New Year, New Playing Field – Let’s Welcome CodeChef Division 3!

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Adding to our menu at the Chef’s kitchen, here’s something specially catered for the coding taste buds that are still budding (pun intended). We present you a whole new competitive programming arena for our community’s fledgling coders – Division 3. 

We realized the need for a Division 3 when we saw high school students and first-year college students struggling and getting intimidated by the competition. In order to ensure novice learners embrace CP with ease, we felt it was high time to introduce Div 3, and as a New Year gift, we are launching it with the Long Challenge of Jan 2021. The rookie talent pool, bursting forth with promise, can now participate in the three monthly rated CodeChef contests (LunchTime, CookOff, and Long Challenge) in their own league, running parallel with the already existing Division 1 and 2. 

In case you’re new to CodeChef, and not aware of the Division system in the CodeChef contests, here’s a quick explanation: Until now, CodeChef users were divided into two Divisions based on their overall CodeChef rating. Here’s how the updated Division system looks at a glance:

  • Division 1: Users with rating >= 2000
  • Division 2: Users with rating < 2000 and >= 1600
  • Division 3: Users with rating < 1600

What’s Div 3 bringing to the table? 

At CodeChef, we strive to make our platform as comprehensive and inclusive for the community as possible. With the new Division in the game, the range of problems opens up, giving the new crop of fresh coders a chance to sharpen their skills through the rated contests. School students and first-time programmers can now commence their competitive programming journey at a level suited for them before they graduate to the higher Divisions. It also makes for a more genuine way of evaluating their skills by calculating their rating within their own Division. Not only is it a motivation to perform better, but also an excellent opportunity to step into the world of competitive programming. At the same time, it will ensure that Div 1 and Div 2 get much more complex and harder problems as their competency demands.

Here’s what you need to know about Division 3

To qualify for Div 3, the overall CodeChef rating of a user is taken into consideration – not their rating in individual formats, or their Junior ratings, if any. A Division 3 programmer can always attempt the problems in other Divisions, but they would be in a separate ‘Non-Scorable’ section. These problems will not affect the coder’s rating, but they will be considered for plagiarism. All ratings would be calculated in a Division-specific way, i.e., calculations will be made using other users’ ratings within a Division. The usual CodeChef contest URLs will now function as a landing page (e.g., The actual contests will have an ‘A’ appended to the URL for Division 1 (e.g., and a ‘B’ appended for Division 2 (e.g.,, and a ‘C’ appended for Division 3 (e.g.,

Div 3 and the External Rated contests 

For all the external rated contests hosted on the CodeChef platform in association with schools, colleges, educational institutes, corporates, or other organizations, Division 3 will come as a new playing field with junior-level coders. The External Rated Contests will now be of the following types: 

  • The contest could be rated for all Divisions, or rated only for Divisions 2 and 3, or rated only for Division 3.
  • There can be separate parallel contests for the different Divisions, or there can be a single contest for all the Divisions combined.

In case the contest is going to be rated only for Division 3 users, there will be an option to allow Unofficial Participation for the Division 1 and Division 2 users. These users will make submissions, but they will not feature in the ranklist, nor will their rating be affected.

That being said, the introduction of Division 3 means one thing for sure – the party is now open to all! That’s all we had to say about the new special in the kitchen. Watch this space for more New Year surprises coming for the Div 3 programmers. This is Debanjan, signing off and hoping to see you pour in with submissions in the new year! 

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