Questions for Notebook

Hi, Our team recently qualified for worlds recently and understandably we are all excited.
However, our notebook is (in our opinion) very bad, and we want to rectify that in the time that we have left before worlds. We have a few questions.

  1. If our old notebook is bad, Can we re-write the old portions of the notebook to make it better, or do we have to keep our old stuff to show how we improved?
  2. Any go places to look for inspiration for notebook?
  3. How do divisions work, as in What are the divisions?

First of all, great job qualifying to Worlds! That is an incredible accomplishment, and shows your potential as a team.

For your first point, you cannot edit the notebook in any way, shape, or form (except for crossing out mistakes with a single line). It’s in the Judge Guide, and the main reason is so that the notebook is an accurate representation of the design process as it happened.

For your second point, there are a few resources here:

This is a really good resource, and contains links to a notebook that won Design Award at Worlds (among other notebooks from prior years.)

In terms of divisions, I assume it’s going to be similar to most past years, in that the divisions are named after school subjects. For example, at Worlds 2021, there was Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Arts, and Research (two divisions each.) I haven’t been to Worlds before, but I assume all attending teams are going to be split as evenly as possible across these divisions.

A few more tips I’d give out is:

  • A lot of judged awards are more than just the notebook: they are also reliant on the interview. I would practice your interviews as much as you possibly can.
  • Review the Judge Guide: this contains the guidelines/rubric that your notebook is to be graded on by the judges. Make sure your notebook is following as many of the guidelines in this guide as it possibly can. Note that this is generally not the only requirement to qualify, especially at high-level competitions like regional championships and Worlds.
  • Document the design process meticulously. Tests, prototypes, concepts, revisions, etc. should all go in the notebook. If it relates to the component/robot design, put it in the notebook. The judges want to see that you know how to design and document something. Also document your programming process (with glued in code), the algorithms you use in your code, and driver routes/strategy.

Also, as far as I know, judged awards are assigned per division at Worlds, so you probably have more of a chance to win a judged award than you might think.


Thanks for the advice,
I just have another question after reading the vex forum page that you linked.

Our team converted over from paper to online and we just have screenshots of our notebook currently, is it ok to convert those over to text format even though we would have to change some of the formatting and other stuff?
Also if we realize that stuff is missing can we reorder out notebook to fit the new things such as a better competition breakdown?


No, keep it authentic … seriously, Judges really like seeing the process in the rawest most authentic form. … that is engineering. This is not a science fair presentation.


and thank you for asking all these questions - my alums are asking similar questions and it is good to build this knowledge as new season is coming up and we all can improve our craft.


Hello Bob, one way that my team has gone about upgrading our notebook is by adding color coded tabs that are related to the different steps of the design process. Our first page is a page that explains what each tab means and more explains it in the back of the book. Also just spending thoughtful time on each page really helps, ive never judged before but, I believe the judges look for good work put into the notebook and really look on how you built your robot using the design process. One last tip I have is don’t make your notebook a diary. They arent looking for who showed up each day, they really are just looking for the design process. Let me know if you have any questions! Hope this helps!


Are you serious! :astonished: Knowing that makes me so much more motivated to actually work on my notebook and interview :tada:

I know (from that previous worlds have done it like that, but this year’s awards page doesn’t have divisions
Is that expected (since divisions might not be assigned yet)?


It’s likely that they just haven’t set it up yet. It’s very likely going to be very similar to previous Worlds, and they’re going to assign awards for every division. After all, we don’t know everyone who will be at Worlds yet, because we still have some regions wrapping up their championships this weekend.


Also, I heard that you can only win a design award at worlds if you won one at a previous compitetion, Is this true?

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This is true. If you want to win Excellence at Worlds, you must win Excellence at a Worlds-qualifying event. If you want to win Design at Worlds, you must win Excellence or Design at a Worlds-qualifying event. This doesn’t mean, however, that you still can’t get other judged awards (Build, Think, Innovate, Amaze, etc.) without getting those awards in a prior event, as this is not stated in the Judge Guide. So, if you didn’t win Design at state, don’t worry, as you can still make your notebook good enough to win another judged award at Worlds, even if it isn’t Design or Excellence.


So what do you recommend. Do we re type the whole thing or just take pictures of the actual notebook and just put the in the pdf

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Scan it into a PDF! The judges are looking for a real engineering notebook, not for some fancy presentation.


Ok, thank you

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