One of the oldest computer science competitions with 40 years of history

Approved by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)

Authenticated by the Computer Science Teachers Association

Sponsored by Google, ADOBE and other advanced technology companies

Based on cumulative team scores, top teams are invited to the All-Star Contest

4 different levels suitable for students from Years 3 to 12

Past papers are available for preparation

December, 2019 - August, 2020


ACSL organizes computer science contests and computer programming contests for elementary, junior, and senior high school students. This year, our 41st year of continuous operation, over 300 teams in the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia are participating in various divisions. ACSL is on the approved activities list of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). ACSL is also an institutional member of the Computer Science Teachers Association.

Official Website:

Competition Rules


English (There are Chinese versions for the Elementary, Junior and Intermediate divisions)

  • Regular Season (4 rounds per year)
  • All-Star Contest (Awarded students in the final of regular season)


  • Round 1: 21 Dec, 2019 14:00-16:40


  • Round 2: 22 Feb, 2020 14:00-16:40
  • Round 3: 22 Mar, 2020 14:00-16:40
  • Round 4: 18 Apr, 2020 10:00-12:40

All-Star Contest: August, 2020, Beijing


Exam Centers across China (check and choose exam center after registration)


3 students per team

  • The Senior Division is geared to those high school students with experience in programming, especially those who are taking a Computer Science AP course. We suggest that students do not register for the Senior Division during their first year of ACSL participation.
  • The Intermediate Division is geared towards senior high school students with computer programming experience, and advanced junior high students.
  • The Junior Division is geared to middle school students with no previous experience in programming. No student beyond grade 9 may compete in the Junior Division.
  • The Elementary Division is open to students from grades 3 -6. It consists of non-programming problems. Four categories, one each contest, will be tested. The contest consists of a 30-minute, 5-question test each month.

Note: Experienced lower grade students can choose higher level contest. For example, primary school students with high programming skills can choose senior or intermediate or junior contest, and junior school students with strong programming skills can choose the senior contest. However high school students can't choose lower level contests.

  • Part 1 (Individual round): 5 short answer questions in 30 minutes. 1 point for each question.
  • Part 2 (Team round): 1 programming question in 2 hours, worth 5 points.

Elementary Division (Individual written contest): 5 short answer questions in 30 minutes. 1 point for each question.

Final qualification

The top 70% of teams from the preliminary round are invited to attend the final competition, and the score of the preliminary are still included in the final scores.

  • Each team (3 students) is allowed access to 1 computer
  • Each team can use the programming language they are most familiar with to solve the contest
  • WIFI or other internet access is not allowed during the

Elementary Division

  • Individual scores: Add 4 rounds of individual scores together
  • Team scores: The top 5 scores from a school are added together to give the team score
  • Individual scores: Add 5 rounds of individual scores together
  • Team scores: (overall individual scores + overall team scores*team member numbers)/ team member numbers

Elementary Division

  • No need to use a computer in the exam for Elementary Division.
National awards

Reward by different levels
Individual awards

  • Perfect Score: Get a perfect score in all the 4 rounds
  • Individual top students: top 20% individuals

Team awards

  • Gold: Top 10% teams
  • Silver: Top 20% teams
  • Bronze: Top 35% teams
  • Division Honorable : Division Top 15% teams (Except for national awards)

The top teams will be invited to attend the All Star Contest in Beijing to compete for the global awards

All Star Contest

Invitations to the All-Star Contest are based on cumulative team scores in the Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Divisions. All Star Contest will be held on 8th June, 2020 in Beijiing. All the teams will compete in their own division. They need to solve 4 programming problems in 3.5 hours and also have written test.



  • Preliminary: 8th December, 2019
  • Final: August, 2020

Exam Centers

Final Exam Centers

Sample Problems


Calculators can not be used on ACSL.
If, for some reason, you cannot attend after paying the fee, please notify us in writing one month before the deadline of registration. If you notify us after that, we will not be able to offer you a refund.