Beauty Pageant Judging Criteria and Scoring Systems

Here is a sample criteria I have composed. The beauty pageant judging criteria is important since it determines who would you like to be a deserving winner. It realizes and defines your “would be” official representative of the company, state, or country the pageant title is serving. The criteria will also affect the conduct of the show while the scoring system will materialized it. There are four scoring systems I have discussed on last part of this article and feel free to choose whichever you want.

Sample Beauty Pageant Judging Criteria


10 points                              height

15 points                              beauty of face

15 points                              skin and complexion

10 points                              figure

10 points                              intelligence

After the screening, all of the candidates will be on equal grounds since the scores will be back to zero. Thought height is still present as one of my consideration, there will be a re-measurement.


10 points                              height                                               measurement

20 points                              beauty of face                                   no make-up

10 points                              body proportion                               swimwear

15 points                              skin and complexion                       swimwear

10 points                              discipline and breeding                 practices and activities

It would always be advisable to have a pre-judging and have a set of finalists. It is the organizers and the committees who meet the girls everyday and can tell who really performs very well and have a natural beauty. With that, you are also helping the pageant night judges to have the right pick and would make the pageant night result credible. Not having a pre-judging may give way to undesired results. Once the girls are out on the stage, they are all equally beautiful because of their make-ups and because of the lighting effects.


10 points                              figure & catwalk                               swimsuit competition

10 points                              poise & bearing                                gown competition

15 points                              intelligence                                       question and answer portion

The pre-pageant scores will be added to the pageant night scores to determine the final winners right away. There will be no more back to zero. But if you would like to have another phase of the pageant for that, it is alright but then, it will surely extend your targeted time to finish the show.

Beauty Pageant Judging Criteria of Binibining Pilipinas

For reference, here is the beauty pageant judging criteria of Binibining Pilipinas.

Beauty of Face: 50%                   (self-introduction)

Figure: 30%                                 (swimsuit segment)

Poise and Personality: 10%         (gown competition)

Intelligence: 10%                         (interview portion)

Universal Beauty Pageant Judging Criteria


A pageant is a parade and celebration of beauty with a set of candidates and a set of beauty pageant criteria as basis for selection. In prestigious one, with hundreds of applicants, you will find the official candidates equally beautiful making the choosing of winners difficult if we are just going to base the selection on their physical appearance. Beauty then is not the only criteria that set winners apart from the crowd. Their personality plays a vital role then.

Personality matters. Most beauty pageant selection committee would deem this one as an important factor. They would not like that their chosen winner to represent their institution would be someone with a beautiful face and nothing more. They want someone who can talk. Someone who is respectable because she respects herself and that reciprocates respect from others. Someone who can carry herself very well and dress herself very well too. Someone who has a good reputation in the public including the reputation of her family and relatives believe it or not. Someone who has discipline and knows responsibility. And someone who is mature enough regardless of her age. The committee do not like a little girl, they need a lady, a woman.


A beauty pageant is not just about being yourself. That is easily spoken when you have won already. A pageant is a show according to beauty queen maker Jonas Antonio Gaffud of Aces and Queens. He continued

“…it is a show, so you have to show something.” And from that, you need confidence.”

Gabriela Isler, Miss Universe 2013 once told,

“If you have confidence, you can show your personality. You can have a beautiful face, and beautiful hair, but if you’re not confident, you cannot show your personality. If you do not believe in yourself, nobody will believe in you. So, be confident and enjoy the moment because it’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Ariella Arida, Miss Universe 2013 3rd runner-up also affirms,

“Beauty pageant is not about being perfect. It is about confidence. It is about bringing out the best in oneself and being who you are.”

Same is true with the statement of Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago,

“Beauty pageant is not about face and figure. Usually the ones who make it are not necessarily the prettiest, but the most confident.”

With these statements from beauty queens and premier pageant trainer, a great personality then may not be notice or it would useless if you do not have the confidence to show it.


