Final Exam Information

Written by Nick Troccoli, Jerry Cain and Lisa Yan, based on documents by Julie Zelenski, Marty Stepp and others


Friday, December 13th, 8:30AM-11:30AM


Dinkelspiel Auditorium

Review Session:

Monday, December 9th, 7-8:30PM in Hewlett 201


The final exam will be held during our registrar-scheduled exam time: Friday, December 13, 8:30AM-11:30AM. For the final exam, there will be no alternate time, except for those with relevant official university athletics or Office of Accessible Education accommodations, so please make sure that you can attend the final exam at the specified time before enrolling in the class.

The exams are designed to assess your mastery of the course learning objectives, with a particular emphasis on material that was prominent in the lectures, assignments and labs.

The exam is closed-book. You may bring a double-sided US-Letter-sized (8.5"x11") page of your own prepared notes. The exam will include a reference sheet of essential details such as prototypes for standard library functions (e.g., strcpy, strlen, malloc), as well as an additional reference sheet with the common x86-64 assembly instructions.

You will take your exam electronically, using our custom BlueBook exam software, which you can run on your computer if you have one. If you do not have access to a laptop for the exam that can run BlueBook, please contact the course staff as soon as possible. You cannot access notes, run other applications, use the Internet, nor use any other electronic devices during the exam.

Material Covered

The final is intended to assess your understanding of the content covered throughout the course. The priority is on material that figured prominently in the assignments, labs, lecture, and reading (this list is in order of decreasing emphasis). The topic coverage for the final exam will be comprehensive and span the entire quarter, but expect more emphasis on material covered after the midterm (i.e. >= lab5 and assign5).

We highly recommend revisiting the labs and assignments. Each of them contain post-task self-check questions at the end that you can use to review. The K&R and B&O textbooks also contain many exercises if you want additional problems to work.

We'd love to see the Piazza forum come alive in helping everyone do their best on the exam – this is a great place to ask and answer unresolved questions, discuss conceptual issues, share techniques and materials you are finding useful as preparation, and support and encourage each other.

Topics Summary

Check your rear-view mirror for the very impressive list of things you've learned in 107!

  • All about C and memory: C—strings, arrays, pointers, void*, pointer arithmetic, typecasts, function pointers, generics, stack and heap
  • Data representation: bits, bytes, ASCII, two's complement integers, floating point, pointers, aggregate types (arrays and structs)
  • x86-64 assembly: data access and addressing modes, arithmetic and logical ops, implementation of C control structures, call/return
  • Address space: layout and purpose of text/data/stack/heap segments, handling of different variable scopes/types
  • Runtime stack: caller/callee protocol, parameter passing, use of registers
  • Memory and heap: stack versus heap allocation, heap allocator strategies and tradeoffs
  • Performance: compiler optimizations, profiling

What To Bring

The exam is on your computer. You should bring:

  • Your laptop and charger
  • The device you use for two-step authentication (to submit the exam)
  • your double-sided page of notes
  • A power strip/extension cord (optional, but recommended if you have access to one)


  • The Honor Code: the exam is to be completed individually and without any assistance from a partner or other students. Follow the Stanford Honor Code (see link on main course homepage) during the exam: submit only your own work, do not use unpermitted aids on the exam (see below for permitted aids), and say something to the instructors or students in question to prevent any inappropriate activity conducted by others surrounding the exam.

  • Permitted Materials: During the exam, you may use/reference:

    • a double-sided US-Letter-sized (8.5"x11") page of your own prepared notes.

    • a provided reference page of essential details such as prototypes for standard library functions (e.g., strcpy, strlen, malloc). This is included in the BlueBook exam.

    • a provided reference page of common x86-64 assembly instructions. This is included in the BlueBook exam.

    You are not permitted to use any other materials, such as printouts (notes, slides, code, practice exams, etc.), other textbooks, or electronic devices (iPads, Kindles, calculators, music players, etc.).

  • Grading: For coding questions, the majority of the points are typically focused on the correctness of the code. However, there may be deductions for code that is extremely roundabout/awkward/inefficient when more appropriate alternatives exist. We will reward the simple, direct approach for its good design decisions and such code will likely have fewer correctness issues, so the choice of appropriate design can have a large impact. For example, we expect you to leverage appropriate features from the standard libraries; re-implementing that functionality wastes your valuable time and introduces opportunity for error.

    Note that certain problems may have certain constraints (such as only using certain material, etc.) that you must follow to earn full credit. We reserve the right to deduct points for extremely inelegant or inefficient code that dodges the spirit of the problem.

    You are not required to write #include statements on the exam. Please do not abbreviate any code on the exam (such as writing "x2" next to code to copy it twice). Abbreviated code will not be graded.

    Pseudo-code (writing English sentences and phrases instead of code) will typically earn little to no points. For example, writing "In this part of the code, I want to open the file and read each line and print it" will not earn any points.

    You should include your answer, as well as any scratchwork, in the text area for each problem. An answer to a problem not in the designated answer pages for that problem will not receive any credit.

    Unless otherwise specified, it is fine to write helper functions to implement the required behavior.


BlueBook Software: The BlueBook program you will use for the final exam is the same as the one you downloaded for the midterm exam. Here are the links if you need to download it again:

Mac Download | Windows Download | Linux Download

IMPORTANT: Once you have downloaded the installer file, install BlueBook wherever you wish on your computer. If you're using a Mac and you get an error saying that the Disk Image is from an unidentified developer, open up the installer file in your finder, and right click it and select "Open." The same window will pop up, but this time you'll have a chance to open it anyway. If you get any popups asking for keystroke or other permissions, please make sure to grant them in order for the exam to administer properly. On Windows, if you get a message that says, "Windows protected your PC," you can click on "More info" and then "Run anyway."

Exam Reference Sheets: Note: the reference sheets are included as the last "problems" in the BlueBook exam. You will be provided with hard copies as well during the exam.

C Reference Sheet Webpage | C Reference Sheet PDF

Assembly Reference Sheet

Practice Materials:

Note: the practice BlueBook exam below is configured with an infinite time limit. You cannot close BlueBook and come back to work on the exam later - you must complete it in one sitting. You cannot submit practice exams, and you will lose your work if you do - if you'd like to check your answers, leave BlueBook open while you do so. Note that for security reasons, BlueBook disables copy/pasting into or out of BlueBook. You can copy/paste within BlueBook, however.

Guide for how to approach and succeed on CS107 exams.

Practice Exam 1: BlueBook | PDF | Solutions
Password: marigold
This is based on the final exam from CS107 Winter 2018. It was written as a 180 minute BlueBook exam (the same as this quarter).

Practice Exam 2: PDF | Solutions
This is based on the final exam from CS107 Fall 2017. It was written as a 180 minute paper exam (same as this quarter, except not using BlueBook).

Practice Exam 3: PDF | Solutions
This is based on the final exam from CS107 Fall 2018. It was written as a 180 minute paper exam (same as this quarter, except not using BlueBook).

Extra Practice Problems: PDF | Solutions

Review Session Materials: PDF
Code in /usr/class/cs107/samples/final-exam-review
Video on Canvas (under "Course Videos" tab)