It is currently 18 Nov 2017, 04:01

### GMAT Club Daily Prep

#### Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

# Events & Promotions

###### Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

# Tips on beating word limits?

Author Message
TAGS:

### Hide Tags

Manager
Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 81

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Tips on beating word limits? [#permalink]

### Show Tags

14 Aug 2011, 01:15
I just got down to writing down a part of my essays, and I realized how stingy one has to be with words! It is so easy to go over the word limit.
Any tips/best practices from the veterans/current applicants are highly appreciated.

Thanks!
golantrev

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Current Student
Status: Three Down.
Joined: 09 Jun 2010
Posts: 1914

Kudos [?]: 2225 [1], given: 210

Concentration: General Management, Nonprofit
Re: Tips on beating word limits? [#permalink]

### Show Tags

14 Aug 2011, 03:02
1
KUDOS
The first draft I wrote was nowhere close to the word limit. What I did was identify the key points, elaborate on it and then I started paraphrasing and combining sentences. I read the entire essay and every sentence, I asked: What is this sentence adding?

I also read somewhere that reading the essay backwards helps. Like last sentence to first sentence. This helped me cut down a lot of unnecessary fluff. Other than that, have someone else read your drafts. If you can have one person read each of your drafts that'll be really great. I had a friend of mine literally tear apart my essays, and I did quite a few drafts

Kudos [?]: 2225 [1], given: 210

Senior Manager
Affiliations: CBS Class of 2014
Joined: 07 May 2011
Posts: 390

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 8

Concentration: Finance
Schools: CBS '14 (M)
Re: Tips on beating word limits? [#permalink]

### Show Tags

14 Aug 2011, 06:08
Get ready to write the same essay 3 or 4 times is all I can say. I did the same approach as above. I would write my first draft being somewhat aware of the word count, ie. if it was 500 words I would aim for about a page. When I finished the first draft I would reread it and cut stuff out that wasn't really adding value. After the first pass I popped word count to see where I was at. Then it's reread #2 time to see if there were thoughts that could be tightened up or supporting sentences that could be blended. Overall, I think best approach is to get all your ideas on paper within a general "range", then begin cutting down the words to tailor the limit. I've only written my essays for Columbia, Tuck, and 2 for Cornell at this point, but I've gotten all my essays at or slightly under (2-5 words) the limits. It's time-consuming, but your mileage may vary.
_________________

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 8

Manager
Status: Taking heavily leveraged but calculated risks at all times
Joined: 04 Apr 2010
Posts: 180

Kudos [?]: 76 [0], given: 12

Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Finance
Schools: HBS '15, Stanford '15
GMAT Date: 01-31-2012
Re: Tips on beating word limits? [#permalink]

### Show Tags

14 Aug 2011, 07:41
I wouldnt mind the word limit of the first draft too much. My wharton essays were well over the word limit initially but I gradually reduced them to +5- 10% in the third iteration. I think that should do good for most schools.

Kudos [?]: 76 [0], given: 12

Manager
Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 81

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Re: Tips on beating word limits? [#permalink]

### Show Tags

14 Aug 2011, 21:58
Thanks everyone !

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Intern
Joined: 15 Jun 2011
Posts: 40

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0

Schools: HBS, Columbia
Re: Tips on beating word limits? [#permalink]

### Show Tags

14 Aug 2011, 22:26
hmm, am i the only one out there who is finding it actually hard to fill word count? for "why do you want an MBA?" i am going over, but for the other short answer questions (600 words/question for wharton, for example) i am coming in under and in some cases forcing content...

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0

Manager
Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 81

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Re: Tips on beating word limits? [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Aug 2011, 00:18
ukulelegal85 wrote:
hmm, am i the only one out there who is finding it actually hard to fill word count? for "why do you want an MBA?" i am going over, but for the other short answer questions (600 words/question for wharton, for example) i am coming in under and in some cases forcing content...

I just started with the 1 of the 3 accomplishments for the HBS essay, and it went over 200 words. I haven't started with any 600 word question yet.

