If nobody else can see your ratings, and you're already at Level 5, why do ratings matter at all? Whether they go up or down as you solve or not solve problems? What's the incentive to solve problems correctly the first time, or at all?

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TopNewestPersonal gain and achievement. I don't care what people think about what my ratings and my levels are. I care about my own personal goals, if I am being able to solve a challenging problem, or to judge my own skill level, where I stand in a particular topic.

It's one of the basic philosophies on which Brilliant is built upon. Ratings are like money (I couldn't think of a better analogy), when you see your rating go down or up it triggers an emotional response, same as when you lose some belonging, or like when you're not able to save the ball going in the net in soccer, etc. You feel the sense of failure and nobody likes failure. So you'd want to try again, and again, and again, until you get it right, sometimes just to prove a point. The point that you are not stupid. Hence when you solve a problem correctly and see your rating go up, you feel happy, you feel confident, you feel like you can take on the world (at least I feel that way).

So ratings help us judge our progress and are a vital part of any system where there's a factor of win/lose, like in games, or for educational purposes, like at Brilliant.

Also, even though ratings aren't shown, you can look at the levels a person is at in any given topic by going to their profile which gives an idea of their skills. So you can to some extent compare how you are doing with respect to other people. – Ameya Kale · 3 years, 3 months ago

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– Michael Mendrin · 3 years, 3 months ago

I think solving a problem is its own reward. The trouble with the Brilliant rating system is that it appears to behave fairly randomly, so I lose interest in it.Log in to reply

– Vikram Pandya · 3 years, 3 months ago

I agree with you somewhat about randomness but what I really like here is the passion people have to create and share questions by thinking out of box. So your score is derivative of questions you score but at the same time question's difficulty level is also derivative of people's score and I think for that purpose this score system does fair job.Log in to reply

– Michael Mendrin · 3 years, 3 months ago

Well it's good that we can see a rating for a problem, so that we have an idea of how difficult it is going to be. However, I notice that the actual range of difficulty for problems "between 2000 and 2400" can be considerably greater than what the ratings would suggest.Log in to reply

Is it only that "the actuarial range of difficulty for problems between 2000 and 2400 can be considerably greater"? Does this comment apply only to "newly released" problems (esp those at the top of your newsfeed), or even to historical problems?

Are there other parts of it which confuse you? – Calvin Lin Staff · 3 years, 3 months ago

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By "random" is that while I can see now how my points are racking up with solving rated problems (and nothing from unrated problems), what's happening with my own ratings is not so clear cut. Kind of like how your credit score is affected by what you do---most of the time, it's unpredictable. I still have little or no idea on how to 1) consistently boost my ratings, and 2) keep it from dropping. So I don't bother with it any more, as it's interfering with my choice of problems to work on. – Michael Mendrin · 3 years, 3 months ago

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– Finn Hulse · 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes! I hate how the problems make you lose so many rating points that you can't even try problems that you don't know exactly how to solve.Log in to reply

– Michael Mendrin · 3 years, 3 months ago

In fact, ratings are most useful to me in identifying the problems that can actually increase my points. Other than that, I'm not sure what they're good for.Log in to reply

It can be hard for a new member to understand ratings. We have a brief explanation initially, but cannot do it justice without having you experience the problem solving aspect, along with the interaction of other members.

The simplest understanding is that your ratings drop when you answer a problem incorrectly, and they increase when you answer a problem correctly. The extent of change is dependent on the relative rating of the problem, which then complicates matters.

I'm glad to see that you are beginning to get the hang of ratings. As you realized, you should be much more likely to solve problems with a rating lower than your own. There are definitely problems rated > 2500, but those are very rare creatures.

We previously thought of displaying the change of rating, but felt that it would have been much more complicated to understand. Do you feel that this would be helpful? IE you are told that "solving this problem correctly will raise your rating by 20 points. Solving this problem incorrectly will lower your rating by 30 points" – Calvin Lin Staff · 3 years, 3 months ago

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– Michael Mendrin · 3 years, 3 months ago

Lin, Vikram Pandya already did a pretty good job explaining how the ratings work, below. I have mixed feelings about the value of ratings, am I here to keep boosting my ratings, or just solve problems and ignore the ratings? Right now I'm kind of leaning towards the latter.Log in to reply

I can make following observations from the table: (1) You have level wise minimum points for answering (2) For a question which is above your rating you get approx 10% of the point differential . Or they are giving points based on Ranged table of point differential.

May be I am completely off but that's what I can see – Vikram Pandya · 3 years, 3 months ago

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– Michael Mendrin · 3 years, 3 months ago

But after seeing how it works, I think I understand now, if you're starting at lower than Level 5, the rating system helps encourage you to build it up. But once once you get to Level 5, well, I don't see any problems rated higher than 2500. Yet. What would be the rating of the Riemann Hypothesis? Probably 2600.Log in to reply

– Michael Mendrin · 3 years, 3 months ago

Now that's funny, it's worthy of a Brilliant question in its own right, "how are Brilliant ratings computed?" Your chart was very illuminating.Log in to reply

Does our rating decrease with time? – Priyanshu Pandey · 2 years, 8 months ago

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Technically speaking, if you look at too many solutions/give a lot of wrong answers at Level 5, your rating could drop to a level such that you reach Level 4. Thus, ratings definitely play an important role even for Level 5 people! – Akshit Soota · 3 years, 3 months ago

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– Rohan Rao · 3 years, 3 months ago

They don't decrease your rating for clicking on See Solution. But they will definitely decrease it if you solve a question wrong. Of course, I don't think anyone who deserves to be in Level 5 will do enough wrong to get to Level 4. Possibly someone on the borderline...Log in to reply