How the ratings work

After you've opened a contest, you can give it a rating of up to five stars. Doing this helps other users identify the best contests to enter.

The ratings are also important for helping us pick a winner in our monthly draw for people who've added contests - the contests with the highest ratings get the most entries into the draw. So, by accurately rating each contest, you help us reward the people who find and add the best contests.

You might have noticed that if you are the first and only person who have rated a contest, then the rating shown is not exactly the rating that you gave. For example, if you gave it 5 stars, then it might show 4 stars and if you gave it just 1 star, it might show 3 stars. This is because the ratings that we display are influenced by the number of people who have rated a contest.

The reason why we do this is to make it more fair. If you have two contests and the one has been rated by 20 people and received an average rating of 4 stars and the other contest has just been rated by 1 person and got 5 stars, then the one that was rated by just one person can't be assumed to be better than the other one, because that one person who rated it might have been biased. So, to make it more fair we need to take the number of people who rated a contest into account and we do that by using Bayesian ratings.

Bayesian ratings basically work as follows:

When only a few people have rated a contest, then it gets the average rating that all contests have received, moved a little bit into the direction of the average rating for that contest. If many people have rated a contest, then it is moved further into the direction of the average rating for that contest.

The average rating that all contests on ContestChest.com receive is about 3.7 stars. If only a few people have rated a contest, then it will have a Bayesian rating of close to 3.7 regardless of how good or bad its own rating was. But, if a lot of people have rated it then the score can become much higher or lower than 3.7.

If you look at our page with the highest rated contests, you'll notice that all the ones at the top only got there by receiving ratings from many people. Also, the contests that landed on top of our list of the lowest rated contests only reached that position by consistently receiving bad ratings from many different people.

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