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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Sublime Fast Olympics coding setup
3.
Chrome Extensions
3.1.
Carrot
3.2.
Cf-analytics
3.3.
Upsolve tracker
3.4.
Codeforces Practice Tracker
4.
Some features of Codeforces website
4.1.
Hide problem tags
5.
VS code competitive programming helper extension
6.
FAQs
7.
Key Takeaways
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Important tools to boost performance during contests

Author Shreya Deep
1 upvote
Roadmap to SDE career at Amazon
Speaker
Anubhav Sinha
SDE-2 @
25 Jun, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

Competitive programming is programming in global or national competitions. In competitive programming, the contestants need to submit solutions to some problems given in a specific time period, generally 2 or 3 hours. Here, even a second, a late submission affects your ranking as the earlier the submission, the higher is your score and the better is your ranking. So, it’s always better to solve the problems as fast as possible. Other than practicing a lot using a timer, you can use some tools which will help you in boosting your performance in the contests. So let’s see them one by one.

Also read about, kth largest element in an array and Euclid GCD Algorithm

Sublime Fast Olympics coding setup

This is a plugin in sublime text named “CPP fast Olympic coding.” It helps in:

  • So the first step towards having this on your PC is downloading the sublime text editor. For that, you need to go to sublime text and click on download for Windows/Mac/Linux. 
  • After the download, while installing sublime text, make sure to check the “add to explorer context menu” box.
     

 

  • After the sublime text is installed, we need to install the MinGW C++ compiler. For this, you need to go here and click on the blue button near “MinGW-get-setup.exe. Leave the default settings as they are and complete the setup of minGW. 
  • When the MinGW installer manager comes up, make sure that you check all the boxes as they are all helpful at one time or the other.
     

 

  • Once marked them all for installation, click on installation tab -> update catalogue. A confirmation box like this will appear. Click on review changes.
     

 

  • After this, the packages will get installed, and then you can wait until they all get downloaded and close the box once it’s done.
  • After this, you need to open the sublime text editor and hit ctrl+shift+p or command+shift+p ( in mac). 
  • A prompt will appear in which you now need to write install package control and hit enter. The package controller helps us to install new plugins. After the package control is installed, a box like this will appear.
     

 

  • Click ok, and then again press ctrl+shift+p/cmd+shift+p. Type “Package control: install package,” hit enter, and start loading the repositories. 
  • For installing the fast Olympic coding package, press ctrl+shift+p/cmd+shift+p, write fast Olympic coding and hit enter. It will take some time to install, so you need to wait. So now the plugin is installed, you can start coding!!
     

But wait!! When running a piece of even correct code ( run using ctrl+alt+b/cmd+alt+b), some users might face a compilation error like this:

 

  • For fixing this, you need to add the path of the bin folder your minGW setup to the environment variables in your PC. 
  • For this, go to the taskbar and type Edit the system environment variables. The box system properties will open, and you need to click environment variables. A section of system variables is there in the dialog box of environment variables. There, click Path -> Edit -> new -> Add the Path to the bin folder your minGW setup (for example, if you installed MinGW in the C folder, your Path might be C:\MinGW\bin) -> click ok. Restart the sublime text, and now you’re good to go!
     

Also, if you want the test cases on which you run your code once to be saved until you yourself delete them, and it is not already happening there, you can type ctrl+shift+p -> type FastOlympicCoding: Open Settings. The settings will open, and below the line “algorithms_base”: null, add the line “tests_file_suffix”: “__tests” if it’s not only there.

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Chrome Extensions

Carrot

This is a chrome extension which:

  • Predicts rating changes as per the current standings during the contests and tells you the rating increase required for shifting to the next rating range. 
  • Tells if you are achieving that rating increase or not. 
  • After the contest has ended, it shows the final rating changes provided by Codeforces. 
     

For installing this extension, go to this link and click add to chrome.

After you've added the extension, the standings look something like this:

After the last problem, there are three columns. 

