run out of time, I believe the difficulty of the exam was almost spot-on. It seemed to me that anyone with a basic level of understanding would have no trouble passing it, but to excel and get high marks would require in-depth knowledge – which is exactly how exams should be.
  Overall, I think COMP3502 may be the best course I’ve done so far. I would like to see a follow-on course (which was proposed at one stage), as this was very much an introduction to a varied, highly relevant and growing field (not something you can say about most of the other IT courses UQ offers). I posted a request for interest in a follow up course some time ago, but didn’t take it further due to an apparent lack of interest. Perhaps if there’s enough interest, I’ll be able to petition the head of school next semester.
Clint, Maz and I wandered around the city for a while; where I did the unusual and bought a Cold Rock Super Shake before dozing my way home. I almost missed my station, jumping up at the last moment – the third time in a row I’ve done this, having never done it before.
It appears to have become somehow later than I had wished. This is, I believe, a side-effect of the diminishing power of the Catholic Church, and the subsequent heretical belief that the earth is not only round, but no longer at the centre of the universe – something which is, to the best of my knowledge, still unproven.

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