Common Application Essay Length

Common Application Essay Length-22
It’s accepted by hundreds of colleges in the United States as well as some colleges internationally.

It’s accepted by hundreds of colleges in the United States as well as some colleges internationally.

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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.

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.

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.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.Many colleges also ask for short answer responses, sometimes called supplemental prompts or personal insight questions, in the range of 150, 250, or 350 words; in this case, aim for the suggested length and be aware of the hard limits on either end, but don’t stress if you’re over or under by 10-15%.Familiarize Yourself with the Prompts Brainstorm Answer the Question (and Stay on Topic!) Structure and Organize Your Essay Effectively Write Honestly, Specifically, and Vividly Be Mindful of Voice and Tone Revise and Proofread Common Application Essay FAQs The “Common App,” short for the Common Application, is a general application used to apply to multiple college undergraduate programs at once.The Common Application essay topics throw the door wide open for each applicant to show how he or she is that kind of person.Think of the Common App essay topics as starting points.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.

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