The task of judging is a challenge, but nothing can replace the judges' own savvy and experience. It is can be difficult to balance the differing qualities Roses offer. Roses are unique individuals, and so differ one from another in countless ways.
There are four dimensions to be considered.
The first is to determine how the Rose perceives other people, the second determines how others perceive her, and the third is to help make the Judges aware of the qualifications and achievements of the Rose. Then there is the final dimension; the "X Factor". This draws on the Judges individual experience and instinct to assess that intangible attribute of each Rose which is not easily described other than as that "X" quality.
- The first dimension, Personality & Presence, is an area where the Judges can assess how the Rose relates to others, whether she is strong or withdrawn in the company of strangers, how she is regarded by others and generally what sort of company she is.
- The second dimension, Social Awareness and Presentation, assists the Judges to determine how aware the Rose is of others. Does she present herself well and adapt to the type of company she is in? Is she conscious of the feelings and opinions of others? In essence one is to determine how the Rose regards others and the other is to determine how others regard her.
- The third dimension, Accomplishments, is an assessment of what the Rose has achieved. This can relate to academic qualifications, sports and community achievements, music, singing or speaking awards or any area where she has achieved above the norm.
- Finally the "X" Factor. This is crucial, and is utterly dependant on the Judge's instinctive opinion of the Rose and a sixth sense as to how she would perform as the representative of New Zealand and could she be crowned the International Rose of Tralee? This dimension is often the one which helps the judges make a final choice if there are two roses running very close together. In the event of a tie, the Chief Judge will make the final decision.