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CS 18000 Proficiency Exam

CS 18000 (Problem Solving and Object-Oriented Programming) is a core course you will take as a student in the Department of Computer Science. This course focuses on software development using the Java programming language.

We recommend that all incoming students take this course even if you think you might be able to test out.

Here's why:

  1. Few schools have a first course equivalent to CS 18000.
  2. Even students who take an excellent AP CS course in high school and who score a 4 or 5 on the AP exam rarely learn everything that we teach in our CS 18000.
  3. Students learn how we do homework assignments, labs, projects, and exams in CS 18000. This knowledge will be useful in every other CS course.
  4. With all the difficult courses in CS, it is nice to start with a course which you already know quite a bit.
  5. CS majors will have to make up the missing credits for graduation by taking an additional 300 level course.

For those students who would like to attempt to test out of CS 18000, we have a CS 18000 Proficiency Exam. The passing rate is approximately 10 percent. Typically, only students with extensive Java programming skills and experience are able to pass the exam. 

About the Exam

The exam is a combination of multiple choice questions and writing a Java program. It is based on CS 18000 final exams.

Generally, the exam is the week before or the first week of classes each semester and scored in time to make schedule changes. Students should be sure to communicate with their advisor prior to the semester in which they want to attempt the exam. Students will receive details about the time and location prior to the exam date.  


Preparing for the Exam

To prepare for the CS 18000 Proficiency Exam we recommend that you go through the CS 18000 class slides. Make sure that you understand every module thoroughly.

In addition, we recommend the following materials. 


Free Resources

Start Concurrent: An Introduction to Problem Solving in Java with a Focus on Concurrency, Wittman, Mathur, and Korb 

Think Java: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist, Allen B. Downey and Chris Mayfield, Version 6.1.0, 2016.

Oracle Java Website

Introduction to Programming Using Java, David J. Eck, Version 7.0, August 2014


Not Free (But Worth Buying)

A Comprehensive Introduction to Object Oriented Programming with Java, Thomas Wu. NOTE: Any version of this book is fine. You do not need the latest version.

Register for the Exam

To register for the exam
fill out the Qualtrics Form

Important information:

  • You must use your Purdue email account when signing up for the exam
  • You will be contacted when the date, time, and location for the exam has been set.  The selected date, time, and location will be the only time to take the exam and there will not be a make up date for the semester.
  • You will only have 1 attempt at the proficiency exam.
  • You must have your Purdue ID on you when you arrive to the exam.
  • The exam is graded on a pass/no pass scale.  Students are not given an answer key post exam and are not able to review their exam post-test.

Information for prospective CODOs
As a non-computational sciences major, you should not take the CS 18000 proficiency exam to bypass CS 18000.  Passing the exam does not help in attempting to CODO into Computer Science, Data Science, or Artificial Intelligence as you are still required to earn a grade of at least a B in  CS18000 at Purdue to be eligible to be considered for CODO.

If you are a DS or AI major who wants to double major in CS, you should not take the CS 18000 proficiency exam to bypass CS 18000.  You must take CS 18000 and receive a grade of B or higher to be eligible to be considered for CODO to Computer Science.

Last Updated: Aug 18, 2023 2:19 PM

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