All of the essays have a 1000 word limit, but I've written a couple of essays so far and they come up to around 400-500. They're so far below the limit, is that a bad thing or is it at least 500 words still good?
My essays are also around the 500 word range. I am fine with it because I know they are well written, well organized essays. I can't believe that they would prefer wordy essays, since they have to read so many. I agree that as long as you answer the question thoroughly, it is fine.
Volunteers will be reading and giving grades to your essays. They are looking for specific things, so having more concise yet powerful essays is to your advantage. People often times get the misconception that you have to reach or be near the world limit to have a "valid" or "perfect" essay which is not true AT ALL. If I remember right, some of my essays were about 1/3 of the max limit