Topic outline

  • Mandatory Exam held on September 3, 2020 from 09:00-12:00. 
    The exam will be held online using MyCourses.

    An alternative exam will be offered for selected students upon request on Monday, August 31 from 09:00-12:00. If you cannot take the one on Sept 3rd, please contact us in advance to take this alternative one.

    If you have registered for the course you do not have to register for the first exam.

    If you are re-taking the exam you must enroll for the exam using Oodi no later than one week before exam date. There will also be three re-take exams in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. You may register for the final exam here (12.08.20 - 27.08.20): 

    Details about taking the Final Exam: 

    Because of COVID-19 situation, the exam on Sep 3rd will be a remote exam in MyCourses. Each student takes the exam at home by using his/her own computer. Links to the exam will be published in the MyCourses page of the course (menu in the left) Sep 3rd at 8:55 a.m. The exam ends at 12:00 p.m., but MyCourses takes submissions till 12:15 p.m. just in case there are technical problems when submitting. Submit your solutions to each problem as soon as you get them ready. If needed, you can resubmit the solution (the latest submission will be graded). You may use the material offered in the course, but the e-book of library is not available during the exam. You must do the exam alone. Asking help from friends is not allowed.

    If there are some technical problems, send a message to the course Slack forums. The lecturers will follow it during the exam. (Please remember that you should avoid to communicate with anyone during the exam, so please avoid general questions on Slack during the exam, and please don't to put any information about the exam questions in public messages, in case you run into technical problems.)

    Additional Instructions

    You are allowed to use the course material (for example lecture slides, exercises and model answers) during the exam. The e-book (Ullman & Widom) is not available during the exam, because there are not enough licenses for every student taking the exam.

    Download all material you are going to use during the exam on your own computer. Although the we are going to keep the material in A+ and MyCourses (except e-book) available, it is always possible that some links may not work or there are problems with A+ during the exam.

    Using SQLiteStudio to test your SQL queries is not forbidden, but no database including test data is provided in the exam and you probably would not have sufficient time to construct your own. The tables used in the exam differ from the tables used in the exercises.

    One question includes designing a UML diagram. We recommend that you use a drawing program downloaded in your own computer, because it is always possible that there are problems with using tools on the web. If you want, you can make the diagram faster by drawing a number of empty classes before the exam and completing them during the exam. Submit your UML diagram as a PDF file. You can also draw the diagram by hand, take a picture of it and submit the file including the digital image as long as it is clear enough.

    Any collaboration or seeking advice from others during the exam is absolutely forbidden. If there is any suspicion of that, it will be investigated by the SCI Manager of Academic Affairs.

    The questions are provided in MyCourses in their own subpage and the answers should be submitted on MyCourses. There is no automatic grading, but the answers will be graded manually after the exam.

    Exam area is covered by the following book:

    • A First Course in Database Systems, Third Edition
      Whole book except chapters 4.9-4.10, 5.3-5.6, 8.5, and 9-12. There will be no questions about E/R modelling (Sections 4.1., 4.3-4.6), but it might be difficult to understand Sections 4.7.-4.8 without reading Sections 4.1. and 4.3-4.6.

    If you use another edition of the same book, you are responsible for finding out the corresponding chapters and the extra material you have to read for the exam. If you use Pearson New International Edition, the first number in the list above is the number of the chapter, and the rest is the number of the section inside that chapter. For example, 4.7 in the Third Edition is Chapter 4, Section 7 in  Pearson New International Edition.

    Expected materials for the exam:

    • Functional dependencies and decompositon into BCNF are very important. It is very probable that the exam includes a question about these topics.
    • You must understand what multivalued dependencies mean, but you are not asked to decompose relations to Fourth Normal Form.
    • You are not asked to write embedded SQL or to include SQL queries in Python programs, although these topics may be covered in the lectures and exercises.
    • It is possible that you are asked to estimate which indexes the database should have.
    • It is very important to understand what a transaction is, what the ACID properties of the transactions are and what they mean.
    • It is also possible that you are asked to explain which other isolation levels are possible in SQL in addition to serializability.
    • You will not be asked to write triggers, but you must understand the priciple of triggers and the distinction between row level and statement level triggers.
    • Please note that you may also be asked everything else told in the text book (not in the sections excluded above) unless it is stated above that you do not have to learn it.

    Sample Exams for Review:

    Below you may find English versions of three exam sheets which are available in Finnish in Please note that in the final exam for this course students are not asked to draw E/R diagrams (unlike the exam in Feb 2019), but will be asked to create UML diagrams instead. 

    1. Sample Exam 1, May 20, 2020
    2. Sample Exam 2, May 22, 2019
    3. Sample Exam 3, Feb 22, 2019