Word Limit and Essays: How important are they

Top Universities across the world often require a series of admissions essays for its elite MBA Programs. While they might ask a similar set of questions from the applicants, they might bring in variation by means of word limit. And it is important to remember that adhering to the word limit is extremely important.

As you would know, admissions essays may be classified on the basis of word limits. Universities may ask for very short answer type questions to long essay type questions. The range of word limits hence vary from 200 words to about a 1000 words. And it is important to remember that word limits must always be honoured.

Many top admission committee members admit that word limits are the first things that are checked. If the essays are longer than asked, admission committee members have the authority to simply disregard the additional words. What it means 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, admission committee can simply reject the essay as being “too long” and not read it at all – marking your application as invalidated.

Same holds true for too short essays. While 190 word answer instead of the asked 200 word answer is acceptable, 100 words instead of 200 is not acceptable and tantamount to rejection. In other words, the admission committee 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 simply disregard the extra words, it might turn out to be counter-productive. Often, the essays are concluded in the last few words and in case those very words are not read, the essays might simply lose their meaning and relevance.

To sum up, we have a very strict and simple advice to give – be very very strict about the word limit. Often, you would realize that what you wish to say can be kept within the stipulated word limits.


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