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# INSEAD: Word count and limit on Recommendation Letters

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1. Typically, it helps to have recommendations that are to the point.  But the level of detail depends on the question. (So when they want to know how the recommender knows you - get to the point quickly. If they ask for 3 strengths, just name 3 strengths.  On the other hand, if they want to know how you compare with other similar applicants - define the group the recommender is comparing you to, talk about where you excel compared to other members of the group, and give specific and clear examples that support this - keep such answers to about 400 - 600 words maximum.)

2. Simple questions - answer to the point. Questions that demand longer answers - about 400 - 600 words.

About 1200 - 1500 words total seems like a good target to have.

Best,
Karthik
LFP wrote:
Dear all,

First off, huge thanks to all the ones here that are constantly sharing knowledge towards a common goal!

Let's jump into INSEAD's application. In 2024, recommendation letters DO NOT have an specified word limit.
One recommender asked me how objective or broad should he be. He got me on that one.

1 - What are you thoughts on this?

2 - How many words should all the 6 questions have?

3 - is there any maximum limit per question NOT RECOMMENDED to exceed? (Aka 500 words)

In general, I have seen somewhere around 1500 words in total; around300-400 per big question and 100-200 to the small ones.

INSEAD is my only choice, so I am hugely grateful to anyone willing to help

All the best to all of you

­
Intern
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­That was a great explanation. My recommenders are indeed following that, with letters ranging somewhere from 1200-1500 words. Thank you a lot for your time
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LFP wrote:
Dear all,

First off, huge thanks to all the ones here that are constantly sharing knowledge towards a common goal!

Let's jump into INSEAD's application. In 2024, recommendation letters DO NOT have an specified word limit.
One recommender asked me how objective or broad should he be. He got me on that one.

1 - What are you thoughts on this?

2 - How many words should all the 6 questions have?

3 - is there any maximum limit per question NOT RECOMMENDED to exceed? (Aka 500 words)

In general, I have seen somewhere around 1500 words in total; around300-400 per big question and 100-200 to the small ones.

INSEAD is my only choice, so I am hugely grateful to anyone willing to help

All the best to all of you

LFP - some points, adding to the above:

1. INSEAD particularly values international experiences and leadership potential. A strong LoR provides concrete examples that illustrate these angles at the right places, giving depth and authenticity to the endorsement.

2. Make sure the anecdotes/ examples your recommenders provide e.g. strengths, weaknesses, character traits etc. are consistent with your application essays. For example, if you highlight in your Motivation Essays that analytical prowess is your key strength and your recommender flags it as an improvement area, that raises eyebrows.

3. Make sure to share your CV, career goals, and key pointers (e.g. highlight projects) with your recommenders, to make sure they're aligned. Think of the LoRs as a supplementary aspect of your application i.e. they don't have to say the same things as your essays (they shouldn't), they just have to rhyme. For example, if your recommenders provide different examples, from their vantage points, aligned to traits you've brought out in your essays, it makes the overall application stronger.

4. Regarding word counts, 250-500 words per question would be ideal. Remember, less is more.

Hope this helps a bit.

Regards,
Arvind
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