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More urgent questions

Mv92293Mv92293 Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
edited November 2011 in University of Pennsylvania
Hi everyone, my ED app is due tomorrow and i have a few important questions:

-My "Why Penn" essay is 720 words. Too long?

-Does applying undecided look bad?

Post edited by Mv92293 on

Replies to: More urgent questions

  • Aaffda4Aaffda4 Registered User Posts: 99 Junior Member
    I'm in the same situtaion!
    Consensus seems to be that we have to cut down to 570 tops

    It's a nightmare!

    I dont think there's anything wrong with undecided unless it negates something in your app
  • prayer525prayer525 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    Applying undecided (major) doe not look bad, in fact it's a popular choice.
    I have cut down my essay to 510 words.
  • swimgirl110swimgirl110 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Ed is now due on the 4th. Penn just sent me an emial
  • mandypandymandypandy Registered User Posts: 631 Member
    570? I thought it had to be under 500 for sure..
  • swimgirl110swimgirl110 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    I thought at most only a little over 500
  • hardworking21hardworking21 Registered User Posts: 840 Member
    @All: It should be 500, 550 tops. 720 is WAY over the limit....considering that is 1 to 1.5 more paragraphs.
  • Aaffda4Aaffda4 Registered User Posts: 99 Junior Member
    The instruction is: Please answer in one page, approximately 500 words.

    From this I gather that if it easily fits on one page of Times New Roman, size 12, single spaced, I'm fine, even though I'm verging on 570.

    N'est-ce pas?
  • hardworking21hardworking21 Registered User Posts: 840 Member
    @Aaffda4: I don't think so. Think about it. Say someone used 11 pt font (Times), and squeezed in 620 words. Then someone else used 10.5 pt font (Times) and had 670 words. Then someone else used 10 pt font (Times) and had 715 words. And the pattern goes on, and on, and on. Not to mention playing with the margins.

    The purpose of "One page, approx. 500 words" is to set a page and word limit. They don't want a two paged essay nor do they want any essay too far away from 500 words. Interpret "approximately" however you want, but I'd say anything about 550 is pushing it. I mean, an extra 50 words can get you a couple of decent sentences...and more than that, you're talking an extra paragraph, etc.
  • NickBarrNickBarr Registered User Posts: 250 Junior Member
    You're not expected nor required to know your major this early. Putting "undecided" is just fine.
  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    It's not about choosing which fonts/point -- it's the WORD COUNT that matters. 720 is clearly over. The exercise is about conveying yourself in a limited space -- not an opp for you to go on and on. Please help yourself by cutting and self editing. Good luck to you.
  • Aaffda4Aaffda4 Registered User Posts: 99 Junior Member
    @ hardworking21 & T26E4 - My reference to fonts and size was not intended to show how I deceived the adcom.

    What I meant was that in DEFAULT typeset (which is precisely what I have described and includes standard and unfiddled with margins&spacing) my essay fits effortlessly in a page (even leaving one line unused).

    Given this, I think my passing the word count limit (even by 70 words) is forgivable, because my essay is in effect not longer than its 500-word equivalent (in terms of character count); it has more words and that's that.

    If we're still in disagreement, we probably won't come to terms. You may very well both be right, but I sure hope you're not, as this could end up hurting my chances of admission.
  • Aaffda4Aaffda4 Registered User Posts: 99 Junior Member
    and to the OP, sorry to hijack your thread!
  • hardworking21hardworking21 Registered User Posts: 840 Member
    @Aaffda4: I wasn't making a slam towards you...more so the 720. 720 I can guarantee you will hurt you in admissions. 570 is one of those up in the air figures. But, I can write a decent paragraph in 70 words, as can, I'd assume, many other applicants. But if they didn't, because they stuck to the 500 word count limit, then how is it fair to permit your 70 extra words? Again, we will never agree on this. I just hope we meet up one day, spontaneously, and can laugh on the finesse of this issue. :)
  • NickBarrNickBarr Registered User Posts: 250 Junior Member
    570 words... 550 words... 520 words...

    As long as it's interesting, it's probably not going to make a difference. The ad-coms aren't counting your words as they read. At a certain point, they may become disinterested and stop reading, or simply not read the whole thing. They have tons of these to go through.

    Read your essay as if you were someone who had hundreds of similar essays to read, or better yet, have someone else do it for you. The goal is to make an impression without swallowing too much time. In these kinds of essays, clear and concise is best. I'm betting you can probably trim some of those words off of your essay, but I can't be positive without reading it.
This discussion has been closed.