Introduction to Database Systems

York University
Winter 2011
Final Exam Preparation
time 19:00-22:00
date Sunday 17 April
place CLH #G

The exam is for three hours.


The final exam is cumulative, so it covers all the topics we have covered in the course. These are as follows.

  1. General
    • Basics of the Relational Model (Ch.1)
  2. Design
    • E-R Diagrams
    • Relational Schema
      • Basics of
      • Translating between E-R and schema
      • SQL / DDL (e.g., CREATE)
      • Integrity Constraints
    • Normalization (Ch.19)
      • reasoning with functional dependencies
      • The Normal Forms
      • Schema Refinement
        • lossless join decomposition
  3. Queries
    • Relational Algebra (Ch.4)
    • Relational Calculus (Ch.4)
    • SQL (Ch.5)
      • vanilla
      • with aggregation
      • recursion
  4. Applications
    • Application Programs (Ch.6 1-4)
      • embedded SQL
      • JDBC
      • cursors
    • Transaction Management (Ch.16 1-3)
      • ACID properties
      • Serializability

For the Applications materials, we went into much less depth than the other sections. For these materials, you are expected to be familiar with the basic concepts. However, I do not expect the same fluency as with SQL and E-R.

Only things that we covered both in the lectures and projects and in the readings will be tested. Anything additional will not be.


There will likely be seven main questions of the style that you have seen on the midterm and in the exercises. The likely composition is that one will be drawn from the General topic, two each from Design, Queries, and Applications.

The types of questions will be a mix, like on the midterm: exercises, short answer, multiple choice, and true/false.

Remember that the exam is cumulative and covers all the topics of the course. So review design (ER), relational algebra, and such. The most important topic, arguably, of the course is SQL. Know your SQL.

  Rules & Specifics

The exam is closed-book and closed-note.

The final exam is worth 35% of your total grade.