Judges are primarily interested in two criteria: the project itself and your presentation of it. The criteria are weighted so that the project impacts the final score slightly more than the presentation itself, but they now reflect the presenter’s ability to address questions as well. A well-organized poster filled with relevant information is important, but the presenter is responsible for making sure the project is clearly presented. Please examine the judging criteria below to have an idea of what the judges will be looking for.



Points are earned in three areas:

  • Display (20 points maximum),
  • Content (20 points maximum), and
  • Oral Presentation (10 points maximum).


Display (20 points)

The poster must be mounted on the exhibit board provided and may not exceed its dimensions, which are 6 feet wide by 3.5 feet high (72 inches by 42inches). The poster should attract attention and convey information. Language should be simple and descriptions brief. Jargon should be avoided; necessary technical terms should be defined. Spelling and grammar must be correct. All text should be large enough to be read from a distance of 4 to 6 feet.

Photographs, drawings, charts, tables, or graphs should be simple, well organized, and carefully chosen to quickly explain complicated technical concepts to a wide audience.

The following should be clearly presented and readable from a distance of 4 to 6 feet:

  • title of the exhibit
  • student's name/collaborators, advisor, and department
  • introduction
  • methods
  • results
  • interpretation of results and conclusions


Content (20 points)

Content will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Clarity of the problem/question (4 points)
  • Soundness of methodology and design (4 points) 
  • Appropriateness of analysis (4 points)
  • Interpretation of findings (4 points)
  • Relevance of research (4 points)


Oral Presentation (10 points)

How well was the student able to discuss the rationale, purpose, conclusions and significance? The oral presentation should be clear and concise, and should include the major points presented on the poster. If the student worked with collaborators on the project, including his or her advisor, this presentation should clearly describe the student's role in the overall project. Students should all be able to answer questions effectively about their poster.


Print a PDF version of the scoring guide.

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