By Nicolai Bogo Stabell (Stabell#6680) & Kwanwoo Park (fizzest#0001)
Version 1.1 (November 5th, 2021)
Author Note: The guide is an ambitious attempt to cover everything that a competitor needs to know about our competition structures. This guide is written as detailed as possible for the competitor to reference.
Jeremy's Note: The guide on the website (you're reading it!) is not guaranteed to be as complete or up-to-date as the google docs. As such, please check the Google docs.
With the beginning of the 2021-22 season, CODS will adopt a new system, taking into consideration what we've learned from our past competitions. CODS will host four competitions every season, which will begin in Autumn and end during the summer. Each competition will have its own unique characteristics, and will be widely accessible to competitors at any skill level.
New to the 2021-22 season, CODS is introducing a new tier system. Our tier system is inspired by the one used in the United States of America Computing Olympiad (USACO). The goal of the tier system is to create more differentiation in our competitions, allowing more people to participate at a level that is appropriate for them. Differentiation has not previously been possible in the old competition structure, in which competitions' difficulty tended to increase throughout the season, leading to a gradual decrease in participation.
We define three new tiers, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
Each tier will have different exams for competitions (with the exception of SOCC) that correspond to a set difficulty. In the following, we describe the syllabus of the three tiers for competitors to study. CODS will be dedicating much of the website development this year to providing high-quality learning materials for the specific topics illustrated below, similar in nature to USACO guides.
The Bronze TIer is the entry tier at which every person competing in a CODS Competition begins. The average difficulty and problem-solving level for the bronze tier is around USNCO Locals. We want all competitions to be somewhat challenging for newcomers, althoguh the concepts involved should be relatively straightforward.
|Groups 1 and 2|
|Groups 13-18 and Hydrogen|
|Group 17 (Halogens)|
The Silver Tier is a tier higher than the Bronze Tier. The average difficulty and problem-solving level for the silver tier should be between USNCO Nationals Part II and WCC. It can involve any topics in the bronze tier and the advanced topics listed below, such as Organic Chemistry (althoguh limited to knowledge you can find in Klein's Organic Chemistry).
|Group 1 and 2|
|Group 13-18 and Hydrogen|
|Acids and Bases|
The Gold Tier is the highest proposed tier for CODS Competitions. The average difficulty and problem-solving level for the gold tier should be between IChO to Mendeleev (IMChO) difficulty. It should involve a more sophisticated level of advanced topics and should be very challenging. Therefore, teh syllabus for gold tier is the current or last year's IChO and IMChO preparatory problems and exams.
In each competition, promotion and demotion can occur.
|Tier||Promotion Requirement||Demotion Requirement*||Decay|
For eample, Silver partticipants who palce within the Top 10% of any competition will be promoted to the Gold tier. Additionally, silver participants who do not compete in four consecutive CODS competitions in a row will be subjected to demotion (decayed) to the lower tier.
If the number of participants in a tier resutls in a fractional number of participants to be promoted or demoted, teh number is rounded to the nearest integer.
*In the case that the total number of partiicpants in a tier who took the competition's exam is 9 or lower, no participants will be demoted.
*In the case that the total number of participants in a tier who took the competition’s exam is 9 or lower, no participants will be demoted.
All competitions will ahve a Main round for all participants and a Final round for participants who do exceptionally well. All participants who make the TOp 10 or the top 25% in their tier, whichever is larger, will be qualified for the final round. Participants with score(s) within 2% of the last participant who received promotion, demotion, or round qualification will also recieve it. Final round participants who meet the promotion requirement as select overall winners will be promoted after the competition.
SChO is our summer competition, an IChO-style free-response exam for all three tiers. Participants for this year will be able to choose the tier that seems appropriate to them. This is true only for SChO 2021.
|Tier||# of Questions (Time)||Difficulty||Promotion Requirement||Demotion Requirement|
|Bronze||4 (120 min)||Introduction to competitive chemistry||15%||-|
|Silver||7 (210 min)||Slightly harder than WCC Part II||10%||15%|
|Gold||9 (300 min)||IChO / Mendeleev Olympiad Difficulty||-||30%|
We hope that this year’s SChO will give the participants a good idea in terms of what to expect for future competitions. Participants may choose to move to a more suitable tier that is appropriate to their skill level after the competition.
The first competition of each year will be our autumn competition, whcih tests on your skill of both speed and accuracy.
