Questions to Ask
No matter which institute you are considering for your USACO training need, some of the questions you want to ask them:
- Leveling – What are the prerequisite for each class?
You want to make sure your student study alongside others that are around the same level to have the most effective and efficient learning! Especially check the prerequisite of bronze level class to understand their base line.
- Objective – What should you expect after finishing each of the class(semester)?
Don’t assume you will learn everything you need to pass the current level, pay attention to the objective statement, if it is not clear, ask for clarification.
- Curriculum — How are their curriculum developed and do they keep them updated?
The scope to teach students for each level is super important for them to learn in the most targeted and effective manner. There are also new problems created each year. It is essential for the institute to keep monitoring and updating the scope of their curriculum for perfect alignment with the actual contests.
- Total Duration for a Level – What is the overall time needed to finish all courses for each level?
How many sessions/seasons/semesters? Make sure to calculate the total amount of cost in terms of time and tuitions to finish the entire level’s training.
- Problem/Homework Solution
Do they provide detailed, well-written and commented, and easily understandable solutions to all practice and homework problems?
- How is absence handled and supported?
- Is there regular communication from teacher throughout the course to keep students organized and parents informed?
- How directly accessible is the teacher when students or parents have questions?
- Prior to registration, can you easily get your questions answered to make sure it is the best fit for you?
Sample comparison: To help you compare and understand how Ascende Learning’s USACO class differs from others, we researched on USACO courses from a well known institutes and make the following comparisons for your references. Disclaimer: since information can change, please verify the information with any institute that you are considering and make your best and most informed choice.
|Ascende Learning||USACO course at another well known institute|
|Leveling||Our beginner bronze level class requires programming skill as prerequisite. Students must already have taken our Java Programming class or equivalent to start the bronze USACO training.||Inquire and compare|
|How many lessons per level||Bronze 15 lessons, Silver/Gold 24 lessons||24 ~ 48 lessons|
|Amount of time needed for students to learn all knowledge and skills||Bronze: 1 semester, Silver/Gold: 2 semesters. We design our course so that students learn everything needed by December (the first contest of the season), so they have much more chances to try to be promoted during the same season.||2-4 semesters|
|How is absence handled?||Students receive lesson recordings and must stay up with the pace. Our curriculum is continuous and we want all our students to succeed.||Simply “No make up session”. Inquire and compare.|
|Teacher’s Availability for Questions outside of class||Highly accessible to check on your child’s status||Inquire and compare|
|Get all answers easily before you register?||We are easily accessible by email, phone call, or wechat messaging, We answer all your questions in a timely manner and help evaluate your student’s levels and performances.||Inquire and compare|