Best USACO Training Materials to Get Started 

USACO training materials

Are you appearing for USACO programming contests for the first time? Are you confused about how to begin your preparation?

If yes, you have come to the right place. From websites to YouTube videos, you will find everything you need to know about USACO training material.

Let’s get started.

Online Sites for USACO Preparation

1. The Official Website of USACO

USACO training material
Training Page

The “Training” option on the official website is a must when training for this computing olympiad. After signing up, you can access hours (more than 100 hours) of instruction and programming, and problem-solving problems.

Note that the resources are free.

The best part about this “training” is that students who demonstrate extraordinary progress and outstanding performance are automatically selected as finalists.

In simpler words, if you can excel in solving the problems in the training pages, you are directly promoted to attend the USACO summer training camp.

There is a particular order of tutorials and tasks in the “training pages.” Every tutorial is followed by half a dozen tasks that one must solve before moving on to the next tutorial. You can’t pick tutorials/problems as your wish.

This sequence ensures that the candidates go through all the problems instead of solving only easier ones.


  • Best for competitive programming
  • Short-cut to the IOI or International Olympiad Informatics
  • Resourceful analyses


  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Strong command of programming languages necessary
  • Focused on algorithms and complicated math
  • Not suitable for learning web/server/interface programming

2. USACO Guide

usaco guide website

USACO Guide has the ultimate USACO training materials for preparation. Created by the finalists and alumni, this website is dedicated to helping young students prepare for USACO contests.

The website has elaborated modules for every division. You will find related topics marked as frequent/not frequent/rare according to their importance. In addition to detailed information on the topics, you will also find problems and answer to practices.

The “progress-tracking tool” available on USACO Guide will keep you informed on your level of preparation. This way, you can plan your schedule, leaving no scope for lag.


  • One-stop solution for training materials
  • Highly informative resources


  • Outdated sample problems

Best Classes for USACO Preparation

students preparing for USACO

1. Alphastar Academy

Undoubtedly, AlphaStar academy is one of the most known names among USACO participants. The instructors are mostly finalists or expert programmers.

It’s best for students who find self-study challenging. Unlike USACO Guide, you will find a curriculum that is easy to follow and doesn’t require the participant to be a coding prodigy.

The only problem is its fees. The courses begin from $450 and range up to $1300.


  • Easy-to-follow resources
  • Expert instructors
  • Summer camp


  • Expensive
  • Can’t customize the curriculum

2. VPlanet Coding

Riya Arora, the CEO of VPlanet Coding, was three times USACO finalist and the official Camp Coach in 2020. Currently, she’s studying Computer Science Major at MIT.

Her excellent teaching skills are not that surprising if you take a look at her bio. She herself was a great student and managed to excel at USACO several times. She focuses on teaching problem-solving skills than the solution to the problems.

It’s known among USACO participants that joining VPlanet is literally a ticket to the Platinum division. Ms. Arora has coached many students and helped them achieve their dreams in no time.

The biggest problem, however, with VPlanet Coding is that it’s unaffordable to many. Earlier, they didn’t have the Bronze level.

Now, VPlanet Coding’s level 1 accommodates Bronze, Silver, and Gold contestants, and it is as costly as $5500.

Even though it’s better than AlphaStar academy, it’s practically impossible to afford the fees for many high schoolers.


  • Excellent instructions
  • High-quality classes
  • The problems use USACO and Codeforce’s curriculum


  • Highly expensive

3. EnthuZiastic

Here’s why you should join EnthuZiastic USACO classes.

  • One-on-one classes: At EnthuZiastic, tutors focus on one participant at a time.
  • Customizable curriculum: There’s an existing curriculum for USACO preparation. However, unlike other classes, you can select the topics you want to understand.
  • Pick your own time: USACO aspirants are nothing but the busiest high schoolers with hectic schedules. While most classes have an existing timetable, here, it’s all about your convenience. You pick any hour for classes. If you are free only after 11 pm at night, you can pick a slot at that hour as well.
  • Expert tutors: Tutors at EnthuZiastic are expert programmers with both academic and professional experience.

Other than Alphastar academy, VPlanet Coding, and EnthuZiastic, there’s the CP initiative, ascendlearning(.)com, and areteem(.)org.

CP Initiative is a nonprofit organization. It provides free USACO classes.


While self-study is the best method of preparation, it doesn’t work for all. Some find it extremely difficult to gather USACO training materials, and some lack motivation to study daily.

Therefore, it’s necessary to take help if needed and achieve your goal without getting demotivated and depressed.

All the best for your USACO preparation.

Here’s a list of YouTube channels to follow for USACO contestants.

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