Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

How long is a Recommendation Letter supposed to be?

Gryffon5147Gryffon5147 Registered User Posts: 3,765 Senior Member
edited September 2008 in College Admissions
I'm just asking because my teacher has no clue how long a letter is supposed to be. Does anyone have any idea as in the number of pages required???
Post edited by Gryffon5147 on

Replies to: How long is a Recommendation Letter supposed to be?

  • clcgirl_1999clcgirl_1999 Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    it depends on what it is for... most of my teachers wrote 1-2 page recs. Most scholarships want recs that only one or two pages long.
  • hikidshikids Registered User Posts: 1,284 Senior Member
    I think 1 to 2 pages is the norm, but in the end it depends on the situation and the person.
  • kwukwu Registered User Posts: 4,759 Senior Member
    Both of my teachers, whom I've been close to all four years of high school, wrote four full pages on my behalf.

    But, that doesn't really matter, does it, because you can't really force a teacher to write more...
    Nor can you force them to edit their recs.
  • Fuzzylogic2525Fuzzylogic2525 Registered User Posts: 321 Member
    my cousin got a 2 sentence recommendation letter.....
    Best student I have ever had and will have. More than exceptional in every aspect of her life that I have witnessed.

    My point is it doesn't matter how long, it's the content.
  • hookem168hookem168 - Posts: 3,206 Senior Member
    ^lmao. wow I want that type of rec so bad.
    however, 90% of the schools I'm applying to (Harvard, etc) also require an extra "teacher evaluation form" with numbered ratings and stuff, which would sort of detract from that type of response. Ah well.
  • spdfspdf Registered User Posts: 955 Member
    I write letters of recommendation for my students who are applying to med schools and pharmacy schools. My letters are no more than one page long.

    I start with an intro paragraph describing my relationship to the student and naming one or two outstanding traits I have noticed. The second paragraph typically expands on these qualities, naming specific examples of what the student did, how and why this was significant, and how this made the student stand out from his or her peers. A concluding paragraph generally expresses some specific confidence in the student's abilities and future success.

    I would not write a letter like the one Fuzzylogic2525's cousin got without describing at least one specific example of what I was talking about.

    The main goal of the letter is to provide some kind of insight into the student that is not already expressed somewhere else (such as grades, challenging courseload, or test scores). I want to add something of material value to the application, not simply satisfy an admissions requirement and allow the admissions clerk to check off a box.

    But my letters are always one page and no more. Concise is good.
  • Fuzzylogic2525Fuzzylogic2525 Registered User Posts: 321 Member
    My cousins rec got her into Wharton, I don't know if that proves anything but I think that that kind of rec stands out, spdf, your kind of rec is very commonplace. Food for thought =]
  • ZesterZester Registered User Posts: 649 Member
    My AP USH teacher let me read her recommendation. It's a page long, starts off with introducing herself, myself (GPA/Rank etc). Then it goes in what I did in class, liked about it. Then a paragraph to some ECs that I did.
    Ends with her recommending me for [x college].
    Yeah, I expected more, but I think colleges themselves might prefer less pages -> less reading for adcoms.
  • PolarNsPolarNs Registered User Posts: 158 Junior Member
    A recommendation letter is not supposed to be longer than 2 pages (unless your teacher really have taht much to say). Consice is good. but it does not mean a two-sentence rec can secure u a top school. ppl who can earn that kind of rec in fact do not need other's rec at all.
This discussion has been closed.