John C. Kirk (johnckirk) wrote,
John C. Kirk

Just a brief post between exams. Today's paper (Cryptography) went ok - it was an extremely easy exam, with questions that were complete gifts (20 marks for an answer that only takes a few lines). So, after 45 minutes, I'd done 2 out of 3 questions, and everything looked good. That left me 1h15m for the final question, which was to decrypt a simple substitution cipher. Unfortunately, I completely screwed it up, and by the end of the exam my best attempt at plaintext still resembled Elvish more than English. Talking to other people afterwards, it turns out that while I was busily building frequency lists, and adjacency tables, they were just saying "Ah, let's try a Caesar cipher - if you shift everything 5 places to the right (e.g. A->F), then that solves it". Oh well, I won't make that mistake again. Anyway, I reckon I did well enough to get about 80%, which is over the 70% threshold that I need for a distinction. However, I really should have been able to get a perfect score, which would help out my average. Damn. All I can do now is press on, and hope that I do well in the other papers. Tomorrow's (random algorithms) is going to be the hardest, but at least I get to choose questions, whereas in Thursday's paper (string searching/processing) I think I know most of it well, but there's no choice of questions. Then my final exam is in two weeks (parallel algorithms), so I should have plenty of time to prepare for that.

Right, back to the revision...
Tags: exams, postgrad

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