VandanRogheliya's blog

By VandanRogheliya, history, 5 weeks ago, In English

Hello, codeforces community! This is a follow up to the blog, Competing Everyday?.

This may sound like a flex but the point is to help the Pupils and Newbies who are stuck with their rating.

I had been struggling to get to Specialist level for a half a year despite solving CP problems almost everyday. It got very frustrating to the point that I almost quit.

Fortunately, in October I got some free time and I thought to change my strategy. I noticed that my rating depends on the problems which I can solve during the contests (roughly speaking), so why do not I practice contests instead of individual problems. To further check this line of reasoning I asked the same thing in the previous blog. A couple of high rated coders shared that they used the same strategy.

As you can see in my rating graph, I went from a Newbie to an Expert now (Hopefully it stays like that XD), that too in less than a month.

The Method I used

The method is simple but surprisingly it worked for me. It can also be the case that all that practising I did for half a year was improving me but the only issue could be the speed of solving a problem. Anyways if you are not able to break 1400 mark then you can give this a shot.

That was my little experiment and I am planning to continue this further.

If you got any suggestions to improve on this method further or if I have misunderstood anything, please let me know. I hope this helps the community.

UPD

This way of practicing may not work for everyone. It worked for me that does not mean it is the best way.

I will try to answer all the question with the knowledge I have. If you are an experienced coder and can correct my replies then please do, as I am also still learning.

I was not expecting such a huge positive response, thank you all!

 
 
 
 
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5 weeks ago, # |
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Suppose you solve A,B,C and read D. How much you upsolve/solve problems after contest/virtual contest?

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    After the virtual contest, I would check the difficulty rating. If it is too high like 2100+ then I would skip it else I will read the editorial for hints. If I am not able to solve then I read the full editorial and implement their solution.

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5 weeks ago, # |
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keep us updated !! I will also start doing more VCs now..

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How many algorithms and data structure you encountered till now to become expert?

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    I cant remember all of them but I will list down a few:

    • DFS

    • BFS

    • nPr, nCr

    • Shortest Path Algos

    • Binary Search

    • DP

    • Graphs and trees

    • Bitmasks

    • Greedy

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How much did you upsolve? Just the one you couldn't or more? How did you decide these things? I mean there are some harder Qs I have solved which had such beautiful solutions and there are some harder ones which felt like a complete waste of time. I understand the one you couldn't solve is necessary. But do you stop there and do another contest or upsolve more?

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5 weeks ago, # |
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Can we make some group , where we can choose which contest to upsolve ,and this will keep us motivated .

If not interested, then can u atleast make a blog and post contest ,which you are going to upsolve.

For now ,i will solve 1 contest per day ,for next 30 days . ( not 2 as i have alot to cover from University syllabus, i need to focus on that too).

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    This would be really helpful.

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    do it yourself, don't be lazy

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      5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      Bruh ,when you don't have even a single person doing CP around you ,its very hard to remain focus and improve. Sometimes you need competition for motivation.

      Btw , i started doing it myself not being lazy.

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        5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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        I totally agree with you

        in my college I am the only one doing CP and becomes very tough sometimes to not have a single one around to discuss with

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        5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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        The situation is the same with me but I think I do my best when I am not comparing myself with others.

        Before to motivate myself I used to follow people who were ranked just next to me and then compare my progress with them in future contests. (It was not really working for me for the reason stated previously) You can try that.

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5 weeks ago, # |
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Wow, this looks promising. I am stuck at Pupil Level for quite some-time now. Will definitely give it a try. Thanks for writing.

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Hey Brother VandanRogheliya! I heard from many good coders that doing virtual contest is very beneficial. But in my case, my rating is stuck now in 1200 to 1300 and some days ago I did some virtual contests on cf but maximum time I couldn't solve div2C and div3D. After the end of that contests, when I tried to upsolve them, found very hard(maximum are 1600,1700) for me (after reading editorial + seeing others code too) then I frustrated and now doing 1400 problems from problemset. How you managed that situation? and what can I do in those cases when upsolving problems are very hard?

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    I just saw your rating graph, you have put a lot of effort!

    Firstly, I do not have much experience compared to other coders here. But if I was in your place I would do a lot of AtCoder Beginner Contests.

