New on codechef


Hello CodeChef Community. I am new on codechef and I am aiming for Informatics Olympiad. I have a few questions listed down below so it will be awesome if you guys can help:

  1. Can we give both ZIO and ZCO?

  2. Can we prepare for ZIO by solving algorithmic puzzles from the book ‘Algorithmic Puzzles by Anany Levitin and Maria Levitin’?

  3. What should I know before giving ZCO?

I have no idea how Indian competition system works in regards to the first question.

As for the second question, ‘Algorithmic Puzzles’ is a great book for strengthening your brain’s problem solving capabilities. You can learn a number of tricks which can be applied in math and/or programming contests.

But, this is not to say that you should use it as your primary preparation material. Computing olympiads consist of many different types of problems - math, algorithms, logical questions, data structures and many cp-speicfic techniques. This means that you should mainly focus on solving CodeChef/CodeForces/Computing olympiad problems from different countries.

The listed book should only be used to complement your other resources, as it’s not sufficient.

So you should start by taking the baby steps and solving the past problems from previous CodeChef (or CodeForces) contests (it doesn’t matter what type, as long as it is Div2 or Div3). Whenever you can’t solve a problem go to the editorial, read it, try to understand it and only then implement the solution.

But don’t try to solve problems that are too hard for you, nor the easy ones. You should find the balance between easy and hard, not to confuse you - start by solving first 2-3 problems of cookoff and lunchtime or CodeForces Div2 Educational or Div3. Everything above level “Easy”, meaning “Easy-Medium”, “Medium”, etc. is probably too hard for you now and don’t pay too much attention to them. As you progress you’ll have to step up your game and raise the difficulty up, but you’ll have more experience under your belt by then.

Remember to participate in contests regularly, and work hard every single day. Trust me, it will pay off.

By practicing ans taking contests you will get both emotional strength and ability to solve problems which is all you need to succeed in a contest such as ZCO or ZIO, besides luck ofc. Hope this helps! :slight_smile:

Thank you so much for your suggestions. :slightly_smiling_face: