Graduate Assessment Exams

Graduate Assessment Exams

Graduate Assessment Exams (GAE) are available for many Introductory Courses in the CDM graduate program curricula.

GAE Facts

For questions about graduate assessment exams, or to arrange for remote exam proctoring, please contact

GAE Study Guides

CNS 418 Introduction to Host Security

Basic Linux CLI; focus on security commands and files Linux file permissions Windows active directory Windows groups Security services, to include SSL/TLS, Kerberos, and IPSec (intro level) Windows file/folder permissions, to include the function of inheritance file system formats Core application services (DHCP, DNS)

CSC 400 Discrete Structures for Computer Science

This course introduces basic mathematical tools essential for solving problems in computer science.


  • Propositional/Boolean Logic (and, or, not, truth-tables, disjunctive normal form)
  • Set Theory (union, intersection, difference, complement, power set)
  • First-Order Logic (existential, universal quantifiers)
  • Relations (properties, equivalence, ordering)
  • Functions (composition, inverse)
  • Searching and Sorting (depth-first/breadth-first search, insertion sort, topological sort)
  • Graph Theory (definitions, paths, cycles, complete graphs, bipartite graphs, Eulerian cycles, Hamiltonian cycles, planarity, graph coloring, graph isomorphism)
  • Combinatorics (counting and probability, permutations, combinations)
  • Arithmetic (logarithms, exponentials, polynomials, arithmetic series, geometric series)


  • Discrete Mathematics with Applications, 4th ed., Susanna S. Epp. Brooks/Cole Publishing, 2011.
  • Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications, 4th ed., Kenneth H. Rosen, WCB/McGraw-Hill, 2008.
  • Discrete Mathematics, 7th ed., Richard Johnsonbaugh, Prentice-Hall, 2008.

CSC 401 Introduction to Programming

Note: There are three versions of the Graduate Assessment Exam for CSC 401: a Python version, a Java version, and a C++ version. Students should take the exam based on the programming language they are most familiar with. Students who plan to pursue the MS Computational Finance program must take the Python version of the exam.


  • Variables, assignments, and expressions involving arithmetic, unary, relational, and conditional operators;
  • Core built-in data types
    • Python: int, bool, float, str, list, two-dimensional lists;
    • Java: int, double, boolean, and char primitive types, java.lang.String class, arrays, two-dimensional arrays
    • C++: int, double, bool, and char types, standard string class, arrays, two-dimensional arrays
  • Control flow structures (if, for, while, break, continue statements)
  • Functions (static methods in Java), parameter passing, return statement, function scope
  • Interactive and file Input/Output
    • Python: print, open, input
    • Java:, System.out,,, java.util.Scanner
    • C++: iostream, fstream
  • Recursion



Java: An Introduction to Problem Solving and Programming, 6/E
Walter Savitch, Addison-Wesley, 2012


Problem Solving with C++, 8/E
Walter Savitch, Addison-Wesley, 2012


Introduction to Computing Using Python
Ljubomir Perkovic, Wiley, 2011.

CSC 402 Data Structures I

This course introduces linear data structures, algorithm analysis, and java programming.


  • Review of basic programming techniques and introduction to Java: strings, arrays, iteration, recursion, exceptions, the eclipse debugger
  • Objects, base types and reference types, boxing and unboxing, deep and shallow copy, deep and shallow equality
  • Data Abstraction, interfaces, overriding and overloading, equals
  • Java interfaces: Iterable, Comparable, Comparator
  • Basic Structures: Stack, Queue, Bag, Deque, Priority Queue
  • Linked and resizing array implementations
  • Binary Heaps, Union-Find
  • Introduction to algorithm analysis: order of growth, experimental techniques, worst/best/average-case and amortized analysis
  • Sorting algorithms, including Selection Sort, Insertion Sort, Mergesort, Quicksort, and Heapsort


Algorithms 4e (Chapters 1-2 and Sections 6.1-6.2). Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne. Addison-Wesley, 2011.

CSC 403 Data Structures II

This course extends the techniques developed in CSC 402 to non-linear structures: trees, graphs and tries.


