Criteria for Selecting Judges
- Judges must not have any contact with or be any relation to students who may be competing in the category they are judging.
- ACT-SO judges are required to be degreed professionals or employed in the category that they are judging. Junior College or College Professors, professional architects, engineers, journalists, actors, painters, etc. are good candidates. Judges cannot be coaches, mentors, teachers or parents of students competing
- The same set of judges can judge relative categories if they are qualified, i.e., drawing and painting
- Prior to or during the competition, judges are not to instruct, advise or discuss scores with contestants relative to their performance/presentation.
- Each judge should have a folder with the following contents:
- One score sheet that lists all students names in the category
- An evaluation form for each student in the category (Judges may collectively complete an evaluation for each student if it is a large competition)
- Pencil and pen for each judge. (Score sheets should be completed in pencil; evaluation forms should be completed in ink.)
- Each category will have three or more judges
- Judges score sheets must be kept confidential. The ACT-SO Chairperson should file and secure all score sheets and writs for your records.
- Personal interviews are conducted for the Humanities, Science and Visual Arts Competitions. The Performing Arts competitors do not receive individual interviews during the competition
- Judges should complete an evaluation form for the student before they go on to the next contestant. Once completed, the evaluations should be folded in half and stapled with only the student’s name/competition number visible.
- Once all of the candidates have been judged, tabulate all scores on each judge’s sheet. One judge will be responsible for entering all the scores on the tally sheet and total across for each student. Once the total score per contestant has been determined by adding all judges’ final scores together, the jurists will take the average to determine the gold, silver and bronze medallists.
- The room facilitator or an auditor should be available to confirm the judges’ totals. Once the numbers are approved and a list of winners identified by the judges, the judges should sign a verification writ identifying their first, second and third place winners. This must be done prior to the announcement of the winners. In most instances the winners are announced at a separate Awards Ceremony event.
- The judges score sheets and verification writs should be kept confidential and placed in a sealed envelope and handed to the room facilitator who will in turn submit them to the ACT-SO Chairperson or a designee.
- In order for the top three finishers in an ACT-SO competition category to medal Gold, Silver, and Bronze, the average score conferred by category judges for these students must be minimally 95, 90, and 85, respectively.
- A Judge’s scores count only if the judge scores every contestant in a category.
- Judges may not judge nationally in the same year and in the same category of a student they judged in ACT-SO New Jersey.
- Judges should not discuss scores with contestants.