Tips for someone trying to get top 50?

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Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:28 pm

Tips for someone trying to get top 50?

Post by s4mp »

I've solved around 65 problems, the hardest only being 20% so far. Still, i want to try get in the top 50 to solve it on a new problem, do you have any tips for being fast?

Trying to become a eulerian :lol:

Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:14 pm

Re: Tips for someone trying to get top 50?

Post by v6ph1 »

In general:
1. Find a specialization.
1a. Train this part.
2. Read the problem max. 1s after the publishing
3. Code fast to solve it within the top 50.

To be serious:
65 problems with a maximum difficulty of 20% is not so much.
You just need time to get better an better.
Read the solutions in the solution thread of your solved problems and take a look at optimization.
Look at the algorithms and try to understand them.
Try to understand the underlying math.
(E.g. Prime Sieving, Group theory, Power-Mod: Square and Multiply, Game-Theory: Nim-Problems,...)
Try to solve every day one random problem in the archives (or take a look at 10 unsolved problems and try to solve one of them)
As I am solving PE problems for over 1 decade now (with pauses), there are many different types of problems.
After solving many of them, you will hit an invisible border.
My first top 50 placement was after over 200 solved problems.
With more then 700 problems, the fastest solvers have mostly hundreds of problems solved before getting an eulerian.

For short: Just keep on tackling the problems an solve them one-by-one.
After some time, you may will get the award.

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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:32 pm

Re: Tips for someone trying to get top 50?

Post by LilStalker »

Unless you already have a lot of experience solving some math based problems or other competitive programming problems, it will be very hard to solve a problem in the top 50. When I started solving 6 years back I remember that I found it incredibly difficult to solve any of the higher numbered problems or evermore the most recent ones. However as I solved more problems and learned more I would sometime be able to solve a recent problem. I believe it first happened when I had around 200-300 solved problems. And you learn more and more, and you gain confidence that you can solve the most recent problems and you solve more problems and suddenly every week you are at your computer when a problem is getting released and you compete to solve it as fast as possible and you even manage to do it fast enough sometimes :)

So yeah, the journey will be long and hard, but if you are motivated you can do it and learn a lot along the way.

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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:24 pm

Re: Tips for someone trying to get top 50?

Post by DJohn »

Also, have a library of building blocks that you can re-use. My single "top 100" came from seeing the problem very soon after it was published, and having already spent hours on a number of functions (used by several previous problems) that together did 90% of the work.

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