Essay word limit

So some of my essays are slightly (~10 words) over the limit according to MS Word’s word counter, but the web application has no error messages about it. It displayed error messages when I went one word over the limit in the Activities’ description section, but none of that is happening in the essays so I’m wondering if they use a different word counting rule or something (i.e. making the “–” not count as a word).
Or are they being very generous and allowing for a few words over the limit? Or are they leaving it up to the applicants’ honesty whether to make the essays actually in limit?
The essays sound so great right now I hope a few words over is fine :stuck_out_tongue:

As long as your essay does not get cut off, it’s fine. Some colleges don’t cut off at all despite stated limits. That does not mean that an AO will read a 2500 word essay. But a few extra words is not an issue.

Try printing the app to see whether it cuts off. But personally I’d try to stay within the count.

Even though it allows you to go over the word count, is staying within the word count a test to see how well one follows rules? I don’t know, but I’d stay within the word count.

@MITChris Could you please confirm this?

In case Chris doesn’t respond in time, I think I recall he posted last year that a few words over the limit are fine.

@brassratter Thanks so much!!

They want the essay’s kept short, hence the word limit. But I don’t think that they would test to see how well one follows rules. I don’t think A Rule Follower is on the top 10 list of what they are looking for in a candidate at MIT. Kind, generous, inquisitive, hard working, and pertinacious are more likely to be on that list.