List of Topics

May 22, 2024 (01:30:36 PM)

For an explanation of the shortcodes labelling, please refer to our user guide.

General Concepts

Students should understand the meaning and importance of the following notions. This statement should be read as “understand the first sentence or paragraph on a wikipedia article”, taking high-level programming language as an example.

Writing and Compiling Programs

The IDE used can be MonoDevelop or Visual Studio, the student can pick other IDEs if they wish but they will not be supported.

Computer Usage

The Structure of a Program

First Program - Hello World

The students should understand all the components of a simple “Hello World” program:

  • Comments (in line and block)
  • using statements and namespace / API concepts
  • blank lines and spacing
  • indentation
  • intro to classes and methods’ structures (body / header)
  • status of Main method
  • intro to Console’s Write and WriteLine
  • string literal

Rules and Conventions

  • The difference between a “rule” (e.g. case-sensitivity) and a “convention” (commenting your code).
  • Reserved words
  • Identifiers and naming conventions
  • That the distinction can vary with the programming language
  • Importance and role of { and }

Datatypes and Operators


  • Datatype (numerical, boolean, string, character) – including a mention of reference datatypes
  • Declaration, assignment, initialization
  • Naming variables correctly
  • The absence of default value after declaration (un-assigned variables)

Numerical Values

  • Integers (int, long) – range and size, signature (uint)
  • Floating Point (float, double, and decimal) – range, size and precision,
  • Type casting (e.g. from int to double, and legal operations between different datatypes) and casting operator (e.g. (int)).
  • Overflow and underflow 🛡


  • Possible values (true, false)
  • Usage
  • That boolean variables are called “switches”


  • Binary arithmetic operators: *, /, %, +, -
  • Unary arithmetic operators: ++, --
  • The difference between postfix and infix notation for unary operators ❓
  • Comparison operators: !=, ==, >, >=, <, <=
  • Boolean logical operators: &&, ||, !
  • Precedence and “validity” of some expressions (typically, ! 2 < 3 is not a valid expression)
  • Combined assignment operators: +=, *=, -=, /=, %=


  • ReadLine method
  • Concatenation (+)
  • Interpolation
  • Additional methods: ToLower, ToUpper, Contains, StartsWith, EndsWith

Displaying Strings on the Screen

  • Format specifiers for numbers: – Currency (C),
    • Fixed-point (F) or Number (N)
    • Percent (P) ❓
    • Exponential (E) ❓
  • The String.Format method ❓


  • Possible values and the existence of binary, oct, dec and hex representation (cf. for instance wikipedia)
  • Escape character and sequences: \n, \t, \\
  • Conversion between glyph and decimal value.
  • Various methods: ToLower, ToUpper

Lists ❓

Basic Control Structures

Selection Statements

For each of the following structure:

  • if
  • if-else
  • if-else if
  • nested ifs
  • switch

The student should understand

  • Their importance,
  • Their usage,
  • Their syntax,
  • Their flow,
  • When to use one or the other,
  • The common pitfalls (e.g., writing a condition in a switch).

Repetition Statements

For each of the following structure:

  • foreach
  • while
  • for
  • do{}while()

The student should understand:

  • Their importance,
  • Their usage,
  • Their syntax,
  • Their flow,
  • When to use one or the other,
  • The common pitfalls (e.g. = instead of ==, <= n vs < n)

As well as being capable of identifying the difference between

  • Counter-controlled,
  • Sentinel-controlled,
  • User-controlled

and defining the term “accumulator”

Object-oriented programming

Class Conception

  • Need and interest of specification 🛡
  • UML Class diagram: interest, usage, and simple case (single class with attributes, methods and constructor).
  • Access modifier (private, public)
  • Principle of least privilege (private variables and methods where possible) 🛡

Class Implementation

  • Attributes (and their default value, as well as how to change them)
  • Get and Set methods
  • Properties ❓
  • Method signature
  • Overloading
  • Variable shadowing
  • Constructors: default constructor and “custom” constructor

Class Usage

  • The new keyword
  • Object creation using default and custom constructors
  • Object manipulation: calling a method, setting an attribute, calling the ToString method implicitly.

Additional Considerations

  • ToString method
  • static class and methods
  • Math Class (Abs, Sqrt, Pow) ❓

Random Class

Testing and Debugging

Interacting with Users

Data structures


  • The const keyword
  • Example usages (Avogadro constant, miles-to-kilometer ratio, speed of light) and use case.
  • Math.PI
  • Static constant ❓

Enumerated Datatype ❓

  • Define enumerated datatypes using enum
  • Enum values (i.e. numerical values assigned to enumerated values by default) ❓
  • Use enumerated datatypes (variable declaration, assignment, displaying).


Only one-dimensional arrays should be discussed.

  • Vocabulary: index (starting at 0), bounds.
  • Length property
  • Resize method ❓
  • Different syntaxes for initializing and declaring arrays ❓
  • Buffer overflow 🛡

Exceptions 🔜

File I/O 🔜