How much time does it take to complete courses of USACO Bronze?

Hello Programmers,

I am new to USACO and I plan to start it by self-teaching. I know Java and am learning C++, but I have no knowledge on algorithms. Now I am trying to make a plan for my self-study in the next two months. If I study for one and a half hours every week day and three hours on weekends, is it possible for me to finish learning all the required knowledge of Bronze level? As a novice I would really like to hear your advices and your experience of studying USACO as well. Thanks!


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The answer is yes and no. You will know all the topics in a week at that pace. However, your problem-solving skills will probably take like 3 months (I think) to catch up (to the point where you clear Bronze) at that pace.

Passing Bronze, nowadays, requires a lot of work. Knowing topics, at this point, doesn’t slide, you need to be quite good at what I call realize-what-they-even-want-you-to-do-here. This means that the topic requires at least one of the following:

  • it is very easy and it is a easy simulation or brute force
  • it is an ad hoc and requires logical thinking
  • and the in disguise type that, I think, is now appearing more often (in all divisions, I think). This means the problem may have one of the above but the hardest part is realizing that it is this TYPE of problem, but it’s worded in this way such that you need to do an extra step before it boils down to that.

Your Welcome ;),
Bongo Coder


The Last Point I made was inspired by this CF blog. If you read point 4 on “Why does it happen?
MLA Citation ;),
Stancanelli, Valerio. “Thoughts on Couching Grays.” Codeforces,
6 Apr. 2022
Thoughts on Coaching Grays? - Codeforces
8 Apr. 2022