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Going over word limit for the Princeton Supplement

WhenWillAppsEndWhenWillAppsEnd 1 replies1 threads New Member
edited July 10 in Princeton University
I'm a little confused about the official word limit. It says on the Princeton website that the short responses should be around 150 words. However, when I google it, everyone says don't go over 250 words. If one response is around 220 and the other is 240, is it alright?
edited July 10
9 replies
Post edited by ccadminkris on
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Replies to: Going over word limit for the Princeton Supplement

  • rickle1rickle1 2693 replies23 threads Senior Member
    The purpose of "short word" prompts is to see how concise you can express your ideas with impact. I've always found them to be more challenging as editing is king.
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  • PublisherPublisher 11613 replies155 threads Senior Member
    Princeton is looking for clear & concise responses. In my opinion, 220 words is too far above the suggested 150 word limit.
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  • BKSquaredBKSquared 1676 replies8 threads Senior Member
    I am not sure if you can even go over the word limit in the Common App without triggering some prompt/regulator. Even at 200 words, you are 33% over the limit. The red flags you will raise for being over a specific instruction outweigh any benefit of those extra words. What you have written at much more than 150 words is not what Princeton (or any highly selective) is looking for.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 35421 replies399 threads Senior Member
    ^ Even if the CA lets it through, a college can limit the number of words in its download.

    OP, don't mess with this. One of the things they like is the ability to self edit. And not assuming you can write ad infinitum, just cuz it satisfied you.
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  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn 42359 replies2287 threads Super Moderator
    Have you heard this quote? "I would have written a shorter speech if I'd had more time." :)
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  • rickle1rickle1 2693 replies23 threads Senior Member
    ^ perfect
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  • WhenWillAppsEndWhenWillAppsEnd 1 replies1 threads New Member
    Wow. Thank you to everyone that responded. Yeah, cutting things down is really a problem I need to work on. Time to edit haha
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  • matricessuckmatricessuck 12 replies5 threads Junior Member
    edited August 2019
    I disagree somewhat with the above answers. While I also struggle with verbosity, if Princeton truly meant for applicants to have a hard limit of 150 words, then in the Common App they would have set the limit to 150 and said "Limit your response to 150 words" instead of "ABOUT 150 words." If you truly have enough material to go up to 250 words, they have invited you to use that space. I read their 150 word suggestion as a caution against verbosity, not a discouragement to a well-written essay. My suggestion is to write your essay and then trim it down as much as possible. If you get it down to 150 by just making your response more concise, then great. If you feel you have to cut meaningful content to get near 150 after already trimming out the fluff, then don't sweat it. If you have that much to talk about, Admissions will be glad to listen.

    Edit: Also, the same goes for the main "Your voice" essay regarding the 500 word suggestion and 650 word limit.
    edited August 2019
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