NorthSouth Foundation’s Computer Science (CS) Bees are aimed at nurturing Computer Science and engineering skills among children attending grades 9 through 12, in a challenging environment.
Proficiency in Computer Science can be personally satisfying and empowering. The underpinnings of everyday life increasingly involve computer technology. CS has become foundational to humankind’s advancement, and is used in almost every field - including manufacturing, health, entertainment, travel, communication, defense, finance, law enforcement, energy, buildings, arts, and of course, education! Students pursuing Computer Science find jobs in all of these fields. The North South Foundation CS Bee helps prepare children to take standardized tests like AP CS, and IB CS, and to pursue these careers.
Even those of us not pursuing CS careers benefit from CS knowledge; all of us use websites, emails and cell phones regularly. Algorithmic thinking assists us everyday in understanding the technology and applications around us, and to solve problems in a structured scientific way.
CS is offered first as a regional contest, and will have an online format. The CS bee is open to all high school students (grades 9-12) as of Jan 1st of the contest year. Qualified winners of the regional contests will be invited to participate in the National Final.
In addition to all the general contest rules stated by North South Foundation, the following rules are applicable for Computer Science competition.
Currently there is only one level of competition in Computer Science Bee:
- Senior (Computer Science Bee Level 3): Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12
- A 1st rank winner at the National Finals of the North South Foundation computer science bee (CSB) contest is not eligible for competing in this and future computer science bee contests conducted by the Foundation.
- The syllabus for the Computer Science Bee can be found on this website. It should be understood that any syllabus can only act as a guideline, but in the same given category of syllabus, the level of difficulty can vary dramatically to cover all aspects of the syllabus.
- The Computer Science bee is held in one phase and is a multiple-choice format.
- Questions will be specified in 2 programming languages: Java-8 and Python-3. Contestants need to be familiar with at least one of the two languages, and can pick the language of choice. They need not know both programming languages.
- Only your answer choice entries, from the provided multiple choices, are recorded, and graded. Students are not required or enabled to upload their scratch paperwork showing the method that they used. There is no partial credit.
- Students can change their selected answer for any question during the contest. Once contest answers are submitted or if the time runs out, the contest cannot be reopened and no answers can be changed.
- There are NO negative points for incorrect answers. The contestant will be awarded one point for each correct answer and zero for each incorrect answer.
- Contestants may use blank paper sheets, pens and pencils for scratch work and calculations.
- Contestants must not use calculators, books, handwritten or electronic notes, websites, compilers, interpreters, other development/computer applications, phones, smart watches, or any other form of external help – in person, or by messaging/emails/etc.
- The maximum time allocated to answer the 30 questions is 45 minutes.
- Contestants may be required to have a local system setup with two webcams, one showing themselves and their surroundings, and the second showing their computer screen.
- Based on the scores from the single contest-phase, the judges will determine the winners.
- Up to the top-3 winners will be announced per contest-site. Rank 3 is announced if and only if there are at least 10 contestants. Rank 2 is announced if and only if there are at least 8 contestants. Rank 1 is announced if and only if there are at least 5 contestants. No ranks are announced if there are less than 5 contestants.
The tiebreaker rules apply ONLY if there are at least 5 contestants, and at the discretion of the judges/regional coordinator. If there is a tie, to break the ties, the scheme outlined below is followed in the order given:
- Score among questions 1-30
- Score among questions 26-30
- Score among questions 19-25
If the above steps fail to break the tie in question, the foundation may use additional criteria to resolve the ties or to award joint ranks.
- Invitation to National Finals is based on the scores of the contestants compared to others across the country. It is not based on the ranks achieved by a contestant in a regional contest. Thus, the total Phase I score of each contestant relative to all such scores around the country will determine whether the contestant will be invited to the National Finals. The regional tiebreakers are only helpful in determining the winners for a particular center, but have no bearing on the Finals invitation. Best performing contestants will be invited to the National Finals subject to an upper limit to-be-determined.
Computer Science students should be familiar with Java and/or Python programming (either is fine), and cover the additional concepts covered in the syllabus.
In addition, this page contains general resources for preparation for the contests. Some sample resources and books are categorized below. This is not an endorsement of any commercial product by us. You can search the web for better results and up-to-date links.
Khan Academy - Online Courses, Lessons and Practice: here.
“Building Java Programs” book - here.
“Learning Python” book - here.
The syllabus for North South Foundation CS Bee covers programming, algorithms and data structures, and also general understanding of computing. The following list provides an overview of the required skills, though is not intended as a comprehensive list.
- Students are required to know either Java or Python programming. They do not need to know both.
- Variable types, boolean math, bit operations, modulo math, 1D and 2D arrays, conditionals, iteration, methods, functions, recursion, classes, inheritance. For details, please see both the AP CS A syllabus as well as the AP CS Principles syllabus.
- Hash-map, Linked lists, Queues, Stacks, Trees, and Binary Search Trees.
- Sorting and Search algorithms.
- Algorithm time and space analysis (big-O complexity)
- General knowledge of popular OSes, databases, networking including IP addressing.
Sample Questions: here