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# Stanford Essays A & B

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Stanford Essays A & B [#permalink]

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18 Oct 2006, 15:56
Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?
Recommended length is 3-4 pages, double-spaced

Recommended length is 2-3 pages, double-spaced

If anyone here remembers, the past application for Stanford had a page limit of 10 per essay. Recently, they changed it as above.

Well, I had already written 10 pages of each essay even before they released the application in August.

So I have trimmed the essays down, gone down to font size 10 and and adjusted margins on microsoft word document. (by the way font size 10 is acceptable as per their instructions)

Now both of my essays are about 5.25 pages. (5 and a quarter).

Is that reflected badly? Is 5.25 pages too much for each, Essay A and Essay B? They want 3-4 for Essay A and 2-3 for Essay B.

Any opinions? Any past experiences of yours?
Thanks!
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20 Oct 2006, 05:59
I would say this -- for someone else reading your essay, does the extra word count justify itself? In other words, are you really providing some information in those extra words that makes a vast difference in the effect of the essay?
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teh calvin

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20 Oct 2006, 06:07
I can't speak to Stanford specifically... but..

The Chicago GSB sample applicants people at Fall Preview went through had one with a 2,000+ word essay - for a question with a 500 word limit. The adcoms mentioned it, but made it in passing, it didn't seem to be a huge deal. That being said, the girl in question was 34 - had owned several (something like 4 or 5) different businesses in her life, and clearly had a tremendous amount of life experiences that, one might argue, validated the length.

Another point - 2,000 words is a fair amount of space, and she conveyed a LOT of information in those words.

I'd be weary of blowing their recommended limits by so much because they are already quite generous.

The rule of thumb I've been using is up to 10% more.
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20 Oct 2006, 10:10
This is what Stanford officially says about their essays: "Please answer essay questions A, B, and C. We provide recommended lengths for each essay, but these are only guidelines. Most applicants will find 7-11 pages (in total) sufficient. If your responses total more than 11 pages, you need to upload the remaining pages in the Additional Information section."

Those are just recommended lengths. Of course, if you go substantially over then you'll need to be impressive with every word, to show why you need so much more space than most applicants.
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20 Oct 2006, 11:39
I personally think it is outrageous that top schools allow applicants to completely disregard word/page limits. Why give a word/page limit if you aren't going to hold people to those limits? Is it fair to view an essay from someone who exceeded the Chicago GSB limit by over 300% the same way you would view an essay from someone who stayed within 10% of the word limit?
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21 Oct 2006, 01:17
Thanks pelihu, rhyme and tehcalvin.

Probably the 10 pg per essay as it was last yr got to them...and so have toned it down to 3-4 and 2-3 respectively.

Any of you applying to Stanford? Early decision?

Last edited by Hindustan on 21 Oct 2006, 01:19, edited 1 time in total.
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21 Oct 2006, 01:18
I read one of my friends essay, very poetic and rhyming it was.

Does anyone like to take such risks? Man he is one risky fella....very unorthodox...

He plans to write another in limericks....
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Re: Stanford Essays A & B [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2006, 20:01
Hindustan wrote:
Essay A: What matters most to you, and why?
Recommended length is 3-4 pages, double-spaced

Recommended length is 2-3 pages, double-spaced

If anyone here remembers, the past application for Stanford had a page limit of 10 per essay. Recently, they changed it as above.

Well, I had already written 10 pages of each essay even before they released the application in August.

So I have trimmed the essays down, gone down to font size 10 and and adjusted margins on microsoft word document. (by the way font size 10 is acceptable as per their instructions)

Now both of my essays are about 5.25 pages. (5 and a quarter).

Is that reflected badly? Is 5.25 pages too much for each, Essay A and Essay B? They want 3-4 for Essay A and 2-3 for Essay B.

Any opinions? Any past experiences of yours?
Thanks!

Hindustan,

Since you've already worked on the app, I was wondering if you can give me some pointers to the first question. It is such a general/broad/vague question. Can you cite some examples or things that may clarify what the school is looking for? I don't mean in terms of the "right answer" as I don't think there is one but what kind of things are they trying to get from this?

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27 Dec 2006, 18:33
I am working on Stanford now and am wondering how to interpret something:

Do you all think this means, "don't talk about work," or do you think it means, "don't give us a laundry list of your accomplishments; let us into your brain and heart"?

I would be fine not talking about work, but it's a little tricky because they also want you to talk about experiences that took place in the last three years, which certainly limits things.
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28 Dec 2006, 01:26
aaudetat wrote:
I am working on Stanford now and am wondering how to interpret something:

Do you all think this means, "don't talk about work," or do you think it means, "don't give us a laundry list of your accomplishments; let us into your brain and heart"?

I would be fine not talking about work, but it's a little tricky because they also want you to talk about experiences that took place in the last three years, which certainly limits things.

Hi aaudetat, I am also in the Stanford boat...
My understanding is that the first two questions could include experiences from your past > 3 yrs old. The time limit is only for the short answer questions.

It would be hard for them to justify time limit on experiences which have shaped us as we are today. None of us were born 3 yrs back...

-roli
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28 Dec 2006, 07:21
actually, i am only 3 years old. a 3-foot prodigy, yes, that's me.
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28 Dec 2006, 09:35
See... this is why I didn't even try for Stanford. How can I compete with 3 year olds?
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28 Dec 2006, 10:10
you can't, really.

Wait till the interview. My round little belly sticks out of my t-shirt and sometimes I still fall down when I try to walk. And my lisp will just bowl 'em ober. There's no way I'm not getting in. Kill 'em with cuteness. It works every time. That is, when you're a 3-year-old 3-foot prodigy.
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28 Dec 2006, 12:27
aaudetat wrote:
you can't, really.

Wait till the interview. My round little belly sticks out of my t-shirt and sometimes I still fall down when I try to walk. And my lisp will just bowl 'em ober. There's no way I'm not getting in. Kill 'em with cuteness. It works every time. That is, when you're a 3-year-old 3-foot prodigy.

damn...this one essay has given me sleepless nights. i wish i knew the key was cuteness....i start working on it right away.
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29 Dec 2006, 17:55
Many other schools ask about your short term and long term goals and how a n MBA helps. Does Stanford try to imply a slightly different meaning by using the word "aspiration" instead of goal? Does it have to be some grand vision or hope or should it still be a grounded realistic goal?
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29 Dec 2006, 19:53
oh, stanford has their bases covered all around.

They've got the usual career plans/why mba/why us question (2-3 pgs). They've got "What matters most and why?" just to be original (3-4 pgs).

And then you describe two of the following four situations in your life: did something unexpected/unpopular, felt successful/effective, had a significant impact on individual/group, or reached a difficult goal. (Each of these last ones are 1-2 pgs.)

It's these short answer essays where they're asking to hear about experiences that have happened in the last three years. And throughout, they seem quite intent on learning more about who you are - not just what you've done, but what makes you tick, how you think, and what your values are. I would guess that most schools are looking for the person behind the achievement when they read the essays, but Stanford strikes me as particularly touchy-feely at all points in the process.

There's more here: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/mba/admissi ... ssays.html.
29 Dec 2006, 19:53
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