MrTsima's blog

By MrTsima, 12 months ago, In English
  • Do personal problems motivate or affect you? ( How can I use them as my advantage if possible? )
  • What helps you concentrate better?
  • Should you rest during 5-hour contest?
  • Should you look at leaderboard?
  • What is the time after you should change to the next problem?

Please share your opinion, knowledge and experience.

  • Vote: I like it
  • +63
  • Vote: I do not like it

12 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +1 Vote: I do not like it

Maybe I'm not high-rated CP, but what I"m saying is based on my experience when I participated in the qualification round of my university =D

  1. I had these personal problems as you and these problems made my overcome these problems that nothing can stop me from being to 10 :D
  2. Bring with you your favourite drink, I helps alot for relaxing :D
  3. You should rest for 1/4 hr in the middle of the contest , 5 hrs of concentration is alot.
  4. Every 1/2 hr is good, check what are the most solved problems that you chouldn't tackle and give it another shot
  5. If you are lost and you don't know what's the algo, or DS, to solve it, the skip it till later or leave it to another teammate who's better than you.

I applied those 5 points and solved 6 problems and ranked 11th( But couldn't advance for nationals because I was disqualified :( )

Best of luck

  • »
    12 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +9 Vote: I do not like it

    One more thing.

    • Assuming that there will be 12 problems in the contest, divide them on all of your teammates to solve all the easy problem as fast as you could, this will give you huge advantage in ranking among people who solved as many problems as you.

    • Test your code alot. 1 mistake costs you 20 mins. and that's alot and that was my biggest mistake In my participation, I could have got 8th or 7th because of that, testing it 10 mins is better than losing 20.

    • »
      12 months ago, # ^ |
        Vote: I like it 0 Vote: I do not like it

      I still have one year for IOI so I'm interested in it too.

      Thank you for your advice.

    • »
      12 months ago, # ^ |
        Vote: I like it +28 Vote: I do not like it

      Regarding the second point: well, testing your solution for 10 minutes is technically better only if you solve not more than one problem afterwards (since the 10-minute "penalty" will be added to all those solutions as well).

12 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +17 Vote: I do not like it
  1. Yes. A lot of the times in a negative way. Others make me more determined to do CP. Try thinking about what is your motivation to do CP if you have a bad day and don't wanna train. Sometimes that makes me even more productive than when i have a good day. ~~ Also CP is a way to run away from your problems.~~

  2. When it comes to 2h contests doing more that one contest in a row. I like to do Atcoder ABC or VC before CF rounds. It also decreases my anxiety level. When it comes to 5h contests I usually take 5-10min breaks when i get a migraine or feel stuck.

  3. I believe after hard implementation or when you get stuck small break is the best thing you can do. It helps to reset.

  4. Mostly only at solved count. It gives you useful information. However sometimes if problems have the same solved count you might look at who solved them if you approximately know participants' strengths. If you are not looking at the scoreboard to analyze what you should solve, then don't look.

  5. It's a hard question. For example i'm bad at thinking on single problem for a long time so i try not to spend more than half an hour on problems that don't seem observation or math heavy. I'd say if you feel like you've wasted too much time or just got too focused on a single problem you should stop.

P.S. I can only speak about icpc-style 5h contests cause i haven't done any ioi-style 5h recently.

  • »
    12 months ago, # ^ |
      Vote: I like it +11 Vote: I do not like it

    Thank you for your attention and advice!

12 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +33 Vote: I do not like it

Disclaimer: This is personal opinion, anyone is free to disagree.

1. Do personal problems motivate or affect you?

I find that personal problems pretty much always affect me negatively. Even if I attempt to use something as a motivation, I end up performing worse. My best performance is when I'm not taking myself too seriously and I'm enjoying the problems, solving them because I like solving problems. Obviously that state of mind is hard to switch to on demand.

2. What helps you concentrate better?


Obviously quite a personal answer, but in general it can really be simple stuff. Find your thing. Also beware that many onsite competitions will often restrict you from doing the things you usually do to be concentrated, which sucks big time.

3. Should you rest during 5-hour contest?

I've been doing onsite 5h contests all my life. It basically depends on how you're performing. Sometimes you're on fire and you're solving one problem after another — no need to rest then, you'll rest when the competition is over. On the other hand, if you get stuck for a considerably long time, then it is a good idea to freshen up. Obviously every minute counts so you don't wanna rest for half an hour, but I've found that a quick trip to the restroom and splashing some cold water on your face to relax does wonders.

4. Should you look at leaderboard?

Usually yes, but with the right mindset. Looking at the scoreboard has one purpose alone — figuring out how difficult the problems are. Any other thoughts that may come from looking at the scoreboard are going to affect you negatively. It doesn't matter if you're doing super well or super bad, in both cases you risk getting the ranking stuck in your head and losing concentration. I personally highly prefer competitions that do not show you the scoreboard.

5. What is the time after you should change to the next problem?

There's no universal answer, you'll have to judge it depending on the situation, the problemset, what you've solved and what you've got left, time remaining and many other factors. In something like Codeforces I rarely change because the problems are usually ordered by difficulty. In something like IOI you should read everything and not get stuck in one thing. The good part is that if you read a problem, can't solve it, and jump to another one, your brain actually does some work in the background on the first problem. You'll be surprised how often you come back to a problem after a while and suddenly everything is so much more obvious.

12 months ago, # |
  Vote: I like it +16 Vote: I do not like it

Should you rest during 5-hour contest?

neko_nyaa said he sleep ~1h during 5h contest :"