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How to prepare

The early questions will require you to be familiar with Blockly. A tutorial system that also includes some engaging challenges can be found here: blockly-games.appspot.com. Focus especially on the Maze, Turtle and Movie sections.

Unless you are in the Junior age category, you may find it useful to be familiar with a modern programming language for solving Section 3 problems. Intermediate students will be able to take part using only Blockly but will have more choice in the section C tasks if they can program in another language. In section C students are expected to have time to complete 2 out of 5 tasks only. A minimum of two Blockly tasks will be available in section C in this age group. For Senior and Elite students there will still be a need to be familiar with Blockly but full participation will not be possible without knowledge of a text based programming language.

You will also need to be familiar with the sections required for your age group in the Syllabus

Special tutorials that address this Challenge specifically can be found below

A carefully structured Python tutorial aimed at able beginner programmers can be found here: computer science circles. It is possible for you, and any other students from your school to register on this site and then assign your teacher (or even a student) as your mentor. This person will recieve any requests for help you might make.


Example tasks

Example 1: Logo Maker:

A new country has been founded from five small, friendly countries. A program is required that can be used to create its new logo. Using only the blocks supplied, write a program that draws the shape shown.

Example Task

Example 2: Entwined Sequences:

Examine the series of numbers shown below:
        2 1 4 3 8 5 16 7 32 9 64 ...

2 is the 1st number in the series, 1 is the 2nd number in the series, etc.

Using any programming language, create a program that finds the sum of the first 10,000 numbers.
Submit the first 10 digits of the sum as your answer.

(Answer: 2824934064)


Past challenges

Archived auto-marking Challenges are available to everyone, throughout the year without the need to login. Please visit here to have a go: Challenge Archive



Below are answer booklets for recent TCS Oxford Computing Challenges. These include answers (in Python and Blockly), explanations and information explaining how the tasks are related to Computer Science.

pdf icon tcsocc-2018-answers.pdf
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pdf icontcsocc-2017-answers.pdf
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This section provides some tutorials that are specific to solving the tasks found in the TCS Oxford Computing Challenges.