Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an account to participate in contests?
    Yes, you must have a verified account in order to participate in the contests. It'll take just about a couple of minutes :) Which will further allow you to make friends, chat, join discussions on the community and unlock a whole lot of other features.
How do I register for a contest?
    Registering for a contest just takes a single button click.
    You can register for any of the upcoming contests. All the upcoming contests are listed in the contests page. There is a register button beside each of them. Just click on the ones you want to register for, it's as simple as that.
    The closest one among the upcoming contests is also shown as a separate panel in the homepage. Clicking the register button at the bottom of that panel will register your account for that particular contest.
Where can I find the schedules for upcoming contests?
    All the upcoming contests and whenever new ones are added will get listed in the Upcoming Contests section in contests page.
Is there a way to get notified when new contests are added?
    All the members of the community are sent a notification informing about new contests. We also us send the users, by default, invitation emails for upcoming contests. You can, of course, prompt-out of these emails in the settings page of your account, whenever you want.
What are the rules to participate in a contest?
  • Usage of calculators and books/online resources/google search ie. any type knowledge resource is totally allowed.
  • Please do not use any unfair means in the contest. For example,
        Do not ask others for answers/help to get to the solutions of the problems during an ongoing contest.
        But it's okay to ask for clarifications in the discussions page of the contest, if you don't understand any part of the problems. It's also okay to discuss/collaborate on the problems after the contest ends.
  • Using computer programs to solve the contest problems is not allowed. We try to reward users' math skills with high ratings as there are not many online services that do this yet.
        We also try our best to set up the problems in such a way that, any trivial brute force approach isn't supposed to work (for the intermediate/difficult problems).
How are the submission scores calculated for the problems in a contest?
    There is an appropriate amount of points assigned to each of the contest problems considering it's difficulty. Usually the contests consist of 8 problems and their points span in the range [500, 3000] in an increasing order. You will receive the assigned amount of points for solving a particular problem, reduced by the penalties (See following questions for details about penalties).
    You can see other participant's scores in the standings section in contest page. There are two numbers in each cell in the scoreboard table of standings. The larger number represents the points that the user got for solving the problem (after penalies were deducted) and the smaller number denotes the time when the user solved that problem.
Is there any time penalty for the problems in an ongoing contest?
    Yes, time penalty will be applied for the contest problems. What it simply means is that, the later you get a particular problem right, the more penalty will be deducted from your score for that problem. In details:
    Each problem is assigned a penalty constant, which increases as the problem difficulty gets higher. The score for a particular problem decreases by it's penalty constant as each minute passes by in the contest. So, although the contest page might show high points for a problem, it might actually contribute less scores later in the contest, because of large penalty constant.
Is there any wrong submission penalty for the problems in an ongoing contest?
    No, at present, there is no penalty for submitting wrong answers to any problem. But, you'll lose one of your submissions for that problem, and for an ongoing contest, a maximum 10 submissions per problem is allowed.
    Although, there are plans to introduce penalties for wrong submissions soon with a few modifications to the scoring system.
How and when are my ratings changed?
    Ratings will be updated only for the participants of a contest. Users are considered as participating only if they submit at least once, to some problem, during the running phase of the contest. So even if you're registered for a contest, if you don't submit anything while the contest runs, you'll not be considered as participating and your ratings will stay the same after the contest.
    Ratings are updated after the end of a contest based on the participants' ranks in it. If you participate in the contest and place higher than someone with a better rating than you, then chances are that you'll get an increase in your ratings after the contest. Unless, of course, someone with lower ratings manages to do better.
What do the terms Specialist, Expert etc beside usernames mean?
    Users are given specific titles as rewards after they reach certain milestones in ratings:
  • Rating < 500: Newbie
  • Rating [500, 999]: Specialist
  • Rating [1000, 1499]: Expert
  • Rating [1500, 1999]: Master
  • Rating [2000, 999]: Grandmaster
  • Rating [2500, \infty]: Legend