Making USACO Silver in about 4 weeks


Is it likely possible for me to start learning coding syntax now and getting silver in march? I did like 2 months of sparse practice last year but didn’t have time, but I can commit at least an hour or 2 per day this year. Essentially my question is, will about 60 hours or learning suffice for silver without much prior experience?

I do a lot of competition math, so I have experience in problem solving.


You need more than that. The math may help somewhat, but you’d probably need 2-3 hrs on weekdays and dedicate many more hrs on weekends.

So would you say 100 hours is enough?

There’s no “enough”:

The more the merrier.
- a gazillion people

Alright then. I’ll just try my best for the next few weeks, and if I don’t make it this year then oh well. I’m just too busy in the competition season so I never get a chance to really do coding.


I am having an issue in vs community regarding not being able to see the line numbers, any idea why this is?

Screenshot 2024-02-26 214535

also I don’t recommend using visual studio for cp, because it defaults to MSVC compiler so you can’t use <bits/stdc++.h> or declare a static array with user-defined sizes

What would you recommend? Multiple sources I found has vs listed as the top choice. Thanks.

Enabled it, still does not show.

Got it now. What would you recommend instead of vs?
It’s good for competiive programming.

Visual studio is designed for big projects.

Thank you.

sublime text


  • Pycharm
  • Vscode
  • Sublime Text


  • Eclipse
  • InteliJ


  • CLion
  • VSCode
  • Geany


  • AutoCP (for Jetbrains)
  • CPH (for VSCode)
    (I am honestly not sure if any of these plugins violates USACO rules, can someone pls check?)

As far as I know if the plugins dont either auto submit or have pre-written code, it should be fine.

BlueJ for Java and Code::Blocks for C/C++ too

Also, IMO Visual Studio Code > Visual Studio (VSCode has a blue logo, VS has a purple one)

for java intellJ is kinda heavy, so i would look away from it for cp, saem with CLion

i would honestly go with a text editor for cp when using c++, code blocks is a very heavy editor