Essay Word Count Rules

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Admissions officers will still read your essay even if it’s long, but know that they may already start to form an opinion about you before they’ve read the first sentence!

If you’re ready to start building your own application for Ross or other top MBA programs, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today.

You may be told the word count at the UCL Institute of Education in one of the following ways:2000 words: this means you need to write 2000 words, plus or minus 10% leeway.

This means you need to write a minimum of 1800 words and a maximum of 2200 words.

One of the most common questions we get from applicants is, “How strict are schools about word limits in their admissions essays and personal statements? One rule of thumb that is frequently tossed around is 10%, although it’s worth noting that admissions consultants tend to promote this rule more than any admissions officer does.

” While the answer itself is rather straightforward, we often encourage applicants to stop focusing on the number, take a step back, and consider what admissions officers are really communicating when they put forward a word limit. However, if you can stay within 10% of the word limit for an essay, you probably are okay.You need to be able to work within those limitations.Precision and conciseness are valuable skills exemplified by sticking to word counts.Essay word counts and page limits matter a lot in the collegiate world.Almost every written assignment—whether it’s for a class, scholarship, or college admissions essay—will have some limitation.Everything within the main body of an assignment is included in the word count.Abstract, footnotes, bibliography/references list, appendices, tables, figures will not be included in the word count.First, we’ll answer the question directly: Schools are not out to reject you for going over a word limit by a small amount. Having said that, we rarely encounter an essay that we don’t think can get down to the word limit.This is where an extra pair of eyes can be extremely helpful; someone else can look at your essay and give you an objective point of view about which details are truly necessary and which ones can be left on the cutting room floor.You don’t have carte blanche — the word limit that admissions officers provide isn’t an arbitrary one — but the quality of your essay is more important than the actual length.If it does its job well (by answering the question and helping admissions officers) then admissions officers won’t think about the word limit nearly as much as the content.


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