Before moving further to the procedure on how to score the scholarship, one needs to know 2 main things about this award; it’s a 1 year program and it’s a taught masters program. For further details about the award itself, please visit http://cscuk.dfid.gov.uk/apply/scholarships-developing-cw/.
Let’s move on to the procedure:
Step 1 – Nomination by the Government Agency
CSCUK requires that a candidate needs to be nominated first from their Government Agency before further screening. The first step to pre-qualify for the award is to clear the local test given by the Government Agency. In case of Pakistan, one is required to take the GAT test conducted by National Testing Service – NTS and the nominating government agency is Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC). This test is generally taken in the month of September/October of each year.
The GAT general test usually comprises of three sections; English, Analytical and Mathematics. Since the competition is intense, one is suggested to score at least and 88 out of 100. Basically this is an assumed score as the nominations are done on quota bases from each province. Benchmark scores vary from province to province but my advice is to target the above mentioned score. To register for the test, click here.
Once the test has been passed and one qualifies, a letter from the Ministry of IPC is sent to the person stating that they have been nominated for the Commonwealth Scholarship and further instructions are provided accordingly. These instructions comprise of appearing for IELTS which should not be taken before October of the same year (the fee of the test is exempted as it is paid by the government), attested education documents and most importantly Study Plan. Also an online portal is provided which is https://csc.do-it-online.org.uk/csc/ElectronicApplicationSystem.htm
Step 2 - Completing the Online Application for CSCUK
The nominated applicant will then fill in the online application in the online portal which is mentioned in the above stated link. In the link, standard details are required; name, education, address, references, work experiences, merits etc. Other than the standard details, now come the important areas of the application. One is required to have properly researched their future Masters prospects. The person has to fill out 1) Preferred Institutions (3 max), 2) Detailed Plan of Study, 3) Benefit to Your Home Country (from the prospected Masters) and 4) Future Career Plans. Be careful to note here that everything that you mention is weighted for your candidacy. Your detailed plan of study should align with the degree that you currently hold (having researched in, or completed a Final Year project in the chosen field is a big plus.) Work on the part where you need to chart out all the benefits that your home country will gain by your chosen field of study. Please note here that the CSCUK is an established institution, and they will weed you out if you put in far-fetched or superficial reasons to participate.
The deadline to submit the application is by end November/early December of the same year. One should understand that the screening process done by CSCUK on the basis of this online application is tough so one should properly research when writing the details.
The results of the award are given out in April.