Beauty pageant intelligence has something to do with knowing yourself. It also encompasses maturity of your thinking and how socially responsible you are basing on your answers. Intelligence also includes your language skills i.e. fluency, pronunciation and expression. Intelligence may also contribute to one’s confidence. Knowing your answer in each and every question may give you the confidence to win the pageant. You cannot be totally confident without knowing to yourself that you can answer any question that will be asked to you.

Beauty of Face

A beautiful face gives you oftentimes a temporary advantage over the other candidates. You get easily notice if you have one. It can even help you to be the judges’ bet. But more than a pretty face, beauty pageant is not all about it. You better have more than that to get it onto the top. Without personality, confidence, intelligence, and a competitive figure, winning the contest may not be within your reach.


The absence of one of these major criteria in beauty pageants will not complete a confident and winning candidate. In prestigious pageants, figure has a lot more points than poise (gown competition) and is graded during the swimsuit competition. An unflattering figure is one of the most common reason why a candidate was not able to join the final cut despite being able to hurdle and join the semi-final round.

Importance of Knowing the Beauty Pageant Judging Criteria

Knowing the pageant system, sequence, program or whatever they may call it is one of the requirements for you to know to help you win a pageant. These systems are actually based on what we call beauty pageant judging criteria. These are some considerations that the judges are looking into when choosing the winners. I have observed these in general and are arranged according to importance.

To win the semi-final round, consider these factors:

There are two usual ways on how pageant semi-finalists are chosen. These are the pre-pageant, no-make-up, closed door interview a week or even hours before the pageant, and casual interview on the pageant night or sometimes during the talent night competition.

1. Maturity or content of your pageant answer.

2. Beauty which comprises facial attributes, complexion, figure and voice.

3. Your fluency in English which includes manner of delivery and confidence.

4. Ramp skills and stage presence that makes you buoyant among the pageant candidates.

To win the final round, consider these factors:

1. Beauty which comprises facial attributes, complexion, figure and voice.

2. Maturity or content of your pageant answer during the question and answer portion.

3. Your fluency in English which includes manner of delivery and confidence.

4. Poise and bearing during the gown competition.

Any other beauty pageant judging criteria that will be added will depend on the pageant you are into. You must mind asking a copy of the criteria and the pageant sequence and system they are going to follow as part of your pageant preparation checklist.

Getting the criteria gives you idea where the fight is. Is this pageant giving much more points to ramp skills and confidence? Or is it mainly on one’s intelligence? Do they prefer fair-skinned candidates? Do you really have to be that tall like 5’7 and up to join the top 5?

These criteria or factors on how to win a pageant might have been itemized, but the presence or absence of each item could not be underestimated on its effect. The judges are looking for someone who is a complete package to be able to serve her roles and responsibilities well as a title holder.

Scoring Systems to Interpret your Beauty Pageant judging Criteria

For me, these are the four common ways to interpret or score a pageant criteria.

I call the first one as the International Standard System. The system removes the highest and lowest scores of the candidate respectively and average what is left to avoid bias.

The second was the International Standard System with Pure Ranking. The same system with the first one. However, it is not the total scores that you sum and average but the ranks of the candidate without the highest and lowest ranks a candidate garnered from the judges. This is the fairest scoring system for me.

The third was the Local Averaging System we often used here in our local pageants. We just sum and average the scores and that’s it. The result may easily be manipulated by a judge who favors a candidate by scoring the candidate she prefers way far higher than the other girls. And hence, will surely affect the general and final scores and averages. That is not possible in any of the two International Systems I have mention.

The fourth one I have discussed to her was the Local Averaging System with Pure Ranking. On this scoring system, you average the rankings of a candidate from the different judges after you have sum the candidates’ scores respectively on a judge’s scoring sheet.

These four scoring systems do not have much differences when it comes to their validity provided no one among the judges favors a candidate or scores a candidate way too low or too high in the Local Averaging Systems.

This entry was posted in Special Topics by .
Find out more of our pageant secrets!
Like Gau Callanta Jr., The author's FB Page to access beauty pageant questions and answers.


Miss Silka Pangasinan 2014
July 26, 2014 @ 3:00P.M.
CSI The City Mall Atrium, Lucao District Dagupan City.