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Differentiated instruction in the form of tiered take-home lab exercises was implemented for students of an undergraduate-level programming course. This paper attempts to uncover the perceptions and usage patterns of students toward these new lab exercises using a comprehensive survey. Findings reveal that these tiered exercises are generally very well received and preferred over their traditional “one size fits all” counterparts. Although the study does not show that tiered exercises have improved proficiency or scores, it does seem to indicate higher student engagement and motivation levels. Based on the survey results, a list of recommendations is put forth for the structure and format of tiered exercises that can be applied to future offerings of this programming course as well as to other similar courses.