  • Maps and Sets
  • Binary search trees, k-dimensional BSTs
  • Balanced trees, 2-3 trees, red-black trees, B-trees, Java's TreeSet and TreeMap
  • Hash tables, hash functions, separate-chaining, open indexing (linear probing), Java's HashSet, HashMap and IdentityHashMap
  • Undirected Graphs, adjacency matrix, adjacency list, basic algorithms based on depth-first and breadth-first search
  • Trees as degenerate graphs, DFS and BFS on trees
  • Directed Graphs, basic algorithms such as topological sort and strongly connected components, DAGs
  • Weighted graphs, minimum spanning trees, shortest path
  • String sorting, Tries, data compression


Algorithms 4e (Chapters 3-4 and Sections 5.1-5.2, 5.5) Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne. Addison-Wesley, 2011. Course notes on 2D-trees.

CSC 404 Accelerated C++


  • C++ Variable types, objects, strings. C++ control structures (if, switch, for, do, etc). C++ functions and parameter passing.
  • C++ pointers. Using the C++ new operator and differences with Java: e.g. no garbage collection, and how to delete dynamically declared variables. Differences between pointers and references. *, ->, &.
  • Memory management, pointers and arrays. Arrays of pointers.
  • C++ structs and classes. Data structures and stacks.
  • Linked Lists.
  • Recursive functions. Trees and tree traversals.
  • Object oriented concepts, inheritance, virtual functions, polymorphism and encapsulation.
  • Operator Overloading & Templates


Object Oriented Programming in C++,Johnsonbaugh and Kalin.

CSC 406 Systems I

A course on computer systems topics, focusing on machine-level programming and architecture and their relevance for application programming. Information representations, assembly language and debuggers, processor architecture, program optimization, memory hierarchy and caching.


  • C language primer. (Chapters 1-8 of [2])
  • Representations of data. (Chapter 2 of [1])
  • Assembly language programming. (Chapter 3 of [1])
  • Optimizing Program Performance (Chapter 5 of [1])
  • Memory hierarchies. (Chapter 6 of [1])


Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, 2nd edition. Randal E. Bryant and David R. O'Hallaron. Prentice Hall, 2011.
System Programming with C and Unix, Adam Hoover. Addison Wesley, 2010.

CSC 407 Systems II

A course on computer systems topics, focusing on operating systems components and their relevance for application programming. Linking, processes, virtual memory, dynamic memory allocation, system level I/O, networking and network programming, concurrent servers and web services.


  • Linking (Chapter 7 of [1])
  • Process Creation and Synchronization (Chapter 8 of [1])
  • Virtual Memory (Chapter 9 of [1])
  • Input/Output and Network Programming (Chapters 10 and 11 of [1])
  • Threads and Synchronization (Chapter 12 of [1])


Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective, 2nd edition. Randal E. Bryant and David R. O'Hallaron. Prentice Hall, 2011.
System Programming with C and Unix, Adam Hoover. Addison Wesley, 2010.

CSC 412 Tools and Techniques for Computational Analysis

Use of mathematical software to explore basic concepts in linear algebra and calculus. Scripting for symbolic and computational processing. Emphasis is on applications in computer science, finance, data mining, and computer vision.

Topics (LA and C refer to books listed below):

  • Linear Systems and Matrices, Gaussian Elimination, Matlab. (LA 1, 2)
  • Solving Linear Systems and Matrix Inversion, LU decomposition. (LA 1, 2)
  • Vectors and Vector Spaces (LA 3)
  • Orthogonality, Gram-Schmidt, and QR decomposition (LA 4, 6)
  • Eigenvalues, Eigenvectors, and SVD (LA 5)
  • Functions, Equations, and Limits (C 6-8, 25, 26)
  • Sequences, Series, and Convergence (C 42, 43, 9, 10)
  • Derivatives (C 12, 27, 21)
  • Critical Points and Curve Sketching (C 13, 14, 15)
  • Power Series and Approximation (C 46, 47)


LA: Shores, Thomas S. Applied Linear Algebra and Matrix Analysis, Springer, 2007.
C: Ayres, Mendelson, Calculus, 6th Edition, 2013.

