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 read input from a specified file.

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.

Contest Results, Pictures, Problems, and Data

Please follow this link to current and previous contest results.

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

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.