Advice on Practicing

Revision en1, by tdpencil, 2021-07-09 16:44:45

Hey orzosities. Sorry to create another blog which will most likely be catered to me and a select group of people.

I need help. I've been struggling for a while on practicing. In addition to the enormous demotivation I've been feeling recently due to a mix of covid, isolation, and the lack of improvement, I feel that I've hit a huge roadblock in problem solving. I'm in a crossroads in terms of what or how I should practice.

Towards the beginning of my competitive programming career, I spammed 800s. I feel like this is a common theme with beginners. This worked until I reached around 700 rating (I started hovering there). After, I felt like I was going nowhere and started to look for advice. I found a discord which helped me and met some really cool people there. I also found new youtubers and started to learn Data Structures and Algorithms. I started practicing harder problems (1100s and 1200s) and eventually they became trivial to me. My rating at that point started to improve as well. However, as I tried harder problems, they seemed at a completely different level of thinking and I started to become interested in Data Structures. Long story short, I learned and gained knowledge of various data structures over a couple of months. I also started to do USACO and started to practice silver problems. I have also learned many useful algorithms (I'm not going to list them here). So here I am. To conclude, although I am able to solve 1500 rated problems semi-consistently (and 1200s / 1300s consistently), I feel like I am not making any progress in terms of contests.

So to make a long, useless blog short, what are my next steps? Practice implementation, math, or what? 1200s and 1300s seem trivial to solve, and many data structure problems (within reasonable range — under 1800?) are also trivial. Yet, I am hardly making progress in contests. Any (and I mean literally any) advice would be helpful.

TL;DR (problems above my rating level seem trivial, yet I can't solve them consistently in contest. (Should be plural? Idk) Any advice?)

PostScript: Sorry for my terrible grammar.

Tags practice, beginner, help


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en1 English tdpencil 2021-07-09 16:44:45 2147 Initial revision (published)