ECT 410 Development of Web-Based Business Applications


Question formats may include: true/false, multiple choice, matching, short answer, fill-in-the-blank, coding and essay. The exam has many questions and requires you to work quickly.


The exam covers c#-based ASP.NET. Any of the topics below could provide appropriate questions for the GAE exam, since all are covered in ECT 410. Because of time limitations, not all topics may actually appear on the exam:

  • What ASP.NET can do for your Web pages
  • What you need to run ASP.NET
  • .NET framework and ASP.NET
  • Differences between running a script on a server and running your script on a client
  • Declaring and referring to a variable; Converting variables; Declaring and using an array
  • Arithmetic
  • String variable manipulation
  • Control structures: Branching (if-then and select case); Looping (for-next and do while); Jumping (sub-procedures and functions)
  • Objects and their interfaces (properties, methods and events)
  • Setting and retrieving object properties
  • Calling an object's methods
  • HTML server controls
  • ASP.NET server controls
  • ASP.NET validator controls
  • ASP.NET user controls and code-behind
  • Application and session objects/variables
  • Cookies
  • Debugging ASP.NET code
  • Accessing and updating ACCESS databases through ASP.NET
  • Using SQL in ASP.NET
  • Building a shopping cart using ASP.NET


Beginning ASP.NET 1.1 with Visual C# .NET 2003 . Wrox Press.

HCI 402 Foundations of Digital Design

This class covers the basic design principles used to structure and enhance visual communication on the digital page. This exam measures your ability to determine the design principles at work in numerous visual examples.


  • Formal structural patterns with emphasis on the grid.
  • Informal structural patterns with emphasis on the principles of unity and gestalt perception.
  • Shape interactions, especially the use of Booleans.
  • Spatial transformations used to establish relationships of compositional elements to one another and to the compositional space.
  • Additive and subtractive color systems incorporated in 2D graphic programs.
  • Color harmonies derived from these systems.
  • Methods for conveying the illusion of space on a two dimensional page.


Principles of Two-Dimensional Design , Wucius Wong. Wiley.
Design Fundamentals for the Digital Age, Linda Holtzschue and Edward Noriega. Wiley.

HCI 406 Website Design for HCI


This study guide contains guidance and practice questions for the HCI 406 Graduate Assessment Exam (GAE). The exam is designed to test whether students have strong and current knowledge of HTML and CSS web design concepts. The HCI 406 course and this exam assume knowledge of HTML5 and CSS3.

The exam is open book and open note, but student are not permitted to use a computer or any other electronic device during the exam period (this means no ebook materials are permitted.)

Recommended Study Materials:

Two good textbooks that would well serve as study guides for this exam material are:

  • Terry Felke-Morris, Basics of WEB DESIGN, 2nd Edition (2013). ISBN: 978-0133128918. $77@Amazon. [This is an excellent, although somewhat pricey, textbook.]
  • Jennifer Niederst Robbins, Learning Web Design, 4th Edition (2012). ISBN: 978-1449319274. $34@Amazon. [This text is available as an ebook on Safari through the DePaul Library website.]

Students who would prefer to refresh their HTML and CSS skills through web-based tutorials might look at:

Topics to Focus Study On

Using the Felke-Morris text as a guiding structure, students should be prepared to answer GAE questions from the following Chapters/Topics

  • Chapter 1: Internet and Basics
  • Chapter 2: HTML Basics
  • Chapter 3: Web Design Basics
  • Chapter 4: Cascading Style Sheets Basics
  • Chapter 5: Web Graphics Styling Basics
  • Chapter 6: More CSS Basics
  • Chapter 7: Page Layout Basics
  • Chapter 8: More on Links, Layout and Mobile (Pages 227-239, 242-251)
  • Chapter 9: Table Basics

IT 403 Statistics and Data Analysis

This exam covers topics in a first data analysis or statistics class.


