Preparing for the challenge
Students are allowed access to up to 20 sides of language notes/hints in the competition. Take a look at the PDF below for an overview and helpful code snippets with some blank pages at the back which should be completed before the competition if students wish to use these.
Material from Coding Club Core-Cards, used with permission
Coding Club Code-Cards Chris Roffey’s excellent Coding Club Code-Cards can be printed for free. They can also be purchased in pocket book format here.
Further preparation for using Python
For some systematic preparation, students using Python may wish to look at the following resources:
- Python Sponge This new selective introduction to Python under development also contains a login-free coding IDE, which supports breakpoints and could be used during the competition
- Python tutorial A step-by-step Python tutorial from University of Waterloo, Canada
- Advanced Hints Sheet A more advanced but useful Python two-page hints sheet
- W3Schools The extensive but very comprehensive W3 Schools Python introduction (and their introductions to other languages)
If you have any similar suggestions for other languages, please let us know.
Competition topic overview
The main point of the problems is to develop algorithmic/computational thinking.
- Logical and algorithmic thinking
- Decomposition and abstraction
- Pattern identification
- Debugging and continual testing
Language constructs typically used include:
- Type conversion (including string, integer, float, Boolean)
- Basic string processing (including letter by letter iteration, find/replace, reversing)
Level 4 problems may have one or two test cases which test the efficiency of the solution within the timeout allowed.
Nested lists, dictionaries, 2D arrays or other structures might be useful on some higher-level problems.
* Please note that input prompts/additional output must not be included in solutions because of the auto-marking.
UK Computational Thinking Challenges competitions and British Informatics Olympiad
We integrate with the UK Computational Thinking Challenges competition progression pathway. Follow the link below to find out more about the Bebras and Oxford University Computing Challenge, which sit earlier in the pathway, and the British Informatics Olympiad, which is the next step on for older students.