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Thread: Good C++ Textbook for Intro to CS (Independent Study)?

  1. #1 Good C++ Textbook for Intro to CS (Independent Study)? 
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Hi Guys,

    I was hoping to get your opinion on something.

    I'm a computer science major who hasn't done any computer science in 2 or 3 years (I had to take time off school due to financial issues). I'm at a new school and they're willing to accept some of my computer science credits, but not all of them. I'm being asked to take intro to computer science again. Fortunately, I can test out of it - that is, take a proficiency exam. The test is in C++.

    I passed intro to comp sci about five years ago. And I definitely used to do some programming in C++. But I'm rusty in both these areas. I am going to study throughout June and July and take the test in August. I only have one shot - if I fail, I have to pay hundreds of dollars to take the class. I used to know most of this stuff and need a strong brush-up.

    My question is this: Could someone recommend a book or text book for me to study?

    The book has to have the following qualities:

    1. Be in C++
    2. Be a comprehensive introduction to everything taught in any basic Intro to CS class, including (but not limited to) variables, syntax, loops, classes, objects, pointers, structures, etc.
    3. Be readable! I've read so many programming books that were written so robotically that they're nearly impossible to focus on. I understand that many of the better advanced books are written this way, but I know there are a hundred great C++ / Intro to Comp Sci textbooks out there that area written by people who are very good writers.
    4. Preferably not "for beginners", "for idiots", "for dummies", etc. I want to keep this one in my collection for reference in the future.

    Thanks a ton guys.

    Best Regards,


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    I can't recommend a good text, since most of my books are less language specific, but for programming I find learning by doing to be much more effective. I found a neat site recently ( that has a large number of programming tasks of various difficulties, along with example solutions in a number of languages, including C/C++.

    If you have a compiler and some time, you can look up the simpler tasks, try them yourself, and look through the existing solutions if you get stuck. (Some tasks are way beyond intro level, like 3D animation. Others are better, like linked lists.) Click Tasks on the left-side bar to see the full list.

    Besides that, people around here can sometimes help with specific questions, and there are quite a few good tutorials for C/C++ online. (Try to begin with.)

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