CIT 590 Midterm Exam Name ______________________________
Spring 2009

I. Writing code

Where I ask for a statement, give me a statement, not a complete method. Where I ask for a method, give me a method, not a class. And so forth.

  1. (5 points) Write a declaration of variable foo to be of type double with an initial value of 17.76.

    double foo = 17.76;

  2. (5 points) Declare a variable students to be an array of Student objects, but don't give it an initial value.

    Student[] students;

  3. (5 points) Declare and define a variable books to be an ArrayList of Book objects. Use the correct syntax for generics (that is, make sure your ArrayList will hold Books and nothing else).

    ArrayList<Book> books = new ArrayList<Book>();

  4. (5 points) Write a public "stub" method (one that does nothing) named fiddle that takes no arguments and returns no value.

    public void fiddle() {

  5. (5 points) Write a public "stub" method named faddle that takes two integer arguments and returns a String. Although this method does nothing, it should be complete enough to compile without error.

    public String faddle(int x, int y) {
        return null;

    -3 points if your method has compile errors
  6. (5 points) Write the shortest possible statement to add one to the variable count.

    count++;       OR,  ++count;
    Graded as all or nothing

  7. (5 points) Write the shortest possible statement to add five to the variable count.

    count += 5;
    Graded as all or nothing

  8. (5 points) Write the shortest possible statement to return true from a method if x is greater than 5, and false otherwise.

    return x > 5;
    Graded as all or nothing

  9. (5 points) Write the shortest possible statement that adds 1 to index, but resets index to zero if adding 1 would make it equal to length.

    index = (++index) % length;
    Also marked as okay: index = (index + 1) % length;

  10. (5 points) Write a loop, and any additional necessary statements, to set the integer variable sum to the sum of all the values in the one-dimensional array scores of integers.

    sum = 0;     // OR,   int sum = 0;
    for (int i = 0; i < scores.length; i++) {
        sum += scores[i];     // OR,   sum = sum + scores[i];

    If you said:   int[] scores = new int[10];     your sum will be zero.

  11. (5 points) Write a switch statement to set the String variable word to either "one", "two", or "many", depending on whether the integer variable count is 1, 2, or some other value, respectively.

    switch (count) {
        case 1:
            word = "one";
        case 2:
            word = "two";
            word = "many";
            break;    // this break is optional

  12. (5 points) Write a single statement to create and throw an RuntimeException if the variable k is negative.

    if (k < 0) throw new RuntimeException();

II. Short answer

Keep all answers brief and to the point. Do not include information that was not asked for--it may cost you points. You may be penalized for excesssively verbose answers.

  1. (5 points) Instance variables should usually be private. Why?

    To help ensure that, if these variables get illegal values, the error is within this class.
    To help maintain the modifiability of this class.

    2 points     if you just defined "private"
    3 points     if you said "to prevent changes from outside"
    4 points     if you said "to make them safe"
    5 points     if you said the class is responsible for its variables

  2. (10 points) Suppose you have a method which only works correctly if a certain double parameter is between 0.1 and 1.0. As the first step of your method, you want to ensure that this parameter is in the legal range. There are two ways to do this:

    1. If the method is public, instead of using an assert statement, you should throw some kind of Exception for illegal values of the parameter. Why?

      Being public, the method can be called from outside the class, so you have no guarantee that the parameter is in the correct range. If it is not, it is the caller's responsibility to do something about it.

    2. If the method is private, instead of throwing an Exception, you probably should assert that the value of the parameter is in the legal range. Why?

      Being private, the method can only be called from within this class, so any bad calls represent an error in this class, which you should find and fix.

  3. (5 points) Point out the syntax error in the following code, and tell how to correct it.
    Random rand = new Random();
    do {
         int row = rand.nextInt(10);
         int col = rand.nextInt(10);
    } while (row == col);

    The variables row and col are declared (and only available) within the do block; they are not available in the while condition. The declarations have to be moved above the do loop.

  4. (5 points) The keyword this cannot be used in a static method. Why not?

    The keyword this refers to the object that is executing the method. Static methods are executed by the class itself, not by any particular object.

  5. (5 points) When a constructor is called, what is the first thing that it does (whether you tell it to or not)?

    Calls the constructor for its superclass.

  6. (5 points) If a class implements an interface, what is that class "promising" to do?

    Implement (provide bodies for) all the methods declared in the interface.

  7. Consider the following method:
    public String toString() {
        top = (top & 0x3FF) % 900 + 100;
        left = (left & 0x3FF) % 900 + 100;
        right = (right & 0x3FF) % 900 + 100;
        bottom = (bottom & 0x3FF) % 900 + 100;
        System.out.println("[" + top + " " + left + " " + bottom + " " + right + "]");
    1. (5 points) What style rule or rules does this method violate? How could we improve the style?

      The DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) principle. The same complex formula occurs four times. It should be moved into a method, and the method called four times, once with each of the four variables (top, left, right, and bottom).

    2. (5 points) Besides poor style, this method is committing a serious logic error. What is it, and how could we fix it?

      While the apparent purpose of the method is to return a printable string, it also changes the values of the four variables being printed. We could solve this by copying those into temporary variables, or (better) we could put the formula into a separate method (as above), which automatically copies its parameters into local variables.

      I made a syntax error in the above question. You got 4 points for mentioning this error, even though I asked for the logic error.