Contest Divisions

What is it?

Users on CodeChef are divided into four Divisions based on their overall CodeChef rating, which are:

  • Division 1: Users with rating >= 2000
  • Division 2: Users with rating >= 1600 and < 2000
  • Division 3: Users with rating >= 1400 and < 1600
  • Division 4: Users with rating < 1400

All CodeChef contests (Long Contest, Starters, Cook-Offs and LunchTimes) will now have four parallel contests, one for Division 1, second one for Division 2, third one for Division 3, and fourth for Division 4. A user can participate in only the Division that she belongs to. But some contests might be rated only for some divisions.

Tell me more

  • Only your overall CodeChef rating is relevant for this, not your rating in the separate formats, or your Junior rating, if it exists.
  • You will be able to attempt the problems from the other Divisions also, during the contest itself, but they will be in a separate ‘Non Scorable’ section, and those problems will not affect your rating or ranking. They will be considered for plagiarism though.
  • Your rating will be calculated only within your Division. That is, it will be calculated only using other people in your own Division as opponents.
  • This change is in effect from START26 (mid February 2022).
  • The usual CodeChef contest URLs will now function as a landing page (eg., and the actual contests will have an ‘A’ appended to the URL for Division 1 (eg., a ‘B’ appended for Division 2 (eg., a ‘C’ appended for Division 3 (eg., and a ‘D’ appended for Division 4 (eg. .

External Rated Contests

External rated contests can now be of three types:

  • The contest could be rated for all Divisions, or rated only for Divisions 2, 3, and 4, or rated only for Division 3 and 4.
  • There can be separate parallel contests for the different Divisions, or there can be a single contest for all the Divisions combined.

In case the contest is going to be rated only for Division 3 and 4 users, there will be an option to allow Unofficial Participation for the Division 1 and Division 2 users. These users will then be able to submit in the contest, but they will not feature in the ranklist, and nor will their rating be affected.

Why introduce this?

  • The range of difficulty of problems in a contest will now be more suitable for the users. Division 4 coders will get more easier problems to fine tune their coding. Whereas Division 1 coders will not need to solve many easy problems, but rather focus on harder problems.
  • Calculating the rating within their own Division ensures a better reflection of their true skill.
  • There can be more External Rated Contests, which are for Division 3 and 4 users only.
  • It provides an even greater motivation for users to improve their performance.
  • It will reduce the barrier for first-time programmers from school & colleges to begin their competitive programming journey.