Midterm Exam


The exam consists of an individual section and a group section. We hope to be done with everything by 9:30pm, but it's possible that delays will cause the exam to extend a bit later.

You must bring your UC Berkeley student ID. We will be performing ID checks during the exam. Students who cannot be identified will be photographed for later verification.

Individual Exam

You will have 2 hours to complete the individual section of the exam, after which we will immediately collect it. You may not leave the exam room if you finish early (other than to use the restroom). Please arrive by 6:30pm (not Berkeley time) so that we can start the exam on schedule.

Seat assignments for the individual section will be released the day before the exam. If you would like a left-handed desk or have another seat request, please fill out this form and we will attempt to accommodate.

Transition Between Individual and Group Sections

You will have a separate seat assignment for the group section, which may be in a different room. We will allocate some time for you to move seats/rooms before the group section starts.

When moving seats/rooms, the exam is still in session. You may not talk or use electronic devices. If a staff member sees you talking or using electronics, we will note your name and SID. If this happens, we may still allow you to take the group section (so the rest of your group is not at a disadvantage), but you will receive a 0 on both parts of the midterm.

Group Exam

Once all groups are settled, we will pass out the group midterm. It will consist of a single problem that also appeared on the individual midterm. Only one copy will be given to each group.

Your group will have 20 minutes to complete the group midterm, during which you should discuss with your group and make sure everyone understands the problem and the reasoning behind your answer.

After the group midterm, you will split up again and take a brief quiz with simple and quick questions that check each group member's understanding of the problem. You will not need to move seats for this. We will give you 10 minutes for this individual quiz. When you finish, you may turn it in early and go home.

The group midterm will be graded not only on your group's answer, but also the individual quiz results of all group members. All group members will receive the same score. The exact rubric for the group section will not be released.

Choosing Your Group

Group creation is done through Ok on this assignment page. To invite someone to your group, enter their Ok email and click "Invite". Each person you invite can either accept or decline the invitation. Once someone accepts, they may also invite or remove other members.

Groups should ideally have 4 people each. We will also allow groups of 3.

Group selection (including accepting invitations) must be completed by Tuesday, July 3rd at 11:59 PM.

Groups on Ok consisting of 3 or 4 enrolled students at the deadline will be finalized and assigned a group seating area. Groups on Ok with only 2 students will be ignored. Everyone not in a valid group at the deadline will be assigned a group randomly.

Note: The drop deadline is Friday, June 29th. If you drop after your group is formed, please remove yourself on Ok and make sure to remind them in time to find a replacement.


The exam is closed book, closed computer, and closed calculator. You do not need to bring anything except for a writing utensil and UC Berkeley student ID. We recommend using a pencil on the exam, since you may need to erase some things.

You are, however, allowed to bring one sheet of notes (front and back) that you create yourself. This sheet must be handwritten and you may not share them with anyone else. The purpose of these restrictions is to provide an additional opportunity for you to practice since many students have remarked that the process of compiling a note sheet helped them greatly when studying for the exam.

In previous semesters, the staff provided a Midterm 1 Study Guide along with the exam. Most students find that this is not useful, so we will not provide it and instead include relevant information on the exam itself. However, you are welcome to transfer any information from the study guide that you think may be useful to your note sheets.

Because most previous semesters have had two midterms, parts of the Midterm 2 Study Guide may also be relevant for this midterm. Again, we will not provide it, but feel free to copy anything from the study guide to your note sheets.

Topics Covered

The exam will cover all course topics through Chapter 2.3, as well as Chapter 2.4.2, 2.4.3, 2.8.3, 2.8.4, and 2.8.5 of Composing Programs, except for Newton's method (1.6.5), decorators (1.6.9), and linked lists (2.3.7). This should align with the first three weeks of lecture.

Particular emphasis will be given to user-defined functions, iteration, higher-order functions, recursion, data abstraction, and trees.


The best way to study for the midterm is to work through practice problems. The course staff has put together the following resources:

Study Party: There will be a Study Party Saturday 7/7 3-6 PM in 540 Cory AB. We will have group study games and snacks! It will also be a good chance to bring your group and study together. Please come and bring food if you can!

Review Session: There will be a staff-led review session Monday 7/9 11 - 12:30PM in 155 Dwinelle instead of lecture. Lecture on Tuesday 7/10 will be converted to office hours as well.

Office Hours: Office Hours after 2 pm on Tuesday have been cancelled. See the office hours schedule for the updated hours.

Sections: Discussion sections on Tuesday 7/10 and Wednesday 7/11 have been cancelled. All other sections the week of the midterm, including Tuesday morning labs, will still be held as normal.

Mentoring: Group mentoring sections for the first half of the week (prior to Wednesday's lecture) have been canceled.


No alternates will be provided for this exam. If you are unable to attend, please email cs61a-su18@berkeley.edu ASAP and we will use your score on the final as your score for the midterm. If you do not notify us before the midterm that you will miss it, you will receive a 0 on the exam.

Students with DSP accommodations should have been notified about their options for the group exam. If you have accommodations through DSP and have not received an email, please let us know ASAP. We cannot provide extra time or a separate room to students without an official letter from the Disabled Students Program.