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QUestion on the Personal Statement

cheesecake22cheesecake22 1 replies4 threads New Member
edited November 2009 in University of Washington
It says that it recommends 500-650 words, i have 477. Is that alright?
My short answer is about the same at 479.
edited November 2009
5 replies
Post edited by cheesecake22 on
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Replies to: QUestion on the Personal Statement

  • uw20106uw20106 54 replies11 threads Junior Member
    I think you have to have 500 words because when I inserted mine in the box the personal statement had to be 650 word no more than that. So I am guessing the minimum is 500 words.
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  • ZackB321ZackB321 47 replies3 threads Junior Member
    I don't believe that there is a minimum length requirement, seeing as it does say "recommended length" right next to the word count.

    However, play it safe and hit 500 so that there's no questioning it.

    Some general tips I can give you to bump it up a mere 23 words is:
    - Get rid of contractions ("it's," "I've", "that's", etc). You will sound more professional this way too.
    - Read through the whole thing and place in 1-2 words here or there where they can be added and not sound strange. 1 or 3 letter words still count as a word, so it's fairly simple.
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  • godsGiftgodsGift 39 replies21 threads Junior Member
    is it okay to go over 650? cuz it says "recommended". mines around 850 and it fits in the box..
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  • ZackB321ZackB321 47 replies3 threads Junior Member
    An admissions counselor from Yale once said, "A short bad essay is better than a long one."

    Not to say that your essay is bad, but going that much over the word count is indeed a bad thing. The admissions folks don't have hours upon hours to evaluate your application just because it's you -- they're stressed and on a deadline. So going 200 words over what they ask for is only going to aggravate them more.

    And putting that aside, they use the essay as a means to see if you can correctly answer an in-depth question in the space that they allow you. They're challenging you to get a point across effectively but as quickly and clearly as possible. Not adhering to these instructions can indicate a lack of attention and care.

    Long story short, you will have to edit that essay down.
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  • compactrunnercompactrunner 195 replies5 threads Junior Member
    But in the case of the UW personal statement, it is also a recommended length, whereas on other applications the instructions are very clear if they are imposing a strict word count. Of course it is ideal to fit a wonderful essay within the "recommended" range, but if you go 50 words over on a spectacular essay, they will still be impressed by the essay as a whole. The adcoms aren't going to receive it as "wow, that was an amazing essay, but it was 50 words over, so I don't think they should get in."

    It definitely depends how much you go over and how much you can cut out, but going over a recommended range isn't necessarily the end of the world.
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