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I consider 500 the “sweet spot,” but don’t stress if you write an essay closer to 430 or 620 that you’re honestly proud of.
When you can no longer sacrifice words without losing important content, it's time to look at the words themselves.
Are you using character-heavy words that could be effectively replaced by something shorter?
Becky is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Education; prior to joining College Coach, Becky was a senior admissions officer at Tufts University.
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If your message was well-said in 250 words but the maximum was 300, so you added 50 words of fluff, those 50 words are diluting the strength of your message.
Similarly, if you wrote a 500-word piece you’re proud of but the maximum is 300, please don’t go line-by-line to delete extra words; instead, reconsider the scope of your essay, because you may have selected a larger topic than can be thoughtfully addressed within the word count.For those of you still concerned about the literal word count: The most common “personal statement” length is in the ballpark of 500 words.The three standardized application portals—the Common App, the Universal App, and the Coalition App—all request personal statements capped at 650 words, but that’s the absolute limit, at which point your writing will be cut off.Go back through the essay to see where you can be more concise.Be ruthless about shrinking your character count by removing unnecessary repetition and by making your prose as clean and smooth as possible.Watch this video to learn more about how long your IELTS essay should be: The answer is very simple = no.IELTS is look for a highly relevant, focused essay.Longer pieces of writing usually use a word count as a limit.For example, a 500-word essay would be about a single page long, whereas a 500 character essay would be about 100 to 150 words long.If you’re looking for individualized help with your college essay or another area of your application, contact us today to work with one of our college admissions experts.Becky Leichtling is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts.