HOW ACSL WORKS
REGISTRATION: To register, complete the ACSL online registration and payment form. Payment can be made directly by credit card or by PayPal. If your district/organization uses a purchase order system, there are instructions for submitting the purchase order on the form. There are also instructions for paying by a check made payable to ACSL and sent to the provided address. A paid invoice can be sent upon request. The cost to register a team is $125 except for the Elementary Division where the cost is $75. Note that schools and organizations can have more than one team but those teams must be in different divisions. Also, for the one fee all the students at a school/organization can take the tests.
CONTEST DATES: A list of contest dates can be found at www.acsl.org/schedule. The dates listed are contest end dates. The end date is the date ACSL would like the contest completed. Schools /organizations can schedule the contest at their site anytime prior to the listed end date. The categories to be tested in each contest are located at www.acsl.org/topics. Note that the category names are links to that category’s wiki page.
PREPARATION: Prior to a contest, each advisor must prepare his/her students for the contest. That includes providing coding instruction and teaching the short answer categories. A description of each category with sample problems and links to YouTube videos is located at categories.acsl.org. Advisors are responsible for scheduling the contest so that all students complete the contest by the listed end date.
REGISTRATION OF STUDENTS: Prior to students taking Contest #1, advisors must log on to the ACSL Leaderboard and provide basic information for each student taking the tests (i.e, name, grade and email address). We guarantee that email addresses will only be used for contest purposes and will not be shared with a third party. That has been our policy for more than 30 years.
For advisors with teams in ACSL’s Senior, Intermediate and Junior divisions, there are the additional tasks of ensuring students have registered on the ACSL coding platform (the link and log on information will be provided prior to Contest #1), have provided the advisor the coding platform generated ID name and have practiced coding on the platform prior to taking the contest. The coding platform generated ID name must be added to the student data on the Leaderboard.
ADMINISTERING THE TESTS: The programming problem and the short answer questions are all administered online. Students can be at any location. The tests are graded by the platforms and the results sent to ACSL. There is no requirement for advisors to grade tests or to report scores. ACSL will still send a copy of the tests by email to all advisors. The tests should not be shared with students prior to the students taking the tests online.
TAKING THE TESTS: Students taking the short answer tests in all divisions must log on to the testing platform. Prior to taking the actual test, students should do the practice problems and submit their answers so that they are familiar with the platform. Students must provide basic information including an email address that exactly matches the email address the advisor provided on the Leaderboard. If the 2 email addresses do not match, the student score will not be recorded. The time limit for all divisions is 30-minutes except for the Classroom Division that has a 50-minute time limit. Answers must be submitted within those time limits.
Students taking the programming part of the test must log on to the coding platform using the platform generated ID name that they received when they registered and did the practice problems. Students can code using Python 3, Java 8 or C++ as defined on the coding platform. Students can be at any location. The time limit for the programming problem is 72-hours. The time starts at login and runs continuously until the 72-hour mark is reached. The code must be submitted prior to the 72-hour time limit.
AWARDS: Upon registration, ACSL will send an award certificate each registered division The certificate is to be presented after Contest #4 to the best student on the team as determined by the advisor.
Certificates will be awarded to top scoring students and teams based upon cumulative scores after the 4th contest in each division and in each state/country. Duplicate awards will be given if there are ties.
Invitations in all of the ACSL divisions to compete in the ACSL All-Star Contest or the Online ACSL Finals will be based upon cumulative scores after Contest #4. The Online ACSL Finals is a one-day individual competition with a separate per student registration fee. Prizes will be awarded to top scorers in each division.