PLU HS Programming Tips and Sample Problems

Problem Format

Each problem has a number, name, description of the problem, description of input, description of output, sample input, and sample output.

Problems will have either no input or will read input from standard input (stdin, cin, — the keyboard).

The solution for a problem should be written to standard output (i.e., the monitor).


  • Bring a hard copy of code (e.g., code to declare variables, use an if statement, write a for/while loop, read data from standard input (i.e., keyboard)).
  • Know how to define variables and use them.
  • Be able to read both numeric input (e.g., integer and floating point) and character input (e.g., character, string, line).
  • Know how to manipulate strings (e.g. determine length of a string, concatenate strings, find character at position i in a string, find characters in a string).
  • Know how to write a loop.
  • Know how to create and use arrays.
  • Review the PC^2 team guide. The guide will familiarize students with PC^2 and problem submission.

Sample Problems

For more sample problems visit the Puget Sound Computer Science Teachers Association web site.

PC^2 / Problem Submission / Judgments

The contest will be using PC^2 (many thanks to California State University, Sacramento and the PC^2 team) as its control system. This software automates problem submission, judging, scoring, and displaying results. You may wish to download a copy for practice.

When students submit problems they will receive one of the following judgments:

  • Yes
  • No – Compilation Error
  • No – Run-time Error
  • No – Time-limit Error
  • No – Wrong Answer
  • No – Excessive Output
  • No – Output Format Error
  • No – Other, Contact Staff

This is the only feedback given by the judges.