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I'm currently writing my essay for HBS (2+2), and I've reached 900 words.
Most of what I've seen on the internet says it shouldn't be more than 700 words. However, I feel like I've only adressed important stuff, that really gives HBS a glimpse of who I am and what my passions/motivations are..
Certainly not provided it's all good content. My advice would be to read through the essay and with each paragraph/sentence ask yourself 'what does this say about me?'. If it's an important part of your application or strength of yours, it needs to be there. If it doesn't, cut it. Keep it condensed to what you want to say.
I wrote around 1500 words for the same essay (full time application) and just had my interview this week, so they don't mind longer answers in the right circumstances. _________________
I agree with Timbob. I applied R1 and my essay was just shy of 900 words; I got an interview. At the info sessions HBS adcom members repeatedly said there is no word limit; they've gotten essays as long as 7 pages and people who chose not to write one and everything in between. Just be clear and concise, and tell the committee what the rest of your application can't. Good luck!
Well, mine was around 1,200 words (I had a rather complex background), and I got invited to interview, so they really do not have a word limit in mind. That being said, I'll second what everyone has said. Be concise. My first draft was over 1,400 words and I ended up cutting out a lot and redrafting a lot to make every word count.
If it reads well, and is sharp, concise, and makes a strong statement then it works, and there is no word requirement. What you don't want to do is have a meandering essay that's loose and all over the place. I've seen short essays that are horrible, and longer essays that are fantastic..and, vice-versa. Just make sure that whatever you write, it's tight in form, structure, and well-written!