Mafiq Foundation

Information for Judges

Judging Process

Once the judges have read the participant’s essays and listened to their speeches, they grade the entries.

There is no favoritism as the essay judges do not know who the writers are and for the speeches, we assign judges that do not have a personal connection to any of the youth they are judging. The final ranking is based on BOTH speech and essay scores. A participant may have had the highest score on their essay, but their speech score may have brought it down, or vice versa. The person with the highest combined score is the one that is ranked.

When we choose speakers for the award ceremony, we ask judges to pick a speaker from each level for the award ceremony speeches irrespective of essay scores or overall standings. This is a bit more complex since we do want to diversify the mixture of presenters by gender and regions.

The top ranking essays and posters are published in that year’s volume of Young Muslim Voices.

Our goal is to benefit our children, but if we make a mistake we ask Allah’s forgiveness. And Allah knows best, Glorified and Exalted. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the judging process feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Virtual Event Guidelines

Five contestants are awarded the top five positions in each level based on the ranking below. The awardees are exclusive to each other as such that no awardee gets more than one award each level. 

  1. Top three (1st, 2nd and 3rd positions) are based on cumulative (essay and speech) scores 
  2. Special essay – is the one from the essay ranking list who has not been picked in item 1 
  3. Special speech – is the one from the speech ranking list who has not been picked in items 1 and 2
  • Make sure your essay responds directly to the assigned topic
  • Your essay should be well organized (both in content and structure) and well thought out.
  • There should be a clear flow of ideas throughout the essay (i.e., from one sentence to the next and one paragraph to the next.)
  • Your ideas should be supported with research that should be referenced correctly.
  • Try to be creative and novel in your approach to the topic.
  • Essays should be typed and double-spaced.
  • Your name or your school’s name should not be anywhere in or on the essay.
  • Last but never least, pay attention to spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Written statements from the parent/guardian and the author confirming that the work was primarily done by the author (Book publication requires that the work is original and their own.  SEE Essay Guidelines)
  • Category lead is the principal point of contact for the judges 
  • Category lead will distribute essays and Google forms to the judges. They will collect scores from j u d g e s , resolve issues (if any) to minimize deviations among the judge’s scores, and rank the submissions. 
  • Category lead will assign judges during the speech contest and assign lead judge per level (if need be) 
  • Category lead will cross-verify the speech scores as judges’ enter their data in the JotForm (An automated reply including the judges scores will be transmitted to the category lead). Judges will review the speech results and they will identify two potential speakers for the award ceremony from the lead judge and rank EPC submissioCategory lead will compute and list the awardees (five awards per level and each one is exclusive of the others) 
  • Category leads must cross-verify their results by an independent evaluator or by a fellow judge (there will be a computer and a person available to cross verify your scores, if need be) 
  • Category lead will announce the results at the award ceremony (Ascending order: Participants, Special speech, Special Essay, 3 rd , 2 nd and 1 st positions) and electronically forward the results to [email protected] 
  • Category lead will announce the results at the award ceremony (Ascending order: Participants, 3rd, 2nd and 1st positions in essay and speech respectively) and electronically forward the results to [email protected] 
  • Category lead must ensure that the judge’s send feedback to participants once emails are given corresponding to the participant ID number (if possible) 
  • Category leads are encouraged to come up with ideas to organize special sessions on the day of the 3 events. This could be in the form of a knowledge bowl/Kahoot etc. 
  • Please alert the category lead if you have a conflict of interest in the level you’re judging. 
  • You will let us know which grades/levels your children are competing in, if any, so that we can assign you to judge other grades/levels. 
  • You will review the rubrics and essay topics before you start to judge 
  • You will review the essay files upon receipt to make sure that they are all included and do not include duplicates or have other problems. If you see a problem, please alert the Level lead as soon as possible 
  • You will give yourself enough time to judge the essays fairly and without rushing 
  • You will score essays based on the rubrics not your opinion of the content of the essays or topic. You will return your score sheets on time. 
  • Your positive and constructive comments/feedback are important.

Scoring for Speech

  • Take notes during the speech on the elements of the rubrics. For example, you can tally the number of times the speaker makes eye contact, makes a particularly good point or mumbles. These tallies can help you to score an essay. 

  • Be consistent in your scoring across all speakers in the same level 

  • Do not be swayed by personal preference or opinion. For example, if two essays are otherwise of similar quality do not score one child higher because that child expresses opinions similar to yours.
  • Use of index cards is permissible, however, reading directly from the script is strongly discouraged and scores should reflect this. 
  • It is a natural tendency to unconsciously adjust your scoring approach as you hear more speeches. So, be sure that at the end of a session, review your scores and note sheets to make any adjustments to your scoring before turning in your scores to your category lead. Timer Please see attached automated timers for each level with built in flash cards (start, 1 min left warning and 30 sec left warning) that you may find useful.


Subject to Change: Please contact [email protected] for current format

Tips for All Judges

  • It helps to review all of the essays one time before you start to judge them  
  • You may want to note preliminary scores as you read the essays and them review all of your scores before finalizing them to make sure that you did not judge the essays you read first or last differently from the rest (e.g., more harshly or more lightly)  
  • Double check your scores to make sure that you entered them correctly into the spreadsheet and that there are no typos.

EPC Judges Scoring Forms

With every EPC event, we have laid out rules and code of conduct that every participant and parent have to abide by.


*Please be respectful to everyone, including fellow competitors. *If you need to enter or exit a room, please wait to do so in between presentations, as to be respectful to the presenter. *Judges are not permitted to open or close doors, so that they may focus on the competitor’s presentation without distraction. *Participants that are waiting for their turn must remain silent. *Do not distract judges, the presenter or audience. Parents are not permitted to raise questions about the judging during the event. Any dispute must be submitted to [email protected] in writing Jazakum Allahu Khairun for your cooperation!

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