Need advice

I am a 2nd year student currently in my 4th Sem. I started CP last year in August.
I have improved a bit and am able to solve the first 3 questions in the long challenges. Even though I have tried some basic problems in Dynamic Programming and Graphs, I am not able to solve more than 3 questions even after days of thinking. I want to know what should I do from today to advance and how should I practice so that by May Long I am able to solve 5 or more questions in the challenge. Also, is this too late to improve given that I am in my 2nd year of college. I love to code and I am trying to improve in CP to grab a good placement on-campus and also because it’s fun for me.


I’m no expert but 2nd year is not late. I started serious competitive programming after I graduated. Remember that every time you are stuck with long contest questions, it is an opportunity to learn after the contest. Make sure that you read the editorial and try to implement the solution on your own. I would suggest to skip solving simple question when practicing as they might not actually help you learn anything new. Codeforces has a great rating filter so that you can always match your current competence level with the problems you are solving. If you feel the problems are easy, increase the difficulty. I would also suggest that if there is any specific topic that you know needs improvement (like say string, dp, etc) then practice problems that match your programming competence level on that topic until you are fairly comfortable (10+ problems atleast). Practice, practice, practice and when you are done pratice again. There is no shortcut to getting good. If you keep practicing by the time placements you would have a deep knowledge on how to approach problems and optimize them in general. Also remember that it’s your expectation from practice that might disappoint you, and the not the practice itself. All the best!


Thanks! Are you working in L&T Nerul?

No, at LTI Mahape.

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Cool. Should I start practicing on codeforces?


CodeForces is an absolute yes! Short competition with a lot of frequency and will probably learn a thing or two after each competition. Editorial is crisp clear with implementation. Also, you can do a virtual competition with the old contest. So it simulates the conditions of competition. CodeForces will help you quickly write clean and bug-free code.


If you are starting codeforces then i can only advise you to be persistent and not to look at ratings for initial 5-10 contests.


Ok thanks!