FIRST ROUND Monday 27 July to Friday 31 July 2020

For current information about 2020 DATES: click here

Who may participate? Schools may enter as many candidates as they like.

Requirements: Participants will be required to complete a number of programming tasks in one hour.Each participant must have access to a computer. Participants may use any programming language generally recognised as a programming language, such as C, C++, Java, Pascal, Python and Delphi.

Location: Where schools do not have computer facilities, they may make use of computers at another school or tertiary institution. Schools will have to make these arrangements themselves.

Marking: The answers are entered online and the results sent to schools after the event. The teacher in charge of the Computer Olympiad need not be an expert in computer languages.


Certificates to the top 50% of all participants in the country:

  • Gold: the top 7% of all participants
  • Silver: the next 14% of all participants
  • Bronze: the next 29% of all participants

SECOND ROUND  Wednesday 19 August 2020

This round is for those who make the cut-off. We will advise schools of the cut-off after we have all the results for Round one. The Second Round is written at local schools in the third term for two hours using the saco-evaluator.

Provinicial Certificates: Certificates to the deserving number 1,2 and 3 in each province.

Please take note of the language requirements for the Final Round.

FINAL ROUND  Sunday 27 September 2020 – at schools

Who may participate? In order to qualify for the Final Round a candidate

  • has to use one of the following languages: Python, Java, Pascal(for Delphi users) and C++.
  • has to write the Second Round on the official competition day and have his/her program submitted electronically to by the time specified by the organisers.
  • has to be among the best 10 to 20 candidates from the Second Round.

Requirements: Each participant will be given access to a computer. Participants will have a choice of a limited range of Computer languages such as C++, Java and Python which are suitable for algorithmic problem solving. The contest usually stretches over two days. Each day the candidates will be given a number of problems to solve in the allotted five hours. Evaluation is automated on the saco-evaluator.

Location: The competition usually uses a central venue.The Computer Olympiad office will arrange and pay for flights, accommodation, meals and refreshments. In 2020 school venues will be used for a one-day final on Sunday 27 September. 

AWARDS FUNCTION   Sunday 27 September 2020 – at schools immediately after the contest.

Each participant receives a certificate, that may help when applying for university scholarships or bursaries.
The winning participants receive medals and cash awards. In addition their schools receive cash awards for the purchase of hardware or software.

1 Gold R11 000 R5 000
2 Silver R7 000 R3 000
3 Silver R7 000 R3 000
4 Bronze R4 000 R2 000
5 Bronze R4 000 R2 000
6 Bronze R4 000 R2 000


Who may participate? The top participants from the Final Round of the Programming Olympiad are invited to training camps to prepare them for the IOI. Four of them are eventually selected to represent South Africa at the IOI in the year after they are finalists. The team is accompanied by two team leaders.

Requirements: The IOI is a competition that brings together participants from different countries of the world. These participants should have a proven, outstanding ability to solve problems by writing appropriate computer programs.

Location: Every year a different country hosts the competition – usually over a period of seven or more days. Only two days are devoted to the competition itself, the other days are spent exploring the host country and becoming acquainted with each other.

COVID-19 The 2020 contest is online only from 13 to 19 September.

Gold, Silver and Bronze medals
Certificates of participation
Gifts and other prizes