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Competitive Programming St Andrews (CPSTA)

Strengthen your algorithmic and problem-solving skills through Competitive Programming.

Who are we

We are a society in St Andrews formed by a group of passionate students whose primary intention is to strengthen people's algorithmic and problem-solving skills. Our primary events are competitions which we host twice a year, and workshops that serve as preparation for competitive programming competitions and will help one ace technical coding interviews. 

Our competitions are held on our homemade platform St Andrews Online Judge, and past problems are available on the link. Each competition comes with on average 7 problems with increasing difficulty (denoted by the number of ☆s), and participants compete over the number of "accepted" computer problems during the competition duration. The competitions sometimes come with the prize and are followed by useful feedback. You may check the past standings on the website as well.  

We are open to all irrespective of major or coding experience - the point is to learn and improve.

What is Competitive Programming

Competitive Programming (CP) is a mind sport where contestants solve various problems by writing computer programmes that run as fast as possible and use as little memory as possible. The problems are largely mathematical or logical in nature.

Why is Competitive Programming Useful

Although it may seem that the problems encountered in competitive programming are contrived, artificial and have no real-world usage, it is far from the truth. Navigation needs to use algorithms that compute the shortest path, search engines need algorithms to find relevant results in a speedy manner. CP problems are the distilled and well-defined versions of these real-world problems. Being able to write fast programmes and therefore process more data is forever a valuable skill regardless of how fast computers get in the future. Here a list of (non-exhaustive) of reasons to do competitive programming:

  • Sense of accomplishment after solving a difficult problem
  • Joy of problem-solving
  • Expansion of algorithmic knowledge
  • Job interview preparation
  • One of the most difficult problems for ChatGPT to solve, meaning that this skill is not in danger of being replaced by AI soon.

External Competitions and University Teams

Currently, we have organized teams to participate in UKIEPC two times and and one NWERC one time. We hope to participate in more competitions and get better results in the future. 


We're seeking sponsorships so that we can get better training schemes and funding. Email us if you are interested in sponsoring us!


No memberships available. Contact the society for more information.

Interest list

Not sure about membership yet? Tick the box and hit Save to join the interest list for free. The society can send you their mailing list and other updates so you can see what they're up to.

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