Watermarking is one of the most effective techniques for copyright protection and information hiding. It can be applied in many fields of our society. Nowadays, some image scrambling schemes are used as one part of the watermarking algorithm to enhance the security. Therefore, how to select an image scrambling scheme and what kind of the image scrambling scheme may be used for watermarking are the key problems. Evaluation method of the image scrambling schemes can be seen as a useful test tool for showing the property or flaw of the image scrambling method. In this paper, a new scrambling evaluation system based on spatial distribution entropy and centroid difference of bit-plane is presented to obtain the scrambling degree of image scrambling schemes. Our scheme is illustrated and justified through computer simulations. The experimental results show (in Figs. 6 and 7) that for the general gray-scale image, the evaluation degree of the corresponding cipher image for the first 4 significant bit-planes selection is nearly the same as that for the 8 bit-planes selection. That is why, instead of taking 8 bit-planes of a gray-scale image, it is sufficient to take only the first 4 significant bit-planes for the experiment to find the scrambling degree. This 50% reduction in the computational cost makes our scheme efficient.