Oh No! A Typo!!

By - Nov 19, 06:30 AM Comments [0]

Oh no, a typo!

Will that lonely typo doom your otherwise perfect application to the great round file in cyberspace, putting the kibosh on years of effort and nixing your attempt to walk through the hallowed halls of your favored institution?


A single, minor typo will do nothing. So don’t sweat one minor spelling mistake, a missed comma, or a couple of transposed letters.

When should you worry?

You do have cause for worry if you find any of the following after you have hit SUBMIT:

  1. You find several typos or mistakes. Now you have a problem. If the readers see a lot of mistakes, they will assume you are careless and sloppy. Not exactly the impression you are aiming for, and one that will definitely hurt you.

  2. Your typo changes the meaning. For example, a client years ago submitted a draft to me in which he wrote, “Through research I exorcised my mind… ” I have never forgotten this one because I almost fell off my chair laughing. He meant “exercised.” If this only happens once, I don’t think it would necessarily be fatal, but you don’t want to be remembered for rib-splitting typos either. In his case, I just had a good laugh, and it was never submitted. Needless to say, the money he invested in Accepted’s review paid off with that one correction.

  3. You forget to change the school’s name somewhere in the essay. Ouch. Adcoms universally hate that. It isn’t really a typo either, and it usually results in rejection. If you are adapting an essay from one school’s application to another school’s application, do a “Find and Replace” for any form of the first school’s name before you even begin any other revising. For example, if you are applying to Harvard Business School, search for Harvard, Harvard Business School, and HBS and replace them with the name of the new school. Then adapt and revise the essay for School #2.

What should you do?

What should you do if you find any of 1-3 in your application after submitting? It’s a tough spot. If you find the error(s) – especially if you find 1 or 3 – soon after hitting SUBMIT, you can contact the school and say that you accidentally submitted the wrong draft of your essay(s). Maybe, just maybe, someone will have mercy on you and let you submit the corrected draft.

What happens, though, if the school won’t let you resubmit? What if it really is too late? Talk to us. Reach out to Accepted and we can help you figure out your next steps. If you haven’t submitted, lucky you – you can still use the Final Review service to make sure you don’t end up in this sticky predicament!


For 25 years, Accepted has helped applicants gain acceptance to top undergraduate and graduate programs. Our expert team of admissions consultants features former admissions directors, PhDs, and professional writers who have advised clients to acceptance at top programs worldwide including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Columbia, Oxford, Cambridge, INSEAD, MIT, Caltech, UC Berkeley, and Northwestern. Want an admissions expert to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

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