In the comments section of my most recent round, there has been a lot of misconceptions about interpreting score distribution. This blog is just to inform the correct way of understanding them from a problemsetter standpoint.

The biggest misconception I saw was **score distributions are always almost equal to its difficulty**. This is not true. Do you really think 1852A - Ntarsis' Set is a rated 500 problem?

The correct way to interpreting score distribution is looking at the differences between each adjacent gaps. I will give suggestions on interpreting difference in points in a **Div. 2 round**. Div. 1 Scoring may be different because the difficulty curve is different.

Usually, a $$$250$$$ point gap means the two problems are relatively similar in difficulty but with a slight difficulty increment. A $$$500$$$ point gap represents the standard gap between adjacent problems that you'd expect. I think any gap $$$750$$$ or above means there is a decently large difficulty discrepancy between the two problems. I will use Codeforces Round 965 (Div. 2) as an example.

Problems A and B are expected to be similar difficulty with B being slightly challenging. B and C are $$$500$$$ apart, which means that the difficulty difference between B and C is expected to be larger than that for A and B. In hindsight, I probably should've assigned a $$$750$$$ point difference. This is also why you shouldn't rely on score distribution to determine whether you should approach a problem or not, as the assigned difference could be higher or lower than the actual gap. Again, there is a $$$250$$$ gap between C and D so they are expected to be relatively close in difficulty but D should still be harder than C; same for D and E1.

Problems with subtasks usually come with $$$(x + y)$$$ in the announcement blog, with $$$x$$$ being the score assigned to the easy version and $$$y$$$ for the harder version. In most round, this usually means that if the easy version is a stand-alone problem, then it should be assigned $$$x$$$ points. If only hard version is proposed, then it should be worth $$$x+y$$$ points. However, I don't believe that this should always be the case in the future, which is why this blog is also a suggestion to future problemsetters.

Originally, E1 was going to be assigned $$$2000$$$ points and E2 assigned $$$1000$$$ points. Then, one of our testers, Dominater069 said "I wrote 10 mins of ds for E1 for $$$2000$$$ points... And then take 30 mins just for $$$1000$$$ points?" I thought about this and I was like, he has a point. There has been a lot of instances where the hard version is a lot harder than the easy version, but isn't worth a significant amount of points on its own. Therefore, I think setters should weigh the hard version like a standalone problem, and decrease its value based on how much of the observation that the easy version gives away.

Lastly, score distributions aren't always accurate. They are usually only decided by setters, the coordinator, and a small subset of the testers. You shouldn't get scared if you see a large score gap between problems. Most of the time, us setters also get surprised by the performance of you codeforcers.