This site contains practice problems taken from old DSC 40A exams. We’ve organized problems in two ways:

- By
**topic**. This makes it easy to practice old exam problems by topic. - By
**past exam**. This makes it easy to simulate taking an entire exam.

In all cases, you should work on these problems on paper, since your exams will also be on paper. Even though you will see some multiple choice bubbles, you intentionally cannot select them.

Note that some offerings in the past had one Midterm Exam and one Final Exam, while other offerings had two Midterm Exams and a two-part Final Exam. Typically:

- Midterms, Midterm 1s, and Final Part 1s cover the first 5 weeks of the course (loss functions, empirical risk minimization, linear regression, gradient descent), while
- Midterm 2s and Final Part 2s cover the latter 5 weeks of the course (mostly probability).
- Offerings with a single Final Exam were typically cumulative.

**Note that in Spring and Summer 2024**, 40A covered
more linear algebra concepts (e.g. projecting a vector onto the span of
other vectors) than were covered in the past, and our exams will reflect
this. Note that gradient descent was not in scope for the midterm, but
we did cover it so **gradient descent will appear on the
final.** We did not cover clustering; **clustering will not
appear on the final.**

Furthermore, note that different exams were offered in different
formats (remote vs. in-person) with different time limits (50 minutes
vs. 80 minutes vs. 180 minutes) and different levels of allowed
resources (student-created notes sheets allowed vs. instructor-created
reference sheets only vs. no notes).
**In Summer 2024, the Final Exam will be 180 minutes long, and
students are allowed to bring two two-sided index cards (4 inches by 6
inches each) of notes that they write by hand (no iPad).**

To get a rough sense of the format of the exam, you can see this **past
exam PDF**.

In scope for the Summer 2024 Midterm Exam:

- Summary Statistics and the Constant Model
- Simple Linear Regression
- Multiple Linear Regression and the Normal Equations
- Dimensions of Matrix-Vector Products (taken from DSC 140A)

Topics not in scope for the Midterm Exam, but in scope for the Final Exam:

- Gradient Descent and Convexity
- Foundations of Probability
- Conditional Probability and Naive Bayes
- Combinatorics
- Independence and Conditional Independence
- Bayes’ Theorem

Quarter | Instructor(s) | Exam |
---|---|---|

Spring 2024 | Suraj Rampure |
Midterm
Final |

Winter 2024 | Aobo Li |
Midterm 1
Midterm 2 Final Part 1 Final Part 2 |

Spring 2023 | Janine Tiefenbruck |
Midterm 1
Midterm 2 Final Part 1 Final Part 2 |

Winter 2023 | Gal Mishne | Final |

Winter 2022 | Janine Tiefenbruck | Midterm 1 |

Fall 2022 | Truong Son Hy, Mahdi Soleymani | Midterm |

Spring 2021 | Janine Tiefenbruck | Midterm 1 |

Fall 2021 | Suraj Rampure |
Midterm Final |