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They do this for a variety of reasons—to save themselves from having to read entire novels, to test how clearly and concisely an essayist can write.
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.
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.
When you can no longer sacrifice words without losing important content, it's time to look at the words themselves.
350 Word Essay Many Pages
Are you using character-heavy words that could be effectively replaced by something shorter?Characters are the basic building blocks of writing. For example, if you are composing a tweet, you will be limited to 280 characters, and everything you type counts.Whether you are composing a writing contest entry, a Google headline or a tweet, the number of characters you use in your writing is important. Some writing contests may not count spaces or punctuation toward their character count. If the writing contest rules don't explicitly state that some characters are excluded from the character count, play it safe by counting them all.As a former college admissions officer who read over 3,000 essays every admissions cycle, I can’t stress enough that students should consider quality over quantity when drafting college essays.My colleagues have previously written blog posts encouraging students to draft essays in their everyday voice, and to avoid replacing normal words with cousins from the thesaurus.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.The bigger picture here is to tell your own story as clearly and concisely as you can.The same goes for the length of your personal statement—hone in on the specific message you want to convey and deliver it as succinctly as you can.But the difference between 280 words and 315 words, or 512 words and 627 words, will go completely unnoticed.Admission officers do notice, however, the clarity of your thought and the effectiveness with which you convey your ideas.