Top universities across the world often require a series of admissions essays for their MBA and UG programs. While they might ask a similar set of questions from the applicants, they might bring in variation by means of a word limit. It is important to remember that adhering to the word limit is critical.
As you probably know, admissions essays may be classified on the basis of word limits. University essays range from very short answer type questions to long essay type questions. The range of word limits, hence, may vary from 100-200 words to about 1000 words. Remember that word limits must always be honoured and taken seriously.
Many top admission committee (Ad Com) members admit that word limits are the first things that are checked. If the essays are longer than asked, the Ad Com has the authority to simply disregard the additional words. What it means is that if you were asked to write an answer in 300 words, and you wrote it in about 350 words, they would simply not read the last 50 words. In extreme cases, the Ad Com can simply reject the essay as being ‘too long’, and not read it at all, marking the application as ‘invalidated’.
The same holds true for essays where the applicant has written much less than the given word limit. While a 190-word answer instead of the asked 200 words for an essay, is acceptable, on the other hand, a 100-word answer, for a 200-word limit essay, is not acceptable and could result in a rejection.
In other words, the Ad Com has the authority to disregard the submitted essay, for being either too long or too short. Also, even if they do read the essay, and disregard the extra words, it might turn out to be counter-productive. Often, essays are concluded in the last few words, and in case those words are not read, the essay might simply lose its meaning, relevance and/or impact.
To sum up, we have simple advice to give – follow the word limit strictly. Often, you would realize that what you wish to say can be kept within the stipulated word limit, by re-writing and editing your content, several times.
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