Applications open for 2022 entry Apply now

Frequently asked questions about the essay competition.

Registering for the essay competition

1. Who is the competition open to?

2. What if I enter but do not meet the entry requirements?

3. I have not received my registration confirmation

4. Can I submit an essay for more than one subject?

5. I am underage but I am very good at writing essays, can I still enter?

6. Will you check we are the correct age/in the right year?

Submitting your essay

7. Will you be checking essays for plagiarism?

8. How will I know you have you received my essay?

9. I have submitted my essay but noticed a mistake, what can I do?

10. I had internet connectivity issue and could not submit, what do I do?

11. I missed the deadline, can I have an extension?

12. When will I hear back about my essay?

13. What is the maximum word count?

14. Are footnotes necessary?

15. Do titles count towards the word count?

16. Can I email in my essay?

About the Essay Competition

17. Can I read previous essay competition submissions?

After the Competition

18. Can you give me feedback on my essay?

19. Where did I rank in the essay competition?

20. Will I receive a certificate?

21. Can you email me my certificate?

22. What is the difference between ‘finalist’ and ‘highly commended’

23. Can I get a copy of my essay that I submitted?

Information for Schools

24. I am a teacher interested in promoting the Essay Competition to my students. How can I get in touch?

25. A student missed the deadline and you want to get in touch with us

Information for Parents

26. My child missed the deadline, what can I do?

1. Who is this competition open to?

Please see our rules to find our entry requirements here:

This competition is open to students who are in year 12 or in their penultimate year of secondary education, this could also be the first year of college for some students in the UK. If you are an international student this will be the year before you take your final exams for university entry:

Scotland – S5
Germany – Grade 12
Spain – 1º Bachillerato
Portugal – 11º Ano
Netherlands – 5e Jaar
France – Première / 1re
Northern Ireland – Year 13

For any not listed, please find the equivalent in your country of study.

2. What if I enter but do not meet the entry requirements?

We will ring up the schools of all shortlisted candidates to ensure they meet our entry requirements. You will be disqualified if we discover you do not meet the entry requirements.

Join us for an introduction to our 2022 essay competition. Hear more about our essay competition, how to enter, essay requirements, eligibility, prizes and more!

 

3. I have not received my registration confirmation

Everyone who registers for the essay competition will receive a confirmation email with a link to submit your essay. Please check your junk email as a large number of students have found their email there. If you still have not received it, it may have been blocked by your domain, especially if you are using a school email address. We suggest registering again with a new email address.

If the problem still persists please contact us. It can take up to 5 days for us to respond to your query, so please ensure you email us in good time. We will be unable to respond to every request that comes in as the deadline grows closer.

4. Can I submit an essay for more than one subject?

No, we only have capacity to accept one entry per person. Each entrant may only submit one essay for one subject. 

5. I am underage but I am very good at writing essays, can I still enter?

No, this would be unfair to everyone who meets our age requirements. We run this competition every year. Please do apply when you are of the correct age.

7. Will you be checking essays for plagiarism?

Yes. To ensure our competition is fair for all our students, we run all submissions through our internal system to check for plagiarism. Your submission should be your own original work. Any plagiarised submissions will be disqualified.

8. How will I know you have you received my essay?

You will receive a confirmation email once you submit your essay. We also send out postcards via post to all entrants after the deadline letting you know we are in the process of marking it.

9. I have submitted my essay but noticed a mistake - what can I do?

All submissions are final. Once essays are in our system we cannot overwrite them.

We received a large number of emails last year with students wishing to upload new versions of previously submitted essays, however this is not possible.

10. I had internet connectivity issue and could not submit, what do I do?

No matter the circumstance, your essay will not be accepted beyond the submission deadline. Please submit your essay in good time to ensure it is accepted. Please do not ask a parent or teacher to email us on your behalf.

11. I missed the deadline, can I have an extension?

Our deadline is strict and we do not offer any extensions, no matter the circumstance. There is a 3 month submission window for our competition, allowing students more than enough time to submit their essays.

You will be disqualified if you contact other NCH faculty and staff to accept your essay after the submission deadline. Please do not ask a parent or teacher to email us on your behalf.

12. When will I hear back about my essay?

We receive thousands of essays every year and we like to take time to read every single one which is why it can take us a few months to mark them. Please do not email asking when you will hear back about your essay, as the more time we spend responding to emails, the less time we have to mark your essays. Everyone who submits an essay will be informed of its outcome. Those essays that are shortlisted will be invited to an awards ceremony which will be held at the College. This is a special event where the prize winners will be announced. We aim to announce all prize winners by July 2022.

Please ensure you remain subscribed to our emails after submitting your essay so we are able to inform you if you have been shortlisted. Our emails will not be delivered if you unsubscribe from our mailing list.

See our competition rules here

13.What is the maximum word count?

1,500.

We will allow +/- 10% range of 1,500. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions here

Join us for an introduction to our 2022 essay competition. Hear more about our essay competition, how to enter, essay requirements, eligibility, prizes and more!

14. Are footnotes necessary?

No they are not necessary to include, but referencing will help us understand where you got your points from and what materials helped you write your essay.

Join us for an introduction to our 2022 essay competition. Hear more about our essay competition, how to enter, essay requirements, eligibility, prizes and more!

15. Do titles count towards the word count?

No, titles are not included in the 1,500 word count.

Join us for an introduction to our 2022 essay competition. Hear more about our essay competition, how to enter, essay requirements, eligibility, prizes and more!

16. Can I email in my essay?

No. Please use the registration link provided to submit your essay

17. Can I read previous essay competition submissions?

Yes. You can read previous submissions here

18. Can you give me feedback on my essay?

No. As we receive thousands of entries each year, we do not have the capacity to provide feedback for each submission.

 

 

19. Where did I rank in the essay competition?

We do not ‘rank’ every essay we receive and we are unable to provide individual feedback.

20. Will I receive a certificate?

If you have been shortlisted you will receive a certificate in the post. Please refer to the email you received for further details.

21. Can you email me my certificate?

No, we do not email certificates under any circumstances, this is to avoid people replicating them. Please ensure you have provided us with the correct postal address.

22. What is the difference between 'finalist' and 'highly commended'?

Our shortlisted candidates are split into two groups, those who are ‘Finalists’ and those whose essays were ‘Highly Commended.’ All the essays we received this year were outstanding, but since everyone could not be winners, the students that just missed out are categorised as ‘Finalists’. Those who were awarded ‘Highly Commended’ wrote excellent pieces of work but unfortunately they did not make it to the final round.

23. Can I get a copy of my essay that I submitted?

Due to the sheer volume of requests we receive it is not possible for us to provide copies of the essay you submitted. We ask you to store this on your own personal device should you wish to reflect on it at a later date.

24. I am a teacher interested in promoting the essay competition to my students. How can I get in touch?

If you would like to join our teachers’ mailing list to receive a poster and promotional material, please sign up here

We will post any new posters to you in October 2021 when our competition reopens.

25. A student missed the deadline and you want to get in touch with us

Please do not contact us about any student who has missed a deadline. Every year we receive many emails from teachers trying to get extensions for their students. All deadlines are communicated well in advance and students have a 3 month window in which to submit their essay. We have also increased the number of reminders to students. We pride ourselves in keeping our competition as fair as possible for all students so we adhere to a strict deadline.

26. My child missed the deadline, what can I do?

Every year we receive many emails from parents. All deadlines are communicated well in advance, we have also increased the number of reminders to students. We pride ourselves in keeping our competition as fair as possible for all students so we adhere to a strict deadline.