The Indian Computing Olympiad (ICO) 2022 Registrations Are Now Open!

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Hola there CodeCheffers! The time when you start preparing for the international Olympiad is finally here! A few days back, The Indian Association for Research in Computing Science (IARCS) officially announced the Indian Computing Olympiad 2022 (ICO), your gateway to the International Olympiad In Informatics 2022 (IOI), one of the most prestigious olympiads globally. The registrations for the Zonal Rounds of ICO have already begun, and the ICO is scheduled to happen around January – February 2022.

Last year Aditya Jain, Udit Sanghi, Kshitij Sodani, and Pranjal Srivastsa were the four school students who represented India in the IOI 2021, Singapore, and bought home two Silver and one Bronze medals. There are three stages that you need to clear to be able to do this. Now let’s dig into a bit more details and know how you can prepare for the exam. 

So, what are the rounds in ICO?

The Indian Computing Olympiad (ICO) is an annual exam from which the top four students get to represent India in IOI. The IOI is an international Olympiad where high school students from various countries come together to compete in the algorithmic competition. The IOI 2022, is scheduled to happen in Indonesia from Aug 7 – 14, 2022.

About 250 students will clear the zonal round and proceed to INOI, and approximately 30 will make it to the IOI Training camp, where further filtering happens. In the end, four students are declared as the winner of the ICO, and they get to represent India in IOI.

Unlike the previous year (2020), this year, IARCS has decided to conduct both the Zonal Informatics Olympiad (ZIO) and Zonal Computing Olympiad (ZCO). You can attempt either one ZCO or ZIO, or both if you please, and then make your way to the INOI 2022. 

Can I participate in ZCO or ZIO?

Now you might be wondering who all can participate in this exam? As long as you are in school and have a knack for mathematics, programming, and a few algorithms, you can participate in these exams.  

The student can choose either to participate in the ZCO or ZIO. Since the ZIO doesn’t have any programming questions it might look comparatively simple, but the INOI round is a programming-based contest, and you are allowed only to code in C++.

Zonal Informatics Olympiad (ZIO)

The Zonal Informatics Olympiad is the first round of the Indian Computing Olympiad and will be held on 5th December 2021. The registrations for this round have already begun and will be open till 24th November 2021. 

  • This round is solely logical, and puzzles round and programming isn’t involved. 
  • ZIO is phased out to be conducted in 36 cities across the country, and you can find out if it’s there in your city here
  • The exam will be computer-based, and you will be given a paper and pen to manually solve the questions and type the answer on the screen. 
  • If you clear this round, you will proceed to INOI 2022, which will be conducted during January – February 2022.

Zonal Computing Olympiad (ZCO)

Zonal Computing Olympiad is conducted right after ZIO, and this time it’s on 19th December 2021. The registrations for ZCO opened a few days ago and will be open till 8th December 2021. 

  • ZCO is planned to be conducted in 27 cities, but more might be added later in due course. You can find more details about the location here.  
  • Unlike ZIO, this round involves programming questions, and only C, C++, Java, and Python are the programming languages allowed for the exam. 
  • Admit cards for the exams will be released approximately five days before the exam.

Here’s how you can prepare for the exam

ZCO

  • You can start by getting to know the topics that are important for the exam. You can find here an extensive amount of topics that require your attention. In addition to this, four more topics have been included in the exam for this year. The following are the new topics in the syllabus: Segment Trees.
  1. Union-Find Disjoint Sets (UFDS)
  2. Minimum Spanning Trees (MST)
  3. Square Root Techniques
  • After refreshing your memory and learning the above-said topics, you can solve a few previous years’ questions. You can practice them here: www.codechef.com/ioi/zco
  • You can find a Learning Program made personally by a few of the best coders in the country to set you right on track for clearing all the rounds.

ZIO

  • The topics mentioned above are the same that you need to focus on for ZIO as well. 
  • Since ZCO is a programming test, make sure to learn and understand DSA very well. To get you started with LEARNDSA will help you cover all the topics in detail. 
  • For upskilling yourselves, you can solve a few of the previous years’ questions:https://www.codechef.com/ioi/zio. Here, you can find the questions dating back to as old as 2002, along with the answers keys. 
  • TCS iON Digital Hub for ICO for ZIO has a collection of previous year’s ZIO question papers as practice tests. You are allowed to take each of these tests five times through the Digital Hub. So you can log in to the portal, take a few practice tests, and then familiarise yourself with the interface you will be using during the actual exam. 

That’s all for the time being that you need to know about the ICO. In case you have any doubt or need any assistance do ping us at our Telegram channel or mail us directly at schools@codechef.com

Happy Learning!

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