  • Histograms with possibly unequal class widths
  • Basic descriptive statistics: mean, median, standard deviation, interquartile range
  • Measurement error
  • Normal distributions
  • Correlation as a measure of linear association
  • The straight line regression model Root mean squared error for regression
  • Basic laws of probability
  • The binomial formula
  • Expected value and standard deviation of a random variable
  • Expected value and standard error of the sum and average of independent outcomes.
  • Law of averages (also known as the Law of Large Numbers)
  • Normal approximation of a sum and an average (also known as the Central Limit
  • Theorem)
  • Confidence intervals
  • Tests of significance


Introduction to the Practice of Statistics , 4th Ed., D.S. Moore and G.P. McCabe. Freeman and Co, 2002.

IT 411 Scripting for Interactive Systems

This is an introductory programming course that uses the JavaScript language, supplemented by the jQuery library. Topics:

  • Variables, assignments, and expressions involving arithmetic, unary, relational, and conditional operators;
  • Core built-in data types: integer, string, floating point, Boolean, array
  • Simple JavaScript objects
  • Control flow structures (if, for, while, break statements)
  • Functions, parameter passing, return statement, function scope
  • Document Object Model (DOM) and how it is accessed by JavaScript
  • Introductory HTML
  • Introductory CSS
  • Programs written using the jQuery API, especially the functions for element selection, event handling, DOM manipulation, and attribute getting and setting

References: JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual, David McFarland, O’Reilly, 2012

Questions and examples: Please email John Rogers with questions about the course.

TDC 405 Voice and Data Network Fundamentals


  • Know the concept of a network architecture model; the OSI model and its layers; the TCP/IP protocol suite and its layers
  • Know the differences between data and signals, differences between and advantages of analog and digital, signal amplitude, frequency and phase, modulation techniques, pulse code modulation
  • Know the different media types (twisted pair, coax, fiber, wireless); their advantages and disadvantages; application areas for each type of media
  • What are the basic modem operations; operation and limitations of 56k modems; four parts of an interface standard; basic understanding of RS232, USB; data link asynchronous connections versus synchronous connections
  • What are the basic operations, advantages and disadvantages of frequency division multiplexing, time division multiplexing (both synchronous and statistical), and wavelength division multiplexing
  • What are the various types of error; parity checks; cyclic redundancy checks; efficiencies; basic concepts of error control
  • What are the functions, advantages and disadvantages of a LAN; LAN topologies; medium access control protocols; MAC sublayer; popular LAN systems
  • What is the difference between a hub and a switch; basics of routers and servers
  • What are the network operating system basics, including domain and tree structured designs; characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of popular NOSs.
  • What are WAN basics: including circuit switched, packet switched (datagram and virtual circuit), broadcast, connection-oriented, connectionless, routing (least cost, flooding, centralized, distributed, isolated, adaptive, and static), and network congestion.
  • What is the Internet and how does it work: services provided, IP (addressing, routing, fragmentation, time-to-live), ARP, DHCP, NAT, IPv6, DNS, and TCP protocol (basic functions)
  • Know the basic telecommunication concepts: POTS, Divestiture of 1984, Telecommunications Act of 1996, PBX, key systems, voice processing, T-1, ISDN, frame relay, ATM, and DSL
  • Know the basics of network security: basic security measures, standard system attacks, encryption and decryption techniques, PKI, and firewalls
  • Know the basic concepts of compression; lossy vs. lossless compression


Data Communications and Computer Networks: A Business User's Approach , White, Course Technology.
Business Data Communications , Stallings and Van Slyke. Prentice Hall.
Business Data Communications and Networking , Panko. Prentice Hall.
Business Data Communications and Networking , Fitzgerald and Dennis, John Wiley & Sons.
Business Data Communications, Stamper, Addison-Wesley.

