7 Best Books for Competitive Programming

best books for competitive progrmming

Competitive programming or CP is a mental sport. An intimidating competition that demands strong mental health, efficient coding skills, and the ability to work under pressure.  

It requires Contestants who participate, to code a given problem under the asked time limits and applicable restrains. The problems are usually about string algorithms, advanced data structures, math, dynamic programming,  logic, etc.  

After solving the puzzles with precise coding that beats the other programmer’s answers, the candidate’s work is judged and evaluated based on many factors, like 

  • Time taken to write the problem 
  • Number of correctly answered problems 
  • Number of incorrect problems 
  • Size of the problems 
  • Quality of the problem 
  • And lastly, the execution time 

Merits of competitive programming  :-

                    It’s often common that many programmers wish to participate and succeed in competitive programming.  Because honestly, the perks of it are just very rewarding. Participating in these competitions could help you prepare for coding interviews in reputed companies like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Netflix, etc. and the winning awards include price money of almost $20,000

It also increases your enthusiasm for programming and teaches the majority of questions asked in technical interviews. You will have a familiarized view of any problem that you’re asked to solve. Easing your way in securing a position in highly reputed companies.  

What is the right material to refer to while preparing for CP? 

  Just learning topics like algorithms, data structures, math, and basic fundamentals is not enough to win this sport. The art of creating efficient and fault-free programs that are executed at a speedy rate is important. They demanded your program to be the best out of others in order to bag a win.  

So, mastering the techniques and tricks to hack this sport is where you start. And relying on a book to refer from is more than enough. A good textbook is all you will need to learn all the needed details and aspects of competitive programming 

But When you look at the numerous amount of guides out there, it might surely overwhelm you with just much amount of content you need to cover and how many books you need to refer from. But fret not, cause this list has the top books that you will need for your complete preparation.  

Knowing this, let’s get started on the list curated explicitly after considering all the above characteristics.  

Introduction to Algorithms by Charles E. Leiserson and 2 more 

Globally known as the “Bible” of competitive coding. This book could be an amazing starting point that will familiarize you with the basics of programming and algorithms.  

It’s not dense yet at the same time covers all the topics in thorough depth and detail. The pseudo-codes are designed to be readable by anyone who has the slightest knowledge of programming.  

The author has organized all the chapters in a relatively self-contained manner that can you can use as a unit of study. It is a guide that will show you how to design strong algorithms and build better structures.   

All the explanations are elementary without sacrificing the depth of coverage or mathematical rigor. 

Algorithm Design Manual by Steven S. Skiena 

This book is majorly on algorithms and data structures. It’s an amazing introductory guide that walks you through each and every prospect.  

Provides you with a verse amount of easy-to-solve examples at the end of each chapter that will get you ready for the complicated questions that are asked in interviews.

The author divided the Coverage of the syllabus into two parts, the first being a general guide to techniques for the design and analysis of computer algorithms. The second is a reference section, which includes a catalog of the 75 most important algorithmic problems. 

It also covers essential topics like data lists, arrays, stacks, queues, binary trees, etc. 

Algorithms By Robert Sedgwick 

The book gives its readers an excellent free website https://algs4.cs.princeton.edu/home/ which provides well-formed exercises, presentations, samples, and examples for your better understanding.  

The latest edition, which is the fourth edition by Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne is the leading textbook on algorithms. Colleges and universities worldwide use it.

It covers the fundamental algorithms in searching, sorting, graphs, and string processing. Including, easily follow extra fifty algorithms that will deem helpful for every programmer.  

Though a little Leant towards the java language, this book is still helpful for every programmer. Its index is to help you find all the needed topics without confusion. 

 Competitive Programming By Steven Halim 

This book is by far the best resource for competitive programming.  

It makes complex topics like stacks, queues, and trees Fun and easy to understand.  

It’s a light book that gives you a strong depths of problem-solving paradigm in computer science. Really focusing on providing you with sample exercises for each subject for your practice and better understanding.  

This book organizes materials perfectly in every learning module that shapes the reader’s thinking process to solve Nerving programming challenges.  

It has illustrations and diagrams on every necessary page. Helping you grasp the in-depth detail of algorithms and data structures.  

Competitive Programmer’s Handbook By Antti Laaksonen 

This book is definitely supplemental reading material. It’s effective and efficient to go together with any textbook. It consists of crisp sample examples that make it easy for you to understand the textbook concepts thoroughly. 

This simple handbook can help you tie things up effectively In order for you to understand and grasp the complex concepts of competitive programming. 

To get the right answers for the puzzling questions that are deemed to be asked in competitive programming can surely prove to be a difficult task for a beginner. But with this handbook That provides the best techniques and tricks, practical advice, and sample problems that are curated for with expertise, hacking the sport can surely be redeemable.  

 Data Structures and Algorithms Made Easy By Narasimha Karumanchi 

The book goes through data types, data structures, and algorithms with real-life examples to place the learner in a position where he can relate the data structures to the kind of problems he’ll proceed to solve.  

The author wrote the book in an easy-to-understand language that doesn’t overwhelm the reader. It Explains all the Data structures and Algorithms concepts exceptionally clearly. 

Providing you with lots of problems to solve and aiming to strengthen the quality and structure of your programs. 

Giving detailed analysis on Programming puzzles for interviews, Campus Preparation, Degree/Masters’s Course Preparation, GATE Preparation, etc.  

Guide to Competitive Programming: Learning and Improving Algorithms Through Contests By Antti Laaksonen 

This book provides an exclusive introduction to modern competitive programming.  It shows you the right way to build efficient algorithms and structures that don’t break and run smoothly.  

For people who are interested in how to build an algorithm purely based on competitive questions asked in the competition. Then you shouldn’t be looking further.  

This book bears an appendix of organized samples and illustrative examples that make it easy for you to get used to the pressure of writing in a competition.  

It covers heavy topics like Standard library functions, algorithm design techniques of dynamic programming, graph algorithms; array range queries, trees, string techniques. Also describing a selection of more advanced topics like including square root algorithms and dynamic programming optimization. 


So, these are Some of the best books for competitive programming.

The only way you can ace this mental sport is by practicing smartly. Knowing what’s needed and what’s rust to your knowledge is important.  

Choose any of the books from above and it will surely fulfill its significance but a student who needs to have quick reflexes under time limits while simultaneously creating an efficient solution needs to grace the depths of programming.  

You can only have a clear overview of everything when you’ve worked thoroughly with every topic. And to have a  rigid grasp on every subject you need to dive in a solution as many questions as you can. so that you won’t have gaps in your knowledge and solving problems of any range will not be hectic anymore.  

It is to be hoped that this selective index of books for competitive programming will help you Kick start your programming journey!  

More Articles to Read

  1. C++ Books For Beginners
  2. Best Books to learn Java
  3. TCS Nqt Coding Questions

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *