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American Computer Science League

Remote
Timetable
Winter, Spring
Cost
Compensation
<$500
Application Deadline
January , March, April, May
Duration
Other
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The American Computer Science League (ACSL) organizes computer programming and computer science contests for K-12 schools, organizations, and local groups. In the 2022-2023 school year, about 8,000 students from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia participated in the regular season competitions. 

ACSL offers multiple divisions, providing an appropriate challenge for students of varying ages and abilities: 

  • Senior Division: Best for high school students with programming experience, especially those taking AP Computer Science. Each contest consists of an online 30-minute, 5-question short-answer test and an online programming problem to solve in 72 hours. 
  • Intermediate Division: Best for high school students with little or no programming experience and for advanced junior high students. Each contest consists of an online 30-minute, 5-question short-answer test and an online programming problem to solve in 72 hours. 
  • Junior Division: Best for junior high and middle school students who are learning  programming or who have coding experience. No student beyond grade 9 may compete in the Junior Division. Each contest consists of an online 30-minute, 5-question short-answer test and an online programming problem to solve in 72 hours. 
  • Classroom Division: Open to students in all grades. Ideally suited for students taking AP Computer Science Principles, and other computer science classes without a major programming component. Each contest consists of an online 50-minute, 10-question short answer test. The problems are non-programming problems from the Junior, Intermediate, and Senior divisions. 
  • Elementary Division: Open to students in grades 3 - 6. Each contest consists of an online 30-minute, 5-question non-programming test, focused on a single category of content.  A different category will be tested on each contest.

Each season is divided into four contests, testing students on fundamental concepts in computer science, ranging from Number Systems to Boolean Algebra to Digital Electronics. In the upper divisions, each contest also includes a problem to solve by programming using Python, C++ or Java.

Contests are administered online. Team advisors facilitate students’ access to the online platform; the platform corrects the submissions and reports the scores to ACSL. Online resources assist advisors to prepare their students for each competition.  Each topic on the Study Materials page is linked to the page of the ACSL Wiki that describes the topic in detail. 

At the end of the year, the top students are invited to compete in an online Finals competition.

Location(s)

  • Remote

Schedule

  •  January - May

Cost/Compensation

  • The cost to register a team is $150.  Each additional team in that division is $75.  For the Elementary Division, the costs are $100 and $50.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Adults advisors must form teams and invite students to participate and register for contests.
  • Within a division, a school forms one or more teams. Each team can have a maximum of 12 students. A school can choose to compete in the 5-score or 3-score division: That is, the team score for each contest is the sum of the top 5 (or 3) students scores in that contest.  
  • A school can register multiple teams per division. This allows more students to have their scores counted towards a team score and also allows friendly competition within a school.
  • Advisors can register additional teams after the initial registration form has been completed. 
  • A student may only participate as a member of a single team. After Contest #1, a student cannot change teams. 
  • High-scoring students in all divisions will be invited to an end-of-year online Finals competition.  

Deadline

  • Contest 1: Available early November, closes mid January
  • Contest 2: Available early January, closes early March 
  • Contest 3: Available early February, closes early April 
  • Contest 4: Available mid March, closes mid May

Application or Entry Requirements

  • A completed online registration form 

Notifications of Decisions

  • Based on the scores during the regular season, top students in all divisions will be invited to participate in an online Finals competition. Invitations will go out in May. 

Financial Aid Details

Other Dates to Keep in Mind

Have other questions?

Emails may be sent to:
discover@atomicmind.com
Is this information correct? To suggest an edit or make a correction, click here.

The American Computer Science League (ACSL) is a nationally recognized organization dedicated to advancing computer science education and fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills among students. Founded in 1978, ACSL conducts a series of programming contests and computer science competitions for students of all age levels, from elementary to high school. These competitions challenge participants to develop algorithms and computational strategies to solve real-world problems, promoting creativity and logical reasoning. 

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Type
Competition
Field
STEM
Topics
Computer Science
,
Timetable
Winter, Spring
Grade Level
Elementary School, 3rd, 4th, 5th, Middle School, 6th, 7th, 8th, High School, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Remote/In person
Remote
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Cost
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