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Tuck essays "no word limit"

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Director
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Tuck essays "no word limit" [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2008, 17:12
If anybody can point me to a past discussion on this, please do.

I have finished two drafts for two of the Tuck essays. They are both already over 500 words (Tuck states that their essays generally average 500 words) and I have not even added my personal Tuck experiences (campus visit, convos with students). With that, they will definitely be about 600 words.

Is 600 OK? I heard that the "500 word average" factoid is actually an unofficial word limit. Thoughts?
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Re: Tuck essays "no word limit" [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2008, 17:34
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raabenb wrote:
If anybody can point me to a past discussion on this, please do.

I have finished two drafts for two of the Tuck essays. They are both already over 500 words (Tuck states that their essays generally average 500 words) and I have not even added my personal Tuck experiences (campus visit, convos with students). With that, they will definitely be about 600 words.

Is 600 OK? I heard that the "500 word average" factoid is actually an unofficial word limit. Thoughts?


I talked about this with a couple adcoms last year at an event...They said essays range typically from like 400 to 1,000. The vast majority are in the 500 word range because they give that number so people view it as a limit. I guess its seens as self policing. If you have 10 years of work experience you probably do need more room than someone with 2, to be able to cover everything that is valuable. I guess they occasionally get someone who abuses the no word limit and those usually dont go over too well.

I would say 600 would be acceptable if you have more than the average work experience or something very unique about your candidacy. However, if you have 5 years of work experience and dont have any crazy life stories I would stick with the +10% rule and go to around 550 max or so.

Honestly, what you think you have now for an essay is most likely going to look very different from what you actually submit. Especially once other people start to get a look at it. I wouldnt worry too much about the length until you have your sales pitch down solidly. Then it will be red pen and cutting time.
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Re: Tuck essays "no word limit" [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2008, 17:45
Thanks RR! I have already sent them off to be reviewed. My reviewer didnt attend/apply to Tuck so I dont know how much insight she could give me about the limit.
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Re: Tuck essays "no word limit" [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2008, 04:22
I specifically asked adcom this question last year. They said they do not penalize the essays with well above 500 words ( my essays were 700-800 words and I was waitlisted and later dinged). During the feedback also I asked whether the length of the essays had any negative impact. they said -no.

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Re: Tuck essays "no word limit" [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2008, 05:48
This from someone who got in and will attend:

I didnt stick to the 500 word limit, but what I did do is take the hint and consider the 500 word AVERAGE. Thus, across all essays my mean word limit was around 500 words. I actually think it's great that Tuck gives you that freedom. There are just some essays were you can and want to elaborate because it will make the story that much better. And then there are others were 500 words are more than enough and you end up not using them.

That said, always try to be as brief and concise as possible. Most of the times your essays will become better - not worse - when you are forced to use the above mentioned "red pen".

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Re: Tuck essays "no word limit" [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2008, 05:51
branson wrote:
I didnt stick to the 500 word limit, but what I did do is take the hint and consider the 500 word AVERAGE.


That is a great point, I never really even thought about making one 700 and the rest 400 or something like that. Some essay questions definitely deserve more words than others. This is probably the best way to look at this.
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Re: Tuck essays "no word limit"   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2008, 05:51
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