In the main round, all participants will take a 20-question multiple choice exam in up to 60 minutes. Questions in the multiple choice exam may have multiple answers. Both speed (time it took to complete the exam) and accuracy will be taken into consideration to your score. Guessing will be penalized. More information about ourmathematical model can be found in the ACOT 2021 Rulebook.
The final round will be 4 free response questions with multiple parts. Each tier will have an Organic, Inorganic, Anlytical, and Physical Chemistry question. The participants will have up to 120 minutes to complete the round. The score for this round will similarly be calculated from the time taken and the score.
In the main round of our winter competition, participants will be teaming in teams of four in a three round competition. You may team with team members from different tiers; however, your team will be taking the exam of the highest tier member.
In the first round, the team will split up and take a 90 minute individual exam. In the second round, bronze and silver tiems will work for 120 minutes in a closed-book team exam; gold tiems will work together for 4 hours in an open internet exam (based off of the Open Round from SOCC '21). Both round and all tiers will consist of four questions, one of each of the following topics: physical, inorganic, organic, and analytical chemistry. To see what type of questions gold participants are expected to be asked during the open round, refer to our SOCC '21 Open Round exam.
The final round will be Cleaving Bonds, in which your team will be given twelve rounds to solve, each containing three short-answer questions of similar difficulty. All teams will begin from round 1 and progress at their own pace through the rounds. Once a round has been submtited, you will gain access to the next round and will not be able to work on previous rounds. Rounds will be graded on-the-spot and after a 90-minute grace period; once the first five teams have completed round 12, the compettion will end immediately.
All of the members in the top 3 will get promoted to Gold, regardless of their current position. The members of the winning teams for Silver and Gold will be invited to the CODSChO mock IChO exam. All other teams that have met the promotion requirement will be promoted to their next tier.
SOCC will be whenever the mock USNCO is held.
For the main round, all participants will take the same USNCO National Part I style (60 multiple-choice questions, 90 minutes) exam.
The top 25% scorers will be invited to the final round, a USNCO National Part II style (8 free-response questions, 105 minutes) exam, and partiicpants will be awarded as shown below:
|Grading||Part I Score||Part I Score × 1.25 + Part II Score||Part I Score × 1.25 + Part II Score|
|Promotion||Promotion to next tier||Promotion to Gold||Gold + Invited to CODSChO|
The Summer Chemistry Olympiad will be a month-long competition session where participants will be given the opportunity to learn new material, and apply them in a competitive olympiad setting. At the start of the week, all tiers will be provided the same theme (Food, Coffee, Enzymes, Photography, Farming, etc.) but different advanced topics for each tier (these advanced topics will be topics not contained in the tier’s syllabus. For example, Bronze may have steady-state approximation, Silver may have chemical potential, etc.)
At the end of the week, participants will be given one extended free-response question that utilizes the advanced topics with the set theme. These questions will test how well the participant has learned to utilize and apply the advanced concepts they’ve learned throughout the week.
For gold tier participants, SChO will mainly deal with advanced topics that will likely be present in CODSChO. At the end of the fourth week, the individual’s scores across the four weeks will be averaged and promotion/demotion will occur as shown in 2.4.
The CODSChO exam will be a mock IChO exam that is extremely difficult for even those competing at the highest level. It will occur in two weeks before the opening IChO ceremony. Participants who score high on this exam will receive prizes and awards. The following participants are invited to take this exam: IChO qualifiers (in the current year), IChO medalists (from any year), qualifiers from other CODS competitions (such as WCC top teams), and gold medalists who have competed in more than three competitions during the season.
Testing for the 2021-22 season will be slightly different from the previous year. We will be providing 48-hour flexible testing blocks over which competition rounds can be taken (in comparison to fixed times), and we expect competitions to be much less of a time commitment for participants in comparison to our previous competitions. There will be three testing blocks on Saturday and two testing blocks on Sunday. Some competitions, such as Cleaving Bonds or CODSChO, may be limited in time slots due to the nature of the competition.
Participants will be required to have a functioning webcam (for workspace) and a phone or scanner to scan their hand-written answers for submission. Video proctoring will not be done on Discord, but ont he testing website itself. Multi-accounting is considered cheating and will be a network-bannable offense. While we cannot go over the handful of cheating protocols and new tools to detect cheating for obvious reasons, testing security is a big focus in CODS competitions and any evidence that confirms cheating will be taken seriously and punished. The specifics of rules in each competition will be introduced in much more detail later on.