I need to write an application essay of max 600 words. After writing it, several persons told me to remove a passage that was playing against my best interests. Now, the essay is about 450 words long. I am wondering how the adcom will interpret the fact that I submit an essay with 25% less words than the maximum limit.
I am happy with the current form of the essay and have no problem with submitting it with 450 words but I don't want the adcom to feel like I am not interested by the school (it's actually my top choice and the only school to which I apply) and do not use all the means available to defend my case.
Can I leave it with 450 words or do I have to add something to get closer to 600 words ?
It's hard to say without reading the essay. One thing that I can say is that the school will definitely notice. Visually, they know that 600 words is about a page to a page and a half.
If your essay in its current form is visual, impactful and drives its point home, then you'll probably be rewarded for getting to the point. Adcom committee members read 1000s of essays each year. But if you could add more details (and not empty statements) that make the reader feel like he/she is there with you in your story, then I would go for it. 150 words is a fair amount--about 2 paragraphs.