The Australian Informatics Olympiad (AIO) is an open national computer programming competition held annually.

Students write short computer programs to solve four problems that vary in difficulty. The competition does not test computer literacy or knowledge but is focused on problem solving through programming skills.

There are two papers—Intermediate for students up to year 10, and Senior for students up to year 12. Each paper consists of four problems, and students submit the source code for their solutions online during the three-hour contest.

The AIO suitable for an IT class that has learnt some computer programming, or enthusiastic students that have taught themselves. Students will need some programming experience, in particular they must be able to write code that can open, read and write to files; declare variables and arrays; use loops, conditional (if) statements and simple arithmetic operations. The allowed languages are C, C++, C#, Java, Pascal, PHP, and Python. Students only need to know one of these languages to compete. Those new to programming may find python the easiest language to learn.

Australian high school students interested in computer programming have very few outlets to be recognised for their abilities. The AIO challenges these students, identifies talent and can open the door to deeper engagement with problems in computer science.

Every participant will receive a certificate, and the top 25 students will be invited to a 10-day intensive training school where they will learn higher-level algorithms and data structures. Some students will be asked to participate in invitation-only events from which the top four will be selected to represent Australia in the International Olympiad in Informatics.

Find out all you need to know about entering your students into the Australian Informatics Olympiad.

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