Practice problems are designed to help you think about and verbalize the topic, starting from basic concepts and progressing through real problem solving.
Use the latest version of this document.
Read one section of this document and corresponding materials if applicable.
Try to answer the questions from that section. If you do not remember the answer, review the section to find it.
Do the practice problems on your own. Do not discuss them with other students. If you want to help each other, discuss concepts and illustrate with different examples if necessary. Coming up with the correct answer on your own is the only way to be sure you understand the material. If you do the practice problems on your own, you will succeed in the subject. If you don't, you won't.
If you're still not clear after doing the practice problems, wait a while and do them again. This is how athletes perfect their game. The same strategy works for any skill.
Write the answer in your own words. Do not copy and paste. Verbalizing answers in your own words helps your memory and understanding. Copying does not, and it demonstrates a lack of interest in learning.
Answer questions completely, but in as few words as possible. Remove all words that don't add value to the explanation. Brevity and clarity are the most important aspects of good communication. Unnecessarily lengthy answers are often an attempt to obscure a lack of understanding and may lead to reduced grades. "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." -- Albert Einstein
Check the answer key to make sure your answer is correct and complete.
DO NOT LOOK AT THE ANSWER KEY BEFORE ANSWERING QUESTIONS TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY. In doing so, you only cheat yourself out of an opportunity to learn and prepare for the quizzes and exams.
ALWAYS explain your answer. No exceptions. E.g., justify all yes/no or other short answers, show your work or indicate by other means how you derived your answer for any question that involves a process, no matter how trivial it may seem, draw a diagram to illustrate if necessary. This will improve your understanding and ensure full credit for the homework.
Verify your own results by testing all code written, and double checking short answers and computations. In the working world, no one will check your work for you. It will be entirely up to you to ensure that it is done right the first time.
Start as early as possible to get your mind chewing on the questions, and do a little at a time. Using this approach, many answers will come to you seemingly without effort, while you're showering, walking the dog, etc.
For programming questions, adhere to all coding standards as defined in the text, e.g. descriptive variable names, consistent indentation, etc.