advisor Guide

Behind every great ACSL team, there is a great advisor!

The ACSL team advisor can be any teacher, parent or other adult with CS experience.  As an advisor, you build teams of students, coach and guide them to participate in ACSL contests during the academic year.

This page has everything you need to get started and run a great ACSL program at your school.

You should also check out  the All About the ACSL webinar. 

Registering Teams 

Students compete as teams in ACSL contests.  The Divisions page contains information on how to choose the division(s) that is (are) suitable for your students. Each team is limited to 12 participants, and you may register multiple teams in each division.

Administering Contests

ACSL season is divided into four contests that are conducted over the academic year.  The top scoring students will be invited to compete in an invitation-only Finals contest at the end of May.  The Schedule page has the dates that each contest is available. As an advisor, you choose when to administer the contests during the contest window

The ACSL contests are administered online using the HackerRank for Work platform.  This platform is built for companies testing candidates for technical jobs, so there are a few oddities in the way that we are using the platform for contests. Students will be emailed a link for each contest that will allow them access to take the test. The email will come from; if you are using a school email address for your students, you might need to have your IT department whitelist email from this domain.  A Sample Test is available on the platform for students to get famliar with HackerRank. 

The advisor is responsible for ensuring that students complete each contest independently, without collaboration or assistance. Students found in violation will receive 0 points for that part of the contest. 

Preparing for Contests

ACSL contests test students on fundamental concepts in computer science, ranging from Number Systems to Boolean Algebra to Digital Electronics. In the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Divisions, there is also a problem to solve by programming.  The Study Materials page contains resources to learn about the topics and prepare for the contests.

Detailed Instructions for Administering the Contest

Below are the detailed steps that the advisor needs to take for administering the contest.  Essentially, login to the leaderboard (Step 1), which will take you to your home page (Step 2).  From your home page, you will register students on your teams (Step 3).  Then, when ready for each contest, you'll invite your students to take the contest (Step 4).  Finally, you can see how your students are progressing (Step 5).