I started cp on 1st Aug and today I finally became 3 star but in the last 5 contest my rating change has been {-1,-10,+25,+18,+39} and it seems like I have only been chipping in very few points in each contest. Can anyone answer my following questions please

Should I feel guilty that there was no big increase like 60-100 points in any recent contest?

Am I not improving at all and just by getting small increases I crawled into 3 star?

Or is it normal to have small increases like this in contests?

Should I take break of 1 month from contests and just improve my knowledge of algos?

What were your expectations? Most of accounts with really rapid rating growth belong to people, who already had prior competitive programming experience. They either already competed on the other platforms or just created multiple accounts on CodeChef for smurfing purposes. There is of course some small number of really talented beginners too, but not being able to outperform them isn’t something to be ashamed of.

Participating in contests is a great training too. That is if you try to upsolve them, check editorials if you are really stuck and learn new algorithms or tricks described there.

As for your small rating increases. During the last contest you solved REMOVEBAD (difficulty 1100), ARRAYBREAK (difficulty 1191) and SUBSEQDIST (difficulty 1737).

Any problem that has ever appeared in a rated contest will get a difficulty rating, which is a parameter of

Ratings of people who have solved the problem and

Ratings of all the people who have participated in the contest

It is calculated in such a way that if a problem’s difficulty rating is X, then a user whose CodeChef rating is X has a 50% chance of solving that problem in a contest.

The difficulty of each problem is estimated after a contest, and it’s based on the ratings of participants who succeeded or failed to solve it.

So looks like your current rating 1636 reasonably accurately estimates your performance relative to the rest of the crowd. There was no reason to expect a much bigger rating increase without solving more problems with higher difficulty.

I do not expect much higher increase as I understand that I need to solve higher rated problems in the contest for that but I wanted to know that by getting small increases does that mean I am really improving?
Because I could always solve the first 3 problems in like 40 min and after that I just sit for 2+hr looking at the 4th problem. Sometimes solving first 3 gave me -10 rating sometimes +30 rating so I did not feel like I was improving.