Getting over the final hurdle to Gold

Hi all,
I have been competing in the Silver division for some time and preparing for it for a while. I’ve studied and know all the main topics in the Guide pretty well (prefix sums, dfs/bfs, greedy, flood fill, etc.) and I have also done most of the past USACO problems. However, I still struggle with harder problems (Meetings, Teleportation, Spaced Out, Triangles, Left Out, Cereal, etc.) I especially struggled in the last December contest, where I was only able to fully solve #2, Connecting Two Barns.
Has anyone else struggled with overcoming this ‘hump’; any suggestions on how to go about doing so? Is doing CF problems a good way to practice if you’ve exhausted USACO ones, and if so what rating of CF would be around this level of silver? What are other suggestions on improving? Thank you!


I’ve been having the same issue as you.

I would recommend doing lots of Codeforces problems as these problems focus more on logic. I would also recommend doing gold problems to be absorbed with more algorithms (although these algorithms aren’t necessarily useful for silver) because knowing these algorithms/topics will help you solve the tricky silver problems.

CodeTiger USACO CF Ratings

If you think your study method is inefficient, here is what a finalist from last year recommends.

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Thanks very much for the response and the links! I’ve tried Codeforces in the past but had some difficulties with it due to trouble understanding some of the problems/editorials, but I will give it another shot.