Ok, let me see..
First, FCIS third year is not hard at all, it is very interesting and you’ll learn so much from it if you wish just try to really free yourself from anything except your studies to enjoy it.
Second, the best thing to learn from during this year in some subjects will be the projects you do, so try to start in those projects as early as possible to give each project enough time and innovate..
Third, what I am going to write next depends mostly on my knowledge and experience that might be outdated as I was in this place may be three years a go and it depends on my way of thinking and opinions.
So, lets see the subjects you do have in it
Automata, I did really love this subject, it has so many uses and it has some basic concepts for other subjects in fourth year, Computer Science department
just consider this subject as a mind teasers and you will enjoy it, you will learn how to construct basic computers that does at most one function using a concept called Turing machines,
you will learn about regular expressions, those regular expressions might help you in all your professional life in development, being a developer who can use regular expressions right is awesome!
I don’t think this subject contains projects but make sure you solve the assignments given to you or more, delivering the assignments is not what i mean, just solve them for your self to practice the concepts.
Numerical Computing, You are going to need the information taught in this course in all your life, you’ll be using it in Scientific Computing department, and if you wish to study post graduating you will need its concepts
also this subject doesn’t have projects but solving the assignments will help you practice as usual and will make you won’t need to even study for the final exams
Logical Programing, A nice subject with some cool concepts, a basic subject for other subjects in Computer Systems and Scientific Computing, mind tweaking and will introduce you to another way of thinking that is new for your mind, as you will be coding in another new language, I think it will be “Prolog”
As i remember this subject had a final year project, won’t be a tough one but you will have to practice the new way of thinking
to get ready for such concepts you have to think on how to solve problems using recursive functions only, get some problems you have already solved, summing an array, factorial or even more complicated problems, and try to solve them using any programming language you know but use only recursive functions..
Analysis and Design of Algorithms, This is one of the most important subjects in the whole four years in FCIS, and being an ACMer will help you so much in this subject, if you had a good deal of practicing in ACM problems you will find this course just organizing your mind and the solutions you already have
This subject will teach you how to solve a problem correctly and efficiently, how to utilize your resources and time and how to differentiate between solutions you do have for your problems to choose the most suitable..
This subject will have a final project, medium toughness, a nice project might be creating a GUI step by step visualizing how and algorithm work something like that or may be searching for an algorithm and trying to make it more efficient (and you might publish a paper for that 😉 )
getting ready for this subject can be in two ways, either solving ACM problems on http://uva.onlinejudge.org/
or reading the algorithms book, it is nice
The first solution is better for me but might take some time, the second is fine but will be a bit theoretical, if you combine both solutions that would be awesome, read about an algorithm and find a problem to solve it using this algorithm on UVA, UVA does categorize the problems..
Software Engineering, I really loved this subject, you will need it in your professional life intensively if you wish to work as a software engineer not as a programmer,
just take care of the concepts there and understand them well, believe me they will help you get organized when dong any project..
It is basic for some other subjects in Information Systems department
This subject has a project, you will code but that’s what is not intended for the project, the most important is the pre-coding preparations and designs
you might need to read the book, I loved it..
getting prepared for such course you can mmm …… read the book 😀
frankly I can’t remember whether that was the course that has Oracle as the practical part of it or not but if it is, then you have to get ready by preparing a Windows CD and a thick mouse pad, as you are going to install windows so many times to get Oracle environment working properly on it, and the mouse pad is to bang your head when it doesn’t work 😀
I don’t actually know how friendly will be Oracle on Ubuntu as I was still on windows by that time and it was the very opposite to friendly…
Assembly Language, An important subjects with very needed information, mastering those concepts you might call yourself a hacker rather than a developer, this may be a good base for Computer Systems and Computer Science departments, and you need to understand as much as you can what is done when you write your code..
You will need it in third year for the second term as well
mmm this subject has a final project, an easy one but you can make it as tough and as complicated as you wish..
getting ready for this subject is also reading the book..
one last thing, do not rely on your doctors and TAs to teach you, that is mainly your role, what you do aim from you doctors is to give you highlights and topic heads and from your TAs is either how to use the tools or a practical explanation for the topics, of course if you find them give you more enjoy it, but do not rely on them to learn, you can do more far than they can push you..
About the exams… screw them..!!