How To Prepare For Essay Based Scholarship Exams

International Development Scholarships


Knowing how to prepare for essay based scholarships exams is as important as the scholarship application itself. With the start of a fresh academic year upon us, it’s an ideal moment to focus on actively seeking and securing scholarships to finance your college education!

Given that numerous scholarship applications necessitate an essay component, it’s essential to understand how to craft a compelling one that convinces the scholarship committee that you are deserving of the available funds!

When executed effectively, your scholarship essay serves as a glimpse into your life. Much like your personal statement for college admissions, these essays should provide the readers with an understanding of you as a multi-faceted individual, extending beyond the limitations of your high school GPA and standardized test scores.

How To Prepare For Essay Based Scholarship Exams

Follow The Fundamental Guidelines For Crafting A Compelling Essay:

Just like crafting essays for school assignments, it’s crucial to structure your scholarship essays for readability and comprehension. Essentially, a successful essay will possess a smooth “flow.”

Below are key skills for crafting an effective scholarship essay format:

Start with a compelling opening sentence, often referred to as a “hook.” While various types of hooks exist, ensure your choice aligns with your unique voice and style.

As an illustration, you might opt to start off energetically by envisioning your future in a decade, following the attainment of your ideal education: “While delving into the enigmatic depths of the ocean on a daily basis might not be everyone’s primary aspiration, I eagerly anticipate pursuing and safeguarding endangered aquatic species as my profession.”

Stick to the conventional structure of introduction, body, and conclusion. Even if the essay prompt appears open-ended, it’s essential to give your essay a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Begin new paragraphs to introduce new ideas. It’s far better to have several short paragraphs than lengthy ones that are difficult to follow!

Ensure your essay concludes neatly and avoids abrupt endings. Consider wrapping it up with a statement about your motivation for pursuing higher education, such as: “Ultimately, my goal is to serve as a positive example for other young women who may have hesitated to express themselves.”

You might not have time for a full conclusion paragraph, but a brief closing remark adds a nice finishing touch.

Sometimes, initiating the process of writing a scholarship essay or personal statement can be challenging. To help you overcome this hurdle, here’s a video providing tips on crafting a captivating opening line.

Get Acquainted With The Instructions Provided In The Essay Prompt:

Ensure you thoroughly understand the prompt by reading it multiple times. Often, scholarship essay prompts revolve around common themes like showcasing leadership skills or discussing the potential impact of increased financial freedom on your college experience.

If the prompt appears more like a statement than a question (e.g., “Reflect on the state of the environment and your role in helping it”), it’s advisable to reinterpret it as a question.

It’s crucial to stay focused on the prompt, which might seem obvious but is often overlooked. Scholarship committees evaluate your capacity to tackle a particular topic with precision, so resist the temptation to stray from the prompt. Despite the allure of wandering thoughts, make sure to adhere closely to the given instructions.

Select A Subject That You Truly Find Pleasure In:

Follow the essay prompt closely, though there might be instances where you’re granted some flexibility in selecting the topic or the main theme. Opt for a subject, event, or value that holds personal significance for you. Your writing will be of higher quality and appear more genuine if you’re genuinely invested in the topic. This approach significantly enhances your scholarship essays without necessitating additional effort.

Consider this scenario: If prompted to recount a moment of pride, various experiences may spring to mind. Perhaps it was the first time you bravely leaped off the high diving board, or maybe it was the instance you returned a lost wallet containing $100. Instead of selecting the instance you believe scholarship essay reviewers expect, choose the one that resonates most deeply with you. While it may seem cliché, writing sincerely from the heart invariably strengthens your prose.

Conduct Some Investigation Into The Organization Offering The Scholarship:

Which entity administers the scholarship initiative? Explore their homepage to gain insight into their objectives and the reasons behind offering this scholarship. Understanding the scholarship committee enables you to customize your essay effectively.

Moreover, many scholarship providers showcase past recipients on their website along with their winning essays or excerpts. Analyzing what the scholarship provider emphasizes about these winners helps you identify which of your attributes to emphasize in your essay.

Understand The Specified Limit For Words Or Characters:

Most scholarship essays enforce a word or character limit, which may pose a challenge if you’re unfamiliar with these constraints. To visualize what “250 words” entails, consider that it generally fills a single typed page when double-spaced. For instance, 500 words would occupy two typed, double-spaced pages, and so forth.

To acquaint yourself with different lengths, try running a word/character count on one of your essays or any written piece. Tools like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or online letter counters can assist with this.

