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What is AIO?

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The AIO is an opportunity for students to demonstrate advanced problem-solving and computer programming skills. They will use problem-solving skills and algorithmic thinking to come up with strategies for solving problems, and programming skills to turn these strategies into code.

Students invent algorithms and write code to solve problems.

Competition date and time:

Thurs 29 August 2024. 17:00-20:00 (NZ time) 


Closing date of registering: 16 August, 2024

When registering multiple students, complete a separate registration form for each student, and ensure that you use a different email for each student.

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Fees for the AIO is  $100 per student.

Eligible year groups: NZ Year 8-13

Competition format: Online at home

Calculators are NOT permitted.


Name of Account: Pinnacle Education Group

Account: 06-0241-0684634-00


Please make payment with the students 'full name + AIO ' as reference.

⚠️ Please note that any fees and payments made are non-refundable.

⚠️ Before you make any payment, make sure you read through the refund policy on our website to avoid misunderstandings.

(Terms and conditions apply).

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Please note: If you registered after the deadline, the fees will be doubled.

NZ time: Thurs 29 August 2024. 17:00

Australia Sydney & Melbourne time: Thurs 24 August 2023 at 15:00

Australia Perth time: Thurs 24 August 2023 at 13:00

Singapore and Beijing time: Thurs 24 August 2023 at 13:00

Competition date & time:

PGA reserves the right to interpret all competition and course arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Student level group and divisions?

New Zealand Year8-13 Divisions: •Intermediate – students up to New Zealand Year 11 •Senior – students up to New Zealand Year 13

2. How long is the AIO?

The AIO is a three-hour exam.

3. How many problems will there be?

The AIO is consisting of six problems of increasing difficulty.

4. What are topics in contest?

Students invent algorithms and write code to solve problems. Functions include opening, reading and writing files; declaring variables and arrays; and using loops, conditional (if) statements and simple arithmetic operations.

5. What languages can students use for the AIO?

Students may submit solutions to problems in C, C++, Java or Python 3.

6. What do students need to sit the AIO?

Students will need a computer with internet access. During the contest, students should only use the internet to access the contest system (and not to look up programming resources, look up answers, nor communicate with other students, etc).

7. What resources may contestants’ access during the AIO?

The AIO is run as an open book exam. Contestants may bring whatever printed/written notes, textbooks, or other non-electronic resources they wish. Contestants will also be provided (via the contest system) with solution templates. These are pre-written programs, available in each of the supported languages, which already perform the necessary file input and output for the student. Students may optionally use these templates as a basis for coding their solutions to the problems.

8. How is the AIO marked?

Contestants will submit their source code (not executables), which is compiled on an official judging machine. Then the student’s program is tested against different test cases. For each test case, we run the program and check its output against the expected official answer. Contestants can see the marks for each of their submissions during the contest, with feedback from the automated judging system.

9. What are the criteria for marking?

Students are only marked on the correctness and speed of their programs. Coding style (good variable names, indentation, etc.) is not taken into consideration. Of course, students may find that good coding style makes it easier for them to debug their programs.

10. Will there be certificates?

Yes, Contestant who submit a solution to at least one problem will receive a certificate (either for Participation, or at Bronze, Silver or Gold level) to acknowledge their work.

11. What are Award Criteria?

Gold – top 10%
Silver – the next 15%
Bronze – the next 25%
Participation – all remaining students

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