Does Rating Matter in Competitive Programming?

Depends on you.

Let me ask you a question, do you really wanna be good at CP?

Read me carefully. If you are really good at something, then it will help others to judge you quickly which is really important. So you need to be good at something.

It is hard to be the best at multiple things, right? And, it is better to be good at a single thing than being OK in multiple things. So you need to fix what you will be good at.

So you will invest loads of time to be good at that thing and it is better that you choose something that is really fun to do and it is not a useless thing. The key point is that try to be good at something preferably which is really fun to do and be good at it. It could be CP, it could be Groundbreaking Projects, it could be Marketing, it could be Music, it could be anything. But make sure that you are having fun while doing it. Because, you know, YOLO. Also, it is kind of impossible to be good at something if you don’t like it in the first place.


  1. Do you really wanna be good at CP?
  2. Are you doing it just to crack coding interviews?

Before answering the first question, take your time. Think for days or weeks because you are making a decision that will cost you thousands of hours.

If yes, then yeah, rating is a good measure to track your improvements. And it is good that in CP you have this measurement to check what position you are in right now because it will really boost you up to be a better CPer. CP is a fun game and games are awesome. One very important thing that I should specify here, if you are a very beginner, I mean when you don’t even know the basic stuff like Complexity/STL/Bitmasks/Prefix Sum/Sorting/Merge Sort/Binary Exponentiation/DFS/BFS/Binary Search/Recursion/GCD/LCM/Divisors/Knapsack/LCS or you haven’t solved few problems from each of these topics that means you don’t even know how to play the game, so you don’t have to worry about rating at that point. Once you get a hold of CP, once you know how to play the game, then you can try to push your rating/level up.

On the other hand, if you are doing CP only for cracking coding interviews, then being the best at competitive programming is kind of overkill. You don’t need to be the best at CP for acing job interviews. Also, there are other platforms out there for this purpose. If you really wanna do CP for cracking coding interviews, then doing OK is enough. I mean learning some data structures and algorithms and solving some problems because coding interview problems are not that tough. Interviewers actually seek lots of others stuff other than problem-solving like Communication Skills, Leadership Skills, CS Fundamentals, Projects, etc which you might need to learn in other ways. So for you, ratings may not matter that much because your strong points are other things, not CP.