Gates essays

Should all of our essays be 1000 words? I recently spoke to a Gates recipient and he said the length of his essays varied and that you should just get to the point, but that’s pretty subjective and I’m sure, say less than 500, words isn’t what they have in mind if the word count is 1000.

Hey, write your heart out and then decide if what you’ve written is to the point. How many have u finished?

You don’t need to fill all of them out to maximum capacity. There’s nothing wrong with playing around with the word count. If you can get something great across in less words, more power to you. It becomes less work for the person who looks over it.

Tell your story effectively but concisely. Precision is power. Be absolutely sure to address each part of each prompt. Use essay #8 to describe personal qualities that the rest of the application does not give you the opportunity to talk about, especially any hardships or challenges you have faced, how you overcame them, and how you have been strengthened by those experiences. Document that you have grit.

Hey, keep in mind how many other people you’re going up against too.

For last year’s Cohort of 2015, there were 57,000 applicants and only 1,000 were awarded with a rate of ~1.7%. (That’s less than Harvard’s acceptance rate of ~5%!)

When you really think about it, that’s roughly 456,000 essays the GMS staff has had to read to narrow down and pinpoint who they really want to award as GMS scholars.



LENGTH DOES NOT EQUATE TO QUALITY. Trust me, all the flowery words and fluff can really convolute the meaning of your essay. Over time, you may actually seem like you're repeating something you just said in a previous essay.

KEEP IT CONCISE AND TO THE PROMPT. This is the key thing. This is how they pick scholars. They really want to know who YOU are and you can only achieve this by really answering what the prompt is asking you. Stick to the prompt. I'm serious, this makes or breaks your scholarship to alot of people.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO FILL OUT ALL 1,000 CHARACTERS FOR ALL 8 ESSAYS. Many people feel like they need to, but you really don't. If it does not add strength to your essay or really help you convey your answer to the prompt, it's not needed.

GET IT PROOFREAD. I honestly went through 5 revisions of each essay before I submitted, and every time - there is going to be something a person can point out about your essay. Get it proofread by many people - English teachers! (YES), previous GMS scholars (ALSO YES), and people that you know have actually gone through your life experiences with you that you may have mentioned in your essays.


Best of luck!

Also, really, don't procrastinate. Turning this in at the last second is one of the most stressful things, especially when this is paying for up to 5 years of your undergraduate education and potentially another 5 years of graduate education.