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How to Prepare for Coding Competitions(10 Tips)

how to prepare for coding competition

This post is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi)

Coding is not just a process of typing code to solve a problem. It also includes the process of finding the most optimal solution to a problem. Different participating kids might have different approaches to the same problem. Undoubtedly, it is a sport. It nudges you to bring out the best in you. 

In coding competitions, students compete online to figure out the solutions to problems according to specified conditions and time constraints. The problems require good problem-solving and analyzing skills to be solved. In this article, we bring you some tips on how to prepare for coding competitions.

How to Prepare for Coding Competition?

If you’re thinking of signing your kid up for a coding competition, there are a few things you should know. These are 10 tips before you sign up for a competition.

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1. How to Prepare for Competitive Coding – Do Your Research

The very first tip on how to prepare for coding competition is research. Before your child competes in a coding competition, it’s important that you do some research. Coding competitions can vary greatly in terms of difficulty, so you’ll want to make sure your child is competing in one that is appropriate for their skill level. You can often find this information on the competition’s website. You can find a lot of appropriate information online which will help you in preparing. One more advantage of going through various resources on the Internet help you learn tips and tricks that will give your child an upper hand on competition day.

how to prepare for coding competition

2. Pick a Programming Language

The first step to starting any programming journey is picking a language. This is the way your child will be able to communicate with their computer so it can give them the output they need. There are many kids-friendly programming languages that help your child to start learning to code. These languages offer a visual environment with drag and drop approach that helps kids to code without writing a single line of code.

Most kids start with Scratch, but if your kid is interested in developing apps, she/he can pick MIT App Inventor. Similarly,  older kids can pick Python or JavaScript for creating AI or web projects, or games.

how to prepare for coding competition

3. Prepare Early and Effectively

The next tip on how to prepare for coding competition is to start early. As you prepare for your other examinations, the same goes for preparing for a competition. Instead of trying to prepare a day or a week before a competition encourages your child to prepare for 10 mins every day at least 3-5 months before competition day. Whether a is new to coding or has experience in coding, this method allows them to take their time to practice and master the basics of coding that will definitely help them compete. It also allows them enough time to start seeing patterns within practice questions, which they can apply to write efficient code.

4. Master Algorithms

Algorithms are the backbone of any computer program. So, it’s very important to practice and master the algorithms. It’s not necessary to practice code in front of a computer. Your kid can practice coding with pencil and paper by drawing flowcharts or writing algorithms. For any problem, there can be a number of ways. By practicing algorithms and flowcharts, kids find efficient code for problems.

how to prepare for coding competition

5. Find the Resources Online

Another tip on how to prepare for coding competition is to find the appropriate online resources. There are many great resources available online that can help your child prepare for coding competitions. Apart from various resources on coding, your kid can use online interpreters and compilers available on the net to practice coding. These platforms come with various facilities that help beginners to write code and view the output without requiring them to install the software locally on their computer.

Benefits of Learning Coding For Kids

6. Pick the Right Competition

Picking up the right competition is very crucial to success. There may coding competitions whose requirements may not match the skillset of your kid.  It’s important to make sure your child competes in a competition that is appropriate for their skill level. So, instead of making your kid prepare for all competitions, pick only those for which she/he has interests and skills.

how to prepare for coding competition

7. Encourage Collaboration

Collaborating with peers is the next tip on how to prepare for coding competition. Coding competitions are not only a great way for kids to learn to code, but they’re also a great opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals and make new friends. Encourage your child to collaborate with other participants and friends and talk to them about their strategies and solutions. Collaboration encourages kids to share ideas openly and assist one another. This helps in improving ideas since kids bring in different perspectives and experiences. The result is a higher quality of work, as opposed to situations where everyone works on ideas individually.

how to prepare for coding competition

8. Understand the Competition Environment

As in the case of other examination halls, in the case of coding competitions, the kid may have anxiety and fear. To cope with such feelings, it’s important to develop strategies beforehand to keep track of time during the competition. You can motivate your kid to practice coding by having a clock and keeping a track of the time taken to write code for a problem.

how to prepare for coding competition

9. Practice, Practice, and Practice

An important tip on how to prepare for coding competition is regular practice. As with anything in life, practice makes perfect. Coding competitions are no different. The more your child practices, the better they will be at solving problems under pressure. Practice helps you with focusing better on your skills; it enables you to understand your art better and gives you time to reflect upon your shortcomings to improve them with time. Not losing your focus is very important when you’re trying to pick up a new skill.

how to prepare for coding competition

10. Use Competitions as a Stepping Stone

The last tip on how to prepare for coding competition is never to give up. Coding competitions are an excellent way for kids to get started in the world of coding. They can be used as a stepping stone to other opportunities such as joining a club, taking an advanced course, or becoming involved in other extracurriculars.

how to prepare for coding competition

Conclusion

The fact of the matter is, whether it takes your kid weeks or months to prepare for a coding competition, there will always be more to learn. Even if she/he is not able to perform well, these tips will certainly help in preparing for the next coding competition.

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