TDC 411 Computers in Information Systems and Telecommunications


  • Introduction to systems architecture: Computer capabilities (Processor, Storage capacity, Input/Output capability); Computer hardware (Central processing unit, System bus, Primary storage, Secondary storage, Input/output devices); Computer system classes (Multicomputer configurations).
  • Data representation: Binary data representations (Hexadecimal notation, Octal notation); Goals of computer data representation (Compactness, Accuracy, Ease of manipulation, Standardization); CPU data types (Integers, Real Numbers, Character data, Unicode, Boolean data, Memory addresses).
  • Processor technology and architecture: CPU Operation; Instructions and instruction sets (Data movement, Data transformations, Sequence control, Complex processing operations); Instruction format (Instruction length, Reduced instruction set computing); Clock rate; CPU registers (General purpose registers, Special purpose registers); Word size; Enhancing processor performance (Pipelining, Branch prediction and speculative execution, Multiprocessing).
  • Data storage technology: Storage device characteristics (Speed, Volatility, Access method, Portability, Cost and capacity, Memory-storage hierarchy); Primary storage devices (Storing electrical signals, Random access memory, Nonvolatile memory, Memory packaging); CPU memory access (Physical memory organization, Memory allocation and addressing); Magnetic storage (Magnetic decay and leakage, Areal density, Media integrity, Magnetic tape); Optical mass storage devices (CD-ROM, CD-R).
  • System integration and performance: System bus (Bus clock and data transfer rate, Bus protocol); Logical and physical access; Device controllers (Mainframe channels); Interrupt processing (Interrupt handlers, Multiple interrupts, Stack processing, Performance effects); Buffers and caches (Buffers, Diminishing returns, Cache); Processing parallelism (Multicore processors, Multi-CPU architecture, Scaling up and scaling out); High-performance clustering.
  • Operating systems: Operating system overview (Operating system management functions, Operating system layers); Resource allocation (Single-tasking resource allocation, Multitasking resource allocation, Resource allocation goals, Resource allocation tasks, Real and virtual resources); Process management (Process control data structures, Threads); CPU allocation (Thread states, Interrupt processing, Scheduling); Memory allocation (Single-tasking memory allocation, Multitasking memory allocation, Memory fragmentation, Noncontiguous memory allocation, Virtual memory management, Memory protection, Memory management hardware).
  • Files and secondary storage management: File management systems (Logical and physical storage views, File content and type); Directory content and structure (Hierarchical directory structure, Graph directory structure); Storage allocation (Allocation units, Storage allocation tables, Blocking and buffering); File manipulation (File open and close operations, Delete and undelete operations); Access controls.
  • Internet and distributed application services: Distributed computing (Client/server architecture, N-layer client/server architecture); Network resource access (Protocol stacks, Access remote resources); Interprocess communication (Sockets, Named pipes, Remote procedure calls); The Internet (Standard web protocols and services, The Internet as an application platform); Components and distributed objects (Component-based software, Components and objects, Connection standards and infrastructure, CORBA, COM+, SOAP); Directory services (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)).


Systems Architecture, Stephen D. Burd.

TDC 413 Introduction to LAN and WAN


  1. Definition of network and local area networks. OSI 7-layer model. Communication media (cables and connectors)
  2. Ethernet and hardware devices. Ethernet frame structure. MAC address, CSMA/CD. Spanning-Tree Algorithm and Protocol (STA, 802.1D), Virtual LAN (VLAN, 802.1Q).
  3. Internet Protocols: IPv4 and IPv6, Classful and Classless IP addresses, Routing
  4. TCP and UDP
  5. Application Layer Protocols: FTP, DNS, DHCP, NTP, and mail protocols.
  6. Linux and Cisco utilities for network administration
  7. WAN technologies: Frame Relay, ATM, SONET, and VPN
  8. Wireless LAN (802.11), Spread Spectrum, CSMA/CA, addressing schemes, performance, and security.
  9. Network Operating Systems, Windows Server Administration, and LDAP.
  10. Linux System Administration, NIS, NFS.
  11. Storage Area Networks (SAN): RAID, NFS, Fiber Channel.
  12. Network/Traffic Sniffing, wireshark.
  13. Network Management, SNMP.


Enhanced Network+: Guide to Networks, 4th edition, Dean, Course Technology, 2006
ISBN: 0-619-21743-X