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Rajan Kumar

Founder at HackersFriend Updated Oct. 19, 2019, 4:11 p.m. ⋅ 8723 views

How to prepare for Google Kickstart – a CodeJam competition?

Google Kickstart, formerly known as APAC is a coding contest organized by Google to hire people who are looking to persue a career in Google. 

Formelry, Google used to conduct APAC test, which was for the same purpose. Here are the major differences between APAC and KickStart:

  • There will be more test rounds in Kickstart than APAC, so if you miss one round, you can participate in another round.
  • Kickstart is targeted to any age group rather than graduating students like APAC.

Kickstart primarily focuses on problem solving abilities, Data Structures and algorithms. All your sudmissions are judged by Google CodeJam online Judge and its quite different than other online judges. So, the first step in preparation is to get fimiliar with Google's codeJam Online Judge. You can do it, simply by trying out some practice problems on Google CodeJam site.

You can visit here for schedules and registeration. 



Preparation strategy

  1. Getting Fimiliar with online Judge

    For any single problem there exist 2 subparts  - Small Input and Large Input

    Instead of just uploading your code, you need to upload an output text file also

    After writing code for the problem, you need to download input for small and large input respectively, once you download the input file, a timer will start, and you are supposed to submit the output file of your code after running on given input file, withing the given time.
    For every wrong submission, a penality will be rewarded.

  2. Clearing basics
    Google codeJam Kickstart is heavily foucsed on checking your uderstanding of Data Structures and Algorithms and your proficiency of coding them. So, when you are planning to solve problems of Kickstart you must be okay with your basics. To increase your efficiency, accuracy and speed, solve various easy-medium level problems. You can head over to Kickstart practice problems and brush up.

  3. Here are some topics you should cover up:

    1. Number Theory

    2. Greedy Algrithms

    3. Binary Search

    4. Graphs

    5. Dynamic Programming

    6. Divide and Conquor

    7. Trie, BIT Tree, BST, Hashing 

    8. String Algorithms (Rabin Karp, KMP, Aho-Crosaick)


Google Kickstart is all about speed and accuracy, focus on your speed rather than solving very tough problems. Do practice as much as you can.

We have created a group of people like you, who are willing to learn Algorithms and data structures for Kick Start. Feel free to join.



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