ICS 31 / CSE 41 Intro to Programming is the first programming class that our students take.  However, we are giving students the opportunity to take a credit by exam should they wish to attempt to go straight into the next level programming course, ICS 32 / CSE 42.  Please read the ENTIRE section below before signing up!

Deadline for DOMESTIC/ NON-INTERNATIONAL FRESHMEN to take the exam is June 23, 2017.

Deadline for INTERNATIONAL FRESHMEN to take the exam is Friday, September 22rd.

A. Should you consider this?
If you have taken a CS or programming course, the CS AP exam, or have some programming experience, we recommend you take the exam.  Passing the exam with a C or higher will allow you to skip ICS 31 in the Fall and go straight into ICS 32.  There is no academic penalty if you do not do well on the exam.

B. Exam format
The ICS 31 Placement Exam is a two-hour multiple choice exam. 

Python knowledge: We expect you to be familiar with most of the Python 3 concepts covered in ICS 31 / CSE 41. Here is a summary of those concepts:

  • Basic Python 3 programming as covered in chapters 1–6 of Introduction to Computing Using Python, An Application Development Focus, second edition, by Ljubomir Perkovic (Wiley 2015).
  • Namedtuples in the collections library (in the standard Python 3 distribution). See the Namedtuples in ICS 31 document and the official documentation on python.org.
  • Type annotations in function headers, docstring comments, and the assert statement. These features and their role in software development are described in the Design Recipe document.
  • The Restaurants Program, a short case study that illustrates how these features are used and may be the basis of questions on the placement exam. (If we ask detailed questions about this code on the exam, we will supply a copy of the code with the exam.)
  • A detailed listing of Python language features covered in ICS 31/ CSE 41 is available.

C. Grading information
A grade of C or higher on the exam is a passing grade.  If you choose to accept the grade, that grade will be reflected on your official UCI transcript and you will enroll in ICS 32 / CSE 42 in Fall quarter.  However, if you do not accept the grade, that grade will not be reflected on your transcript and you will instead enroll in the actual course, ICS 31/CSE 41.  Your exam results will be given to you at summer orientation during academic advising. 

D. What to Bring
Pen, pencil, and picture ID.

E. Sign up

International students will take the exam on campus on Friday, Sept 22nd from 2-4:00 pm.

Domestic students--deadline to take the exam has passed.  Deadline was June 23rd. An additional exam date will be offered around week 3 of Fall quarter.

Email ucounsel@uci.edu with the following information:

  • For the email subject heading, please write "ICS 31 exam for international students"
  • In the body of the email, simply write "I am an international student and would like to take the ICS 31 exam."
  • Include your student ID number, your last and first name, and your major.

After we receive your email, we will send you an email confirmation with additional information.

F. Logistical details
-If you are taking the exam on campus, you will be given a Credit by Exam Petition form at your exam.  If you are taking the exam off-campus, you will be given a Credit by Exam Petition form at your summer orientation.
-Students must take the form to the UCI Cashiers to pay a $5 fee.  Please be sure to bring cash or credit card.
-After students pay the $5 fee, the form must be returned to ICS Student Affairs office (Computer Science, room 352).  If ICS Student Affairs does not receive it, you will not receive your exam results.  Your exam results will be given to you at summer orientation during academic advising. 

G. Campus map and directions

H. Campus parking
The closest parking structure to Donald Bren Hall is Anteater parking structure, on Anteater Dr. and E. Peltason.  Parking is $10.