Once you ascertain the word or character limit, adhere to it diligently. Going even a single word over, such as writing 501 words for a 500-word essay, could result in disqualification. While it’s not mandatory to reach the limit, aiming to come close is generally advisable.

Generate Ideas And Strategize:

It cannot be emphasized enough how crucial it is to have a clear plan before diving into the essay writing process. Generating organic ideas is the initial step in selecting a focused essay topic that aligns with your goals. Below are effective brainstorming techniques to assist you in this process.

Once you have determined your essay’s focus, outlining becomes essential. While some students may overlook this step, an outline significantly expedites the drafting process. To aid you further, we’ve provided an essay outline later in this post!

Depending on the complexity and length of your essay, you can simply outline the key points for your introduction, body, and conclusion. Although it may seem straightforward, skipping the planning stage is not advisable.

How To Prepare For Essay Based Scholarship Exams

Utilization Of Credibility, Emotion, And Logic To Persuade Or Appeal:

“Um, what are ethos, pathos, and logos? If you’re not familiar with these concepts yet, let’s provide a brief introduction. Ethos, pathos, and logos are methods used to persuade your audience. Simply put, they are techniques aimed at enhancing the effectiveness and persuasiveness of your writing.

To elaborate further:

Ethos = the way you establish your credibility, reliability, or authority on the topic at hand (tip: when writing scholarship essays, you’ll often draw upon your own life experiences).”

For instance, you could explore how your part-time job experience has shaped your perspective on minimum wage regulations.

In terms of Pathos, consider how you employ emotional elements, such as creativity and imagination, to narrate your story or present your argument. For instance, you could vividly describe the devastation caused by extensive wildfires, highlighting the loss of wildlife.

Regarding Logos, focus on how you utilize logic and reasoning to support your viewpoint. For instance, you might utilize statistical data to illustrate the extent to which high school students depend on their cell phones.

Tell The Truth:

Your life and experiences hold significance and interest! There’s no need to exaggerate or fabricate details in order to appear more deserving of the scholarship. Your authenticity is incredibly powerful, and it’s much easier for readers to detect falsehoods in an essay than you might realize.

Consider this scenario: if you’re a tutor, you might be tempted to exaggerate, saying something like, “over the past 4 years, I’ve had the privilege of shaping thousands of lives.”

But let’s pause and think—have you really tutored thousands of students? Probably not, considering how busy you are. It’s understandable how easy it can be to embellish.

Instead, you could express something like: “Throughout 4 years of tutoring, I’ve worked with nearly 150 individuals in math and science, and I’ve noticed significant improvement in my own skills in these subjects.”

Limit Your Use Of Exclamation Points:

We’re all familiar with how exclamation marks express enthusiasm, aren’t we?

Indeed, we have an affinity for exclamation points! While attaining financial aid through scholarships is undeniably thrilling, it’s important to exercise restraint with exclamation marks.

As a general guideline, refrain from using more than a couple of exclamation marks in your scholarship essay and ensure they suit the context. Scholarship essay prompts can vary widely, from requesting a humorous anecdote to a joke, allowing for more liberal use of exclamation marks in such cases.

There’s a common misconception that adding an exclamation mark enhances the potency of a sentence. However, impactful statements can resonate without one.

For instance, “I aspire to become a lawyer to foster a more equitable and just society” carries considerable weight on its own, devoid of an exclamation mark.

Highlight Your Ability To Bounce Back And Persevere:

Scholarship prompts often inquire about challenges you’ve conquered. We find these questions valuable because they offer insight into a student’s resilience and problem-solving abilities, which are highly regarded in scholarship essays.

A common error students make in responding to such prompts is focusing solely on the hardships they’ve encountered without delving into how they managed to overcome them. It’s important for essay readers to see not only the difficulty faced but also the strategies employed to tackle it.

The winning narrative isn’t just about the severity of the struggle but also about the student’s journey in overcoming it.

Furthermore, it’s advisable to concentrate on a single significant event or experience. This approach tends to have more impact, especially within specified word or character limits. While you may have encountered multiple challenges, selecting one to discuss in depth allows for a more focused and compelling essay.


Up to now, we’ve provided numerous tips and tactics to assist you on how to prepare for essay based scholarships exams for an outstanding scholarship essay. There’s a plethora of scholarships available for application and potential victory. Therefore, don’t limit yourself to solely concentrating on the scholarship for which you’re presently composing an essay. Endeavor to apply for as many scholarships as feasible!

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