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Entry Rating Primer

In Slag and Faceoff contests, a 1 to 10 scale is used to rate entries (with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest). A final average for an entry is derived from the total number of points it receives divided by the number of voters.

We will never try to dictate precisely how you should vote; everyone has different tastes. Some people base their voting more on humor, some more on skill, some more on pop culture reference, and even some on the mood they're in at the time. However, we would like every voting member to make an attempt to understand how the voting scale is used on Mechapixel, and how to recognize elements in an entry that might sound a mental alarm, immediately telling you what range of numbers it should fall under.

This page contains information that should be read - please do not skim over it, particularly the scale breakdown. When you get to the bottom of the page, you have the option of taking a brief entry rating assessment. This is not required, but recommended if you are unfamiliar with rating photoshop entries on a 1-10 scale.

Note: nothing on this page pertains to Graffiti contests, which use checkbox-style voting and are much more relaxed than Slags and Faceoffs.

Scale Breakdown
These are the guidelines to use when rating an entry. The number on the left indicates the score you can give an entry. This breakdown should help shape your voting eye, particularly if you are new to the site.
  1. This entry is a piece of trash, in concept and/or skill applied, or it is horribly offensive to me.
  2. This entry is really bad, effortless, and the idea reeks. There are jagged edges and/or nasty blending evident everywhere.
  3. This entry is well below-average; there are technical flaws and/or a weak idea. The creator should have spent a lot more time working on this.
  4. This entry is slightly below average. It's missing a little extra work or thought behind the idea. Still, a halfway decent attempt.
  5. This entry is average. It evokes no opinion from me one way or the other.
  6. This entry is slightly better than average. This is a good display of skill, idea, and/or execution.
  7. This entry is much, much better than average. Very nice idea and/or execution.
  8. This entry is approaching greatness; a terrific idea and execution.
  9. This entry is nearly flawless. The idea and execution behind it is wonderful and it made my jaw drop a little.
  10. This entry is absolutely perfect! It brilliantly nails the essence of the theme, and it knocked my socks off with skill. Bravo!
Want more? View the slightly elaborated breakdown.
  1. This is a total piece of trash, in concept and/or skill applied. You may have actually cringed when you saw it; it looks like it took 2 minutes to throw together. Or it could be horribly offensive to you, and you're mad that you were tricked into wasting 10 seconds of your life on it.
  2. This is horrible, and it is unclear whether or not the creator put any effort into it. There are jagged edges or brutal blending everywhere. The idea is probably really lame, too.
  3. Well below-average. It is obvious that the creator put some effort into this, but a good deal of extra time spent on it would have really helped. Many technical flaws are apparent, and the idea is very, very weak.
  4. Slightly below average. It could have been good, but it's missing a little extra work or thought behind the idea. Still, it's a halfway decent attempt.
  5. This entry is average. It evokes no opinion from you one way or the other (regarding skill exhibited or creativity, etc). It's not great, but it's not a bad effort at all.
  6. Slightly better than average. This is a pretty decent display of skill, idea, and/or execution. Not bad!
  7. Much, much better than average. Very nice idea and/or execution.
  8. This is approaching greatness; terrific idea and execution.
  9. This entry is nearly flawless. The idea and execution behind it are wonderful and it has a special something that might actually make your jaw drop.
  10. This is absolutely perfect! This entry brilliantly nails the essence of the theme, or just plain knocks your socks off with skill. You don't come across photoshops like these too often on this site, or any site. Bravo!

Rating Tips
A good and fair voter will end up rating an entry within 3 points of its final average. For example, if an entry ends up with a 7.1 average, you should have given it a rating between 4 and 10. Ideally, you would end up voting within a 2 point range of the average, but extremes in personal tastes means that won't always happen. If you vote outside of the 3 point range (or are even close to it), you need to review the above scale.

Please do NOT award a few extra points to an entry because it reminded you of that time in college when you won a drinking contest and went to class an hour later and aced an exam, and that was the proudest moment in your life. Or anything else that is irrelevant to the work the creator put into it. Use the above criteria as a general scale when judging entries.

Before you give a rating of 1, 2, or 3:
Stop and review the image again. The general idea behind it probably won't change in your eyes, but take into consideration how the image looks; the technical elements should weigh in greatly to your vote (unless stated otherwise in the contest description, such as the occasional MS Paint theme). Also - while constantly giving 4s might just make us frown, constantly giving 3s or lower might just make us take action (see Foul Play, below).

Foul Play
Most entries end up with an average score over 5.0, and the higher the average, the more damaging a vote in the 1 to 3 range is. On the other end of the spectrum, the lower an entry average is, the more helpful giving it a 10 would be. These scenarios happen from time to time when someone misjudges an entry, or it offends them, or they vote it a 10 because of one element in it, but disregard the fact that there are no shadows, or parts of it are jagged. This is understandable. What is not understandable nor acceptable is when someone rates an entry extremely high, and all other entries very low, with ill intent.

If you are suspected of cheating multiple times (meaning you vote with malicious intent) and your votes strongly support it, they will be reviewed, and be subject to being thrown out. Most members don't need to worry about this possibly happening to them, but if you (for example) vote one entry a 9 and all other entries a 2, in more than one contest, then your votes may end up not counting. Such decisions will be made by site administrators, and will be final.

You must be logged in before you can take the rating assessment primer, or vote in contests.

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