Four-Way Test Speech Contest

From the earliest days, Rotary has been concerned with promoting high ethical standards.   One of the world’s most widely quoted statements is Rotary’s 4-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor. Every year Rotary districts around the world sponsor high school 4-Way Test contests. Though COVID precautions have eliminated our in-person 4-Way Test competition, this year’s competition will be held during our Virtual District Conference.

High school students, grades 9 through 12, are eligible to participate.  Each contestant chooses the topic of his/her speech. The purpose of the speech is to persuade others while applying the principles of the Rotary 4-Way Test. The goal is for students to make the world a better place, to practice the virtues of critical thinking and ethical decision making, to develop public speaking and leadership skills to positively influence and inspire others regarding an issue that they find passionate.

Of the things we think, say, or do:
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

2021 Contest Information

Does your club want to host a 4WT Competition?

Sponsoring Clubs must complete a  4Way Test Club Participation Agreement 
Clubs willing to sponsor an at-large student participant must complete a 4Way Test At Large Club Participation Agreement

Interested Students

  • January 2021: Club members and Interact mentors recruit students
  • January 2021: Students without school mentor support will be assigned to a Rotarian or Rotaractor
  • Before March 27: Clubs hold their own selection competitions if desired
  • March 27:  Club Participation forms are due including the $200 fee per student
  • April 1: Student Application forms are due
  • April 10: Semi-Final Contest will be held live at Glen Burnie High School: 830 a.m. If the situation is not conducive to meeting in person, we will have a virtual competition.
  • April 24: Final Contest (To be judged by conference attendees). 1st place will be awarded $1,500.  2nd place will be awarded $1,000. 3rd place will be awarded $750. 4th place will be awarded $500.

4Way Test Student with sponsoring club Registration Form 2021
4Way Test Student without sponsoring club Registration Form 2021

Helpful Resources for Students


Interested Mentors

Rotarian and Rotaractor mentors will support students preparing for our 4-Way Test Speech Contest. Mentor applications due by December 31, 2020.

  • Mentors will be assigned a student in January.
  • Mentors will support students through the stages to competition to include picking a topic, developing a speech, and honing the performance.
  • Mentors will support students through the District Semifinals on April 10 and through the final competition, as indicated.

Mentor Support:

  • Video that explains how to prepare for a 4-WayTest Speech Competition and how a 4-WayTest competitor is judged
  • On line videos of previous district 4-Way Test winners
  • Rotarian support as needed related to mentoring

4Way Test Mentor Registration Form 2021

Helpful Resources for Mentors



Questions: Contact District 4-Way Test Speech Program Chair Matthew May at 410-340-9127 or email