Tips for writing a winning Chevening Scholarship essay!

Chevening is the UK Government’s global scholarship programme that offers future leaders the unique opportunity to study in the UK. These scholarships are awarded to outstanding professionals from all over the world to pursue a one-year master’s degree in any subject at any UK university.

It is a fully-funded scholarship which allows you to focus on achieving your academic goals and enjoying the experience of a lifetime! I got this scholarship last year in 2020 and it was a life-changing moment for me! I got the chance to live and study in the UK for a year, during which time I could develop professionally and academically, grow my network, experience UK culture, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK!

While applying for a Chevening Scholarship, you will be required to submit four essays, and this is definitely not an easy task! Here are a few pointers on how to make your application stand out:

  1. Less is More: Writing a Chevening scholarship essay requires a lot of deep self- reflection. For the essays on leadership and networking, think back on your time in school or university or work (whichever is relevant to you) and try to recollect as many experiences as you can from your personal and professional life. All of these memories will serve as good material to rely on while writing about the leadership positions you have held or networking opportunities you made use of, and these may even speak about your personality and who you’ve become over the years! But is there such a thing as quoting too many examples? While there is no hard and fast rule to this, I would suggest that you stick to 2–3 really strong examples rather than several weak examples. The idea is to put your best foot forward! Tell Chevening about all of your best moments or the ones that made the most impact or the ones that you are most proud of! Describing in detail about a few examples will generally have a better impact than listing down everything without too much substance. In a nutshell, less is more.
  2. Make it Count: All four questions on the Chevening application have a word limit of 500. It’s not too less, not too much; it’s just right. Make sure that you use the available word limit to the best of your ability! Every single sentence should add some value to you and your application. Try to avoid generic sentences that don’t necessarily say anything specific about you or your life experience. For example, instead of merely saying leadership is important, try to elaborate on the reasons why you think leadership is important. In my opinion, essays that are highly personalised and specific to your life will help showcase your abilities to the maximum.
    In the last few days before submitting your application, you should also think about presentation — ensure that you edit the essays a few times before you submit it. Multiple rounds of editing will help fine tune your application. Often times, applicants tend to write long and winding sentences that eat up a lot of the word limit, when the same thing could have been written in a shorter and crisper manner. Wherever possible, see if better or more apt words can be used to convey the same point. You could even try rewriting some sentences in different ways to give yourself more room to play with. Focus on making every word count!
  3. Weave a Story: Your scholarship application should tell Chevening everything that they need to know about your life story so far and your plans for the future. While writing the essay on university choices and career goals, I found it best to be structured in my approach. These essays are crucial to the scholarship because it ties your past and future together. It needs to showcase why your master’s degree is crucial for the next phase in your life. Try to focus on how the master’s degree will act like a steppingstone and help your career progress. You could also breakdown your plan for the future. Where do you see yourself in three or five or ten years? Together, both the essays should read like a story: one continuing into the other. In order to do this, it is helpful to sit down and really think about what logical steps you will need to take to achieve your goals in the future. Think about what roles you will have to undertake and how you will contribute at each stage. Describing your vision in a structured manner will show that you are well prepared and thoroughly know what to expect from your field of work. All the best!

Hi friends — I’m a lawyer, trekker, and economics enthusiast. I’m also keen on personal development and building habits, and often write about it!

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Roshni Menon

Roshni Menon

Hi friends — I’m a lawyer, trekker, and economics enthusiast. I’m also keen on personal development and building habits, and often write about it!

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