10 Dec 2000 jordan   » (Apprentice)

I was scheduled to take a CS placement test at the University of Maryland. The coordinator in charge handed me the exemption test for CMSC 106, Introduction C Programming. It's pretty funny that this class, an introduction to C programming, had both a C and C++ version -- I asked for the C version.

I exchanged a few emails with the coordinator before coming to the test, and she had seen my resume. I asked her if she was sure this was the right exam and she asked what data structures I knew. I told her that I know hashes, linked lists, and binary trees among others and she replied with ``Oh, then you must be here for the C++ exam'' and handed me a page infected with C++ code that I hadn't messed with in quite a while. This exam was still basic; it was testing knowledge of linked lists, dynamic memory allocation, and stuff like that. However, I didn't want to lose points for forgetting some of C++'s idiosyncrasies, and since the previous exam had a C and C++ version, it was only logical to ask for a C version of this test. When I did, I was told ``But C doesn't have classes!'' packaged with a condescending smile -- as if it's impossible to implement a linked list in C! I tried to explain to her that I prefer a test on data structures that uses C, but I guess I didn't do a very good job because I kept getting the same response.

I ended up taking the simpler C test, which was a joke. I have no choice but to review some C++ and then get exempted from the two other courses before I can start taking real classes. I'm just annoyed by the ignorance of the coordinator..

Oh well, I guess I should be thankful my school doesn't use Java instead.

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