Pretest study guide for pseudocode, programming, algorithms and computational thinking
* This page is under construction
It is highly recommended that you review the official study guide and use the practice questions on pages 2029 at https://www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/5652.pdf for College Board test 5652 CS Praxis II official study guide. Pay special attention to questions 24,6,1213,2025
Pseudocode, algorithms, and the programming process
Computer programs must be very detailed in order to correctly control a computer. The computer itself operates in binary code, so people have created languages that are easier to read and understand for humans that are translated into machine language (binary code) for the computer.
A compiler is a program that translates a programming language (like Python, Java, Javascript, R, etc.) into machine code all at once and produces a compiled program that a computer can run independently.
An interpreter is a program that translates programming code piece by piece in a more interactive way. It is slower than a compiler but easier to uncover errors.
When programmers plan programs, they often write out their plan (also called an algorithm) in pseudocode, which is a somewhat precise way of describing the actual code to write without needing all of the details. There is a special pseudocode that has been created for the CS Praxis test that you should become familiar with on pages 1314 of the official study guide: https://www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/5652.pdf
Variables and assignment
Variables are named storage locations within a computer program. For example, if a program calculates the amount of carpet needed in a room it would need to know the length and width of the room so 2 variables would be created to store that information: length and width.
Assigning a value to a variable is indicated in pseudocode using an arrow symbol (←). The arrow points from the value being assigned toward the variable it is being assigned to. The following line of pseudocode should be read as 'width is assigned the value 34'.
width ← 34
The assignment operator can also be used to save the answer to an equation, as shown in the following examples:
x ← a + b x becomes equal to a plus b.
x ← c  d * e x becomes equal to c minus d times e. (NOTE: multiplication and division are processed before addition and subtraction)
x ← e / f x becomes equal to e divided by f
x ← g ^ h x becomes equal to g raised to the h power (ie: 2 ^ 3 is 2 to the third or 2*2*2=8)
x ← i % j x becomes equal to the remainder after i is divided by j (ie: 11 % 3 equals 2 because 11/3 is 3 with a remainder of 2)
Similarly, we can also use the assignment operator for counting, by assigning a variable to become equal to the value of itself plus 1. Note that if x was equal to 7 before this statement is executed, it will be equal to 7+1, or 8, after the statement is executed.
x ← x + 1
Variables have types. Computers require different amounts of storage space to store whole numbers, decimals, words or pictures so when a variable is created it is assigned a type.
For the pretest the data types to be familiar with are the following:
 int: a whole number using 4 bytes of storage that can have a value from 2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647
 float: a number with a decimal point that uses 4 bytes of storage.
 string: storage for a list of characters such as letters, symbols and digits.
Try these problems (answers are at the bottom of the page)
1. What is the value of x at the end of this code?
2. What is the value of y at the end of this code?
3. Evaluate the following conditional expressions as true or false.

4. Use the following pseudocode to answer the questions: Int height ← 80
5. Use the following pseudocode to answer the questions: Int b ← 3

Logic and Conditionals
Usage rights of digital products. Creative Commons.
When digital products are posted online, Creative Commons outlines the requirements and options for legitimately sharing or using that work. The most common licenses are explained on the creative commons website.
Additional notes for later:
compilers and interpreters
protecting software creations
Programming and expressions
Computers execute instructions sequentially from beginning to end. Variables allow programs to store information, modify it, and retrieve it.
A computer program that could calculate the monthly payment for a $20,000 loan at 5% over
Answers to practice questions
1. What is the value of x at the end of this code?


2. What is the value of y at the end of this code?


3. Evaluate the following conditional expressions as true or false.


4. Use the following pseudocode to answer the questions: Int height ← 80


5. Use the following pseudocode to answer the questions: Int b ← 3

