Computer Science Advanced Standing Exam
Gates Hall
August 23, 2021
1:00-3:00 pm
Gates Hall G01


The Computer Science Advanced Standing Exam (CASE) is used to determine whether a student should receive credit for CS 1110. While that course is currently offered in Python, the computer science department will extend credit to any student that exhibits mastery in an object-oriented language.

This year, we will offer a traditional-style (in-person) placement exam on Monday, August 23rd at 1:00 pmn Gates G01. You are permitted to use any object-oriented programming language that you choose, including Python, Java, or any of the C variants (C++/C#/Objective-C). Sufficient performance on this exam will guarantee both credit for CS 1110 and placement into higher-level CS courses.

The exam will be timed and take no more than 2 hours. Students taking the placement exam will be expected to demonstrate mastery of the following concepts:

All of these topics are covered in CS 1110, so you would benefit from this course if any of these terms are unfamiliar to you. The test does not include subclassing, inheritance, or overriding. While this material is covered in CS 1110, we do not expect mastery in these topics to receive credit.


Grading is pass/fail. Students taking the exam will either receive credit for CS1110 or no credit at all. There is no penalty for failing the exam. This exam is for placement only, and the exam will be destroyed once credit is resolved.

Grading will be complete by Tuesday, August 24th, in time for your final course selections. Your grade will be posted online in the Cornell course management system (CMS). Log in to this site with your netid and password; the Advanced Standing Exam is listed as a Fall 2021 course named "CS ASE".

If you pass, the grade in CMS will be a 1; there will be no further comments. If you fail the exam, there will be a 0 and, if we deem it necessary, comments explaining the grade. If you have further questions about your score, e-mail Walker White for an appointment to discuss your exam.

Alternative: Placement Only

If you are unable to make the date of the placement exam, we do have an online-only alternative. The educational game Reduct is a research project developed here at Cornell. It has a unique syntax (which the game trains you in over a single session), but covers most of the major programming concepts that we are looking for when we determine course placement into CS 2110 or its equivalent.

For this placement exam, you are to play a session of Reduct. The problem sequence is designed to take 45-60 minutes. Credit is determined by how far you progress in the game. You may play the game anytime from Friday, August 20th at 12:00 pm (when the link goes live below) until Monday, August 23rd at 10 pm (when grading will finish).

Your play session data will be kept for research purposes unless you choose to opt out of data gathering. For more information about this option, and privacy concerns regarding this exam, refer to the specific Reduct instructions (Cornell netid required). In addition, you may contact the PI Rene Kizilcec for any questions or concerns.

Because of the experimental nature of this game, we can only use this online exam to offer placement into higher-level CS courses, and cannot offer CS 1110 credit for this game. However, it is possible to substitute 2110 for 1110 credit if you receive placement.

Advising Recommendations

You should use the recommendation of the Advanced Standing Exam to determine your fall courses with your advisor.

If you are awarded credit for CS 1110

In this case we advise you to take CS 2110 as your first programming course. If you do take CS 2110, and you discover during the ADD period that it seems too difficult, consult with your advisor about how to proceed. Be aware that if you ever choose to take CS 1110, the grade that you receive in CS 1110 will replace your credit for the Advanced Standing Exam.

If you are not awarded credit for CS 1110

In this case we advise you to take either CS 1110 or CS 1112 as your first programming course. While CS 1110 is the traditional course for students interested in going on to higher level computer science courses, some students do benefit from the heavier emphasis on scientific computation in CS 1112. Discuss which course is best for you with your advisor.

It is possible, though not recommended, to take CS 2110 without having received credit for CS 1110. You should only do this if you have significant programming experience and have discussed the issue thoroughly with your advisor.

If you take CS 2110 without having received credit for CS 1110, and if you are a student in the College of Engineering, CS 2110 cannot fulfill both the CS 1110 requirement and the College of Engineering distribution requirement. CS 2110 is a three-credit course, whereas CS 1110 is a four-credit course. In that case you will need to take both of the following types of courses:

Please consider this option carefully.