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# Essay too long?

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26 Feb 2012, 20:41
the length of my essays are 800/750, 539/500, 251/250...

Do I have to absolutely go under the maximums ?Thanks
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26 Feb 2012, 20:51
xlneo0806 wrote:
the length of my essays are 800/750, 539/500, 251/250...

Do I have to absolutely go under the maximums ?Thanks

I didn't. My essays wound up being all over the place. Some were below the word count others were at or a little bit over, but no more than 10%. All of your essays are within 10% limit so they aren't belligerently long. For the 800 word and 539 word essays try to see if you can get them down a bit more. Maybe 775 words and 525.
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26 Feb 2012, 21:00
Those word limits are identical to Columbia's. If that's the case, I'll share that got in even though mine were all above: 767/750, 503/500, and 265/250. In all cases, I used "within 5%" as my guideline, and "within 10% or 50 words, whichever comes first" as my drop-dead must have. Your 800 could probably afford to be cut a little bit.
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26 Feb 2012, 22:58
They aren't grossly above the word limits, but the word limits are word limits for a reason.

for the essay that's 251/250 words, I'm sure you can knock it under 250 words somehow.

For the 800/750 and 539/500 word essays, I'm also pretty sure that you can cut the words some to get them very close to the limit, if not going under those limits. In all likelihood, you can remove these words and not remove anything that is critical to getting your essay's point across.
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27 Feb 2012, 08:22
I was more sensitive to the "no more than x00 words". I think if it explicitly states that, you should keep it under. Otherwise, I think that the 10% rule is okay, but chances are, further revision and editing will allow you to cut out some fat anyway. I made so many passes through my essays that I was pretty surprised at how much I was able to cut by thinking and writing more efficiently.

Good luck!
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27 Feb 2012, 08:30
krzt wrote:
...but chances are, further revision and editing will allow you to cut out some fat anyway. I made so many passes through my essays that I was pretty surprised at how much I was able to cut by thinking and writing more efficiently.

Agree with this 100%.

Do a word check up and find these words:

Also
And
Because

Chances are that you can remove these words in the vast majority of circumstances if you have many of these in your essays. I had about 15 of these words after a couple initial edits, and was able to remove these words without taking away the critical points and flow of the essays.

***

Wow, I could remove two of the "and"'s in my post and still get my point across (that last and was pretty close to necessary there). Sentences will sound simpler for sure. But your point still comes across. You get to your point more directly. That is what these guys want to read. Your point. Nothing more.
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27 Feb 2012, 08:45
If I were an admissions person I'd be annoyed that it went over the limit. What's the point of putting a maximum if people don't follow the rules? It also shows a lack of respect for the person's time. It also puts people who followed the rules at a disadvantage.
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27 Feb 2012, 09:16
Here's the thing, adcoms aren't going through the document counting every word. They can eye an essay and see if it sticks to the word limits. A typical double spaced 500 word essay is 2 pages. If your essay goes to 3 pages that's when it becomes an issue. But if you're at 2 pages and 515 words, it's really not a big deal. They aren't noticing.
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27 Feb 2012, 11:49
Word count hardly matters unless you are just way off base. Most of my essays were over 10% over limit, and often much higher (e.g. 197 for 150 words). Didn't stop me from getting interviews. Getting in? Will find out soon enough.
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27 Feb 2012, 22:55
like others have mentioned, 10% over is a safe rule of thumb
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27 Feb 2012, 23:01
I would say that you should stay within 5%, and stay under if possible. If the adcom notices that you went over, they will definitely look negatively on it. Think about it... what better way is there to show that you can't follow directions? That you think you are better than the rules? And that you can't write concisely.

Going over 5%, you run the risk of the Adcom noticing. They read 100s if not 1000s of essays, and can EASILY tell if the essay is over. They have seen every usage of margins, font size, etc.... and probably could guess an essay within 5% of length just by looking at it.

Why risk it? More is not always better. Some of the best writing is concise and to the point. They know that it is hard to stay within the word limits, but they expect it b/c it's part of the rules. If you can't follow directions or rules, why would you be a good business student?

If you go 5-10% over it probably won't be bad... but anything over 10% over could really be looked upon negatively, b/c it will be a blatent disregard of rules.
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28 Feb 2012, 10:09
Agree with the posters above who recommend sticking to the limit. Although officers are indeed looking at page length more so than word count, my essays became more concise after revising them to meet the limit. It's not something that going to get you dinged by any means, but it could help you write better essays!
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28 Feb 2012, 20:03
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But when you put it in a different light: if an applicant is paying $200 for someone to read their application than the adcom sure as hell can spend the extra 20 seconds of their life reading the extra 40 words. The level of irrelevant minutia that some people worry about amazes me and I really, honestly, worry about the kinds of people that work in the business environment. Does this begin the process of training for a sycophant? I do believe it does. And I 'm not referring to any one specific individual on this board, just a general observation. Current Student Joined: 08 May 2011 Posts: 217 Location: United States Concentration: International Business, General Management Schools: Wharton '16 (M) WE: Analyst (Venture Capital) Followers: 6 Kudos [?]: 92 [0], given: 3 Re: Essay too long? [#permalink] ### Show Tags 28 Feb 2012, 20:05 pacostacos wrote: But when you put it in a different light: if an applicant is paying$200 for someone to read their application than the adcom sure as hell can spend the extra 20 seconds of their life reading the extra 40 words. The level of irrelevant minutia that some people worry about amazes me and I really, honestly, worry about the kinds of people that work in the business environment. Does this begin the process of training for a sycophant? I do believe it does. And I 'm not referring to any one specific individual on this board, just a general observation.

I agree with you Mr. Derp
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28 Feb 2012, 20:09
pacostacos wrote:
But when you put it in a different light: if an applicant is paying \$200 for someone to read their application than the adcom sure as hell can spend the extra 20 seconds of their life reading the extra 40 words. The level of irrelevant minutia that some people worry about amazes me and I really, honestly, worry about the kinds of people that work in the business environment. Does this begin the process of training for a sycophant? I do believe it does. And I 'm not referring to any one specific individual on this board, just a general observation.

I get that we can only suck up so much and yes, those application fees are no joke, where some schools don't give any fee waivers under any circumstances. However, the admissions process is ultimately in the hands of the adcom and the guys and gals in it are the ones who call the shots.

I personally wish the adcoms would not have these limits as well, but I at least will play it safe.
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29 Feb 2012, 12:22
Expert's post
'Within 5%-10% excess words should be the thumb rule', this is what I always advise the applicants I work with.There is a reason why Schools have imposed word -limits. They not only want to see your ability to convey your ideas precisely, they also want to evaluate you on your ability to follow directions. Editing is fun. Have fun with your essays by revising/ editing them 3-4 times , and you will be amazed to see how you are able to cut all the excess fat without compromising on your ideas.
If you have any more questions on pruning your essays, email me at poonam@myessayreview.com.
Good luck,
Poonam
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24 May 2012, 02:56
I think you’re focusing on the wrong issue. If you’re 800/700, but the content is excellent, that is more important. I was worried about my length too. But I’m not an academic so I got a professional service to edit my work. The shorter world length just means that how articulate you need to be when telling your story. I used these guys UniEdit and 2 rounds of editing. They took what I said in 3 sentences and showed me I can do it in 1. http://www.uni-edit.net/content/view/3/ ... nglish_us/
Re: Essay too long?   [#permalink] 24 May 2012, 02:56
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