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Word Count

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Word Count [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2008, 10:57
Does anyone know if the word counts are hard and fast or is +/- 10%?

Thanks!
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Re: Word Count [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2008, 11:23
Yes, a 10% variance is considered ok. One is not recommended to go past 10% of word limits.
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Re: Word Count [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2008, 11:33
I would check with the school. Some are more ok with going over by 10% than others. At HBS, I was told by an adcom that after 20 words past the limit, the reader would just cut you off and stop reading. But some other schools seem to be fine with the 10% rule.
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Re: Word Count [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2008, 11:49
Thanks for info. HBS seems to be pretty strict... Great to know, many of my HBS essays are around +10%... Some more work to do!
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Re: Word Count [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2008, 12:33
I'm personally sticking within all the word limits. Why take a chance?
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Re: Word Count [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2008, 12:49
msday86 wrote:
I'm personally sticking within all the word limits. Why take a chance?


Agreed. All my essays were/will be exactly at the word limit or a few under.
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Re: Word Count [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2008, 13:04
I am going to assume a "recommended" limit allows a little more flexibility with the number of words you may use. Columbia prescribes a 750 word limit for their goals essay, for instance. I'm going to be around 780 words - so I think any reasonable admissions committee should be alright with that.
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Re: Word Count [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2008, 13:36
I think that I will play it safe and stick to the limit. Thanks for the advice guys!
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Re: Word Count [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2008, 06:13
Yeah even if the schools allow for a +/-10%, when you're trying to make your essays as perfect as possible why do it?To keep within the limits I always say (to myself) why would the adcom take me when I cannot even squeeze my essays into their requirements.
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Re: Word Count [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2008, 06:17
Agreed, but don't spend an inordinate amount of time on the small stuff. If it is 503 words for a 500 word limit, that's really alright. There is no need to spend another 2 hours trying to bring it down to 500 words.
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Re: Word Count [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2008, 08:38
hsampath wrote:
Agreed, but don't spend an inordinate amount of time on the small stuff. If it is 503 words for a 500 word limit, that's really alright. There is no need to spend another 2 hours trying to bring it down to 500 words.


Agreed. They are not going to count your words anyway, but they do have a good idea of what a 500 word essay looks like on paper. If you are close to their visual expectations, the exact number of words is not relevant. I personally try to hem myself into the limit, but only because I think it provides discipline and helps me produce better essays.
Re: Word Count   [#permalink] 04 Aug 2008, 08:38
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