    They are great for Adhoc problems in my opinion. Div2A and Div2B are mostly based on adhoc and observations. So practicing them would improve your speed and tbh most of my gains came from these contests(thats what I feel).

    Now once you are able to solve Div2A and Div2B quickly your rank will automatically increase plus you will have more time for Div2C and Div2D.

    I do not know about the exact approach for improving at Div2C as I still cannot always solve it but having more time increases the chances.

    If I have given some stupid piece of advice then please do correct me.

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      5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      Thanks for replying something but I think I couldn't convince you of my question. Then forget about div2C and div3D. Now my question is: After doing some virtual or live contest every day at upsolving time how you managed to solve the next problem that you didn't solve at contest time (when it is very hard like you cannot understand editorial and others code) ?

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        5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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        Sorry for the misunderstanding!

        When I am not able to solve a problem even after using all the resources, then it depends on the problem. If the problem uses a new concept, I learn it and then usually I am able to solve a question.

        Otherwise, I postpone the question when I have developed enough algorithmic maturity. Wasting time on one question does not make sense.

        I dont know if this is optimal but being stuck really demotivates, having an option to postpone makes things interesting for me.

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5 weeks ago, # |
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Why can't people just stfu when they reach expert rating.

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    He's not boasting, and the advice is actually helpful. I don't know why you're so salty lol.

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      5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      It worked for him doesn't mean it will work for others

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So useful, I will do the same!!

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Begun the VCs... I do upto C in few of them. I guess it will be a while before it reflects in the actual contests.

Or maybe the A and B problems gotten slightly trickier than they used to be. Anyways hoping for the best and congrats to you!

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Currently I am facing this very similar issue, but in my case I am not practicing sufficiently. Also my major weakness is constructive ad-hoc problems. I'll try your method and see if it works. Do tell me if there is anything else I should do

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good job but this will not work for every one. because virtual contest will help you solve the problems that you can already solve in practice. for example if you are able to solve 1700 problems then with the vcs you can solve 1700 problem in the contest too. but the upsolving part will make you stronger for solving hard problems (+ 1700).

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    I agree 100% with what you said. This is not for everyone, I think I should clearly mention that in OP.

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    I agree 95% with what you just said. Sometimes I solve a harder problem using the combination of techniques I used in other contests.

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      5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      yeah its like your practice time but its shorter so it make sense.

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    so the best strategy is to vc and then upsolve

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Auto comment: topic has been updated by VandanRogheliya (previous revision, new revision, compare).

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Thanks for this, I'll try doing the same as well. Just one question, while solving problems individually did you just pick them randomly or did you use a2oj ladder or something of the sort? I just started with a2oj, would you advice me to complete it, or instead solve more contests?

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    I had not really used a2oj much, so I can not say anything about that.

    But for the first few months I did solve a lot of questions according to difficulty on Codeforces.

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I used the same method to reach expert! But unfortunately it is not working for me to reach CM.

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Hey guys, If it's okay with you guys I have created a telegram group to upsolve problems faster and get experience from other coders to learn things really fast. In the end, it's all about new techniques and different perspectives to solve the same problem so why not make a small group of friends to discuss problems after contests and random problems too. I think this way we would learn really fast and would able to improve our rating faster. Join this group if you think it's worth it. Join Group Here

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This method mixed with ICPC practice mixed in worked for me until GM, good luck from here onwards!

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    I see you've solved quite a lot of problems. Can you roughly say what percentage of it you've solved in contests/VCs?

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      5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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      There you go There you go, straight from the AC server. But don't think that's my whole practice, as my ICPC practice and other websites even problems that I mindsolved and didn't submit don't show up in there.

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    5 weeks ago, # ^ |
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    Can you further describe exactly how you practised for ICPC and how you mixed both of these things in?

    I assume you did ICPC virtual contests and upsolved them, am I right?

    Thank you for your good wishes!

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      Every saturday we had team practice but sometimes I'd replace a 2h cf contest by a 5h icpc contest for my own practice. And ofc, upsolving for everything, even when I don't code I'll still think about the problems and look at the editorial if I feel like it.

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Your 1 month journey was 6 months for me.

I guess I gave almost every contest for those 6 months. When there was no contest, virtual contest was the other way. You have progressed too fast.

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Thanks for sharing.

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Just thinking of starting this strategy of practice and after reading this post it gave me confidence that i am thinking of right strategy.Thanks

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See you CM soon