  • The first one tells which according to what rating you performed.
  • The second one tells the rating change you have.
  • The last one tells if there was any change in your rating range (for example, from GM to IGM).

Cf-analytics

This is a chrome extension which:

  • analyses different chrome profiles. 
  • Includes the statistics of the number of problems solved by the user. 
  • The 'Problem Rating' graph is a bar graph showing problems solved for each rating.
  • The 'Tags Solved' graph is a pie chart showing the number of problems of a tag solved by the user. 
  • The 'Unsolved Problems' lists all the unsolved problems by the user. 
     

For installing this extension, go to this link and click add to chrome.

After you've added the extension, your profile looks something like this:
 

Upsolve tracker

This is a chrome extension that analyses different chrome profiles. It helps you:

  • Mark problems that you want to solve later
  • Add tags to saved problems
  • See the unsolved and solved problems
     

For installing this extension, go to this link and click add to chrome.

Codeforces Practice Tracker

This extension helps you track your coding practice on Codeforces. When you install it, there is a new tab in your profile where you can see your practice stats for different time phases like 7 days or 10 days, etc. For that time phase, it shows:

  • the number of problems solved
  • number of submissions made
  • rating of the hardest problem you solved in that time phase
  • average rating of all the problems solved during that time phase
  • number of the contest (both actual/virtual) you participated in
  • a pie chart showing the different verdicts of your submissions
  • also gives you an option to go to many previous phases
     

For installing this extension, go to this link and click add to chrome.

Below is an image that shows the statistics of a user for a 7-day phase. 

Some features of Codeforces website

Hide problem tags

You can hide the tags of the problems on Codeforces. It's super easy to do it. You can go to this link, and in the setting section, uncheck the box of "show tags of unsolved problems."

Once you're done, you will not see the tags of the problems now. Hiding tags help you get better results in contests as there are no tags in the problems in contests.

VS code competitive programming helper extension

This extension in VS code helps you check your solution on the already given sample test cases in a problem. 

To install this, open VS code, go in the extensions tab or go to view tab -> extensions or type ctrl+shift+x, search cph, and click on install. Now you have the extension in your VS code editor. But you need to add something to your browser so that you can link VS code with Codeforces, and that thing is "Competitive Companion." The link to the chrome extension is here, and the firefox extension is here. Once you've installed it, for making it work, you click on this extension in the extensions part of your browsers, open vs code, you select the language you're writing the code, and then this works! When you run the code, it automatically checks on the sample case and tells whether the code is giving the correct output or not.

See more, euclid gcd algorithm

FAQs

  1. What is competitive programming?
    Competitive programming is recognized worldwide as a mind sport in which there are some problems given, and you need to solve them in a given time period as fast as you can.
     
  2. What are the major competitive programming contests?
    The major competitive programming contests are contests on Codeforces, Google competitions like Google kickstart, Google code jam, Facebook hacker cup, International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), Codechef contests, Topcoder open, and Codechef Snackdown. 
     
  3. Why is it important to solve problems faster in the contests?
    It is crucial to solve problems faster because, in competitive programming, you get scores according to the time at which you solve a problem. So the quicker you solve, the more points you get. 
     
  4. What are some chrome extensions which help improve your problem-solving?
    Some chrome extensions which help improve your problem solving are Carrot extension, cf-analytics, upsolve tracker, and Codeforces practice tracker.
     
  5. What are some websites which can be used to do competitive programming?
    Some very well-known websites that can be used to do competitive programming are Codeforces, CodeChef, Topcoder, Atcoder, and HackerEarth.

Key Takeaways

This article discussed how you can improve your competitive programming contests performance. So now, without wasting your time, you start implementing these ways in your regular practice sessions!

Are you planning to ace the interviews of reputed product-based companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and more? 

Attempt our Online Mock Test Series on Coding Ninjas Studio now! You can also consider our competitive programming course to give your career an edge over others!

Happy Coding!

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