Order of merit, or order of importance competitions,
as they are sometimes known, are those competitions
where you are asked to list specified features or qualities
of a product or service in what you believe is the order
of importance, for example:
the following six features in order of importance for
a new car:
the order of importance you decide upon match the order
chosen by the judges, you could find yourself an outright
winner or pass through to the tiebreaker judging stage.
chances of selecting the same order of importance with
six features, as the example above, is 720-1.
Then means you would have to make 720 entries
giving every possible permutation to ensure that one
of these matched the judges choice.
Given these odds, your entry would have to be very
lucky to win.
An easy way to discover your odds is to use your calculator.
number of features, for instance, six and multiply as
6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 720
For a contest where youre asked to place seven
features in order of importance you would need 5,040
7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 =
you hazard a guess as to how many different permutations
of features youd need to make for competitions
with ten features.
Ten thousand? A hundred thousand?
Calculator at the ready. Here we go:
10 x 9 x 8 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 =
Yes, youd have to make over three and a half million
entries covering every possible permutation of the ten
features to ensure that one of them matched the judges
So what can you do when you enter these contests?
Pick features at random with a pin and hope for
those features you like best and make a random choice
the scoring system
The scoring system is when you select each feature in
turn and compare it with another. You then score one
point for the feature you feel is more important of
the two. for instance:
by writing down the letters of the features, one against
the other, like this:
compare one against the other, in turn.
Do you think A. Style is more important
than B. Safety?
If you think No, then score one point for B.
Move on to the next letters. Do you think A. Style is
more important than C. Colour?
If you think it is, then score one point for
Continue in this way until youve covered all the
features. Then tot up your scores. Now place the highest
scoring feature in first place, with the lowest scoring
feature in last place.
this method is not a guarantee of success, it sure beats
the random pick a feature with a pin.
So when you next enter an order of preference
contest or are asked to pick numbers to match the judges
selection, youll know just what to do, wont
Oouch! Thats where I left that pin!
© Copyright 2002 Lynne Suzanne www.win-with-lynne.co.uk
About the author
Lynne Suzanne is a freelance writer, consultant and
speaker. She has written four books on winning prize
competitions and slogan writing and presents Win With
Lynne Roadshows and marketing seminars. FREE Win With
Lynne Expert Guide to Winning competition prizes