dg said it. Writing, rewriting is the answer to any question. Her answers struck me as a bit long. Remember, these admissions officers are reading thousands of these silly things. Unless they're fascinating and/or humorous ... well they're just one more essay. Remember, you want them to show several things ... 1. you can write and edit 2. you are thoughtful and articulate 3. you are creative and/or if otherwise, creatively clear 4. You have an experience and/or insight and/or can express it in a most captivating way. Which will yours be. 500 words is one page, short margins, single spaced. Keep paragraphs short and tight.