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

Senior Manager
Affiliations: CBS Class of 2014
Joined: 07 May 2011
Posts: 390

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 8

Concentration: Finance
Schools: CBS '14 (M)
Re: Tips on beating word limits? [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Aug 2011, 06:37
Anything under 600 words shouldn't be too challenging to fill-in the word count. I had one essay (for Kellogg but I won't be applying until RD2 depending admissions in RD1) that I was shy about 100 words on. I scrapped that essay and picked a different experience to write about. The way I see it (again everyone is different), is if I can't think of enough exciting or interesting facts to support my essay... then clearly it's not as significant as it should be. Your essays are prime real estate, limited word counts to maximize your value, don't sell yourself short.
_________________

Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 8

VP
Status: Current Student
Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 1345

Kudos [?]: 423 [0], given: 73

Location: United States
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
WE: Sales (Consumer Products)
Re: Tips on beating word limits? [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Aug 2011, 07:59
ukulelegal85 wrote:
hmm, am i the only one out there who is finding it actually hard to fill word count? for "why do you want an MBA?" i am going over, but for the other short answer questions (600 words/question for wharton, for example) i am coming in under and in some cases forcing content...

When writing essays be sure to focus on not just the what, but the how. Take the adcom through the steps you took and your thought process. Also, be sure to discuss what you learned from the experience. If you can tie it into your need for an MBA, potential endeavors at the school, and/or career goals even better. 600 words really isn't a lot so if you've done all of that and are still short then you need to choose different experiences about which to write.
_________________

The Brain Dump - From Low GPA to Top MBA (Updated September 1, 2013) - A Few of My Favorite Things--> http://cheetarah1980.blogspot.com

Kudos [?]: 423 [0], given: 73

GMAT Club Legend
Affiliations: HHonors Diamond, BGS Honor Society
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 5926

Kudos [?]: 2208 [0], given: 7

Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2009
GMAT 1: 730 Q45 V45
Re: Tips on beating word limits? [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Aug 2011, 09:18
tip: write less

Jokes aside, the biggest mistake I see people make is they spend 80% of their time (or space so to speak) 'setting up' the story.

For instance, you might write:

You write that, I read it and I spend another thousand hours trying to invent a way to stab people through the internet.

"In 2002, while consulting to a Fortune 500 Widget Manufacturer I approached my manager about ..... "

My point is that, usually, the background to a story is really one four of five sentences, not three paragraphs. I generally find that you can cut 50% of whatever people said as "background info" and still retain the gist of the story.

Kudos [?]: 2208 [0], given: 7

Joined: 19 Feb 2010
Posts: 390

Kudos [?]: 201 [0], given: 76

Re: Tips on beating word limits? [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Aug 2011, 09:23
ukulelegal85 wrote:
hmm, am i the only one out there who is finding it actually hard to fill word count? for "why do you want an MBA?" i am going over, but for the other short answer questions (600 words/question for wharton, for example) i am coming in under and in some cases forcing content...

This thread may be just for you.
breaking-down-the-2012-wharton-essays-117238.html

Kudos [?]: 201 [0], given: 76

Manager
Joined: 30 Jun 2011
Posts: 50

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

Location: NY
WE 1: Operations, Marketing
WE 2: Finance, Consulting
Re: Tips on beating word limits? [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Aug 2011, 19:59
golantrevize wrote:
I just started with the 1 of the 3 accomplishments for the HBS essay, and it went over 200 words. I haven't started with any 600 word question yet.

Parts of the accomplishments essay should read like a resume: bullets highlighting what you did and the quantifiable outcome. For instance, "I led 3 junior engineers in designing our new XYZ product which was forecasted to generate \$XXX million in revenue next year. We delivered the project 1 month early, allowing us to beat forecasts by X%, and I was promoted to XYZ after..."

With that as the end goal, only tell as much as you need to tell to get to that critical point. Of course, not all stories will read like that (for instance, if the Accomplishment were about personal growth) but the stories about work usually do. So aim for that.

hbs.consultant@gmail.com

Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 0

Re: Tips on beating word limits?   [#permalink] 15 Aug 2011, 19:59
Display posts from previous: Sort by