Having the right length of a college personal statement can makea huge difference between your acceptance and rejection. However,a personal statement length is something that many students keepstruggling with when writing their college applications. Theirhardships are easy to understand because many people end up witha long paper when trying to write a personal story or explainindividual challenges and achievements. Ensure that your personalstatement has a correct length if you want to improve yourchances to be accepted by the chosen college.
The importance of planning and brainstorming
Unfortunately, it’s common for applicants to write the entirestatement just to realize that they must cut a lot to bring itwithin the required word count limit. The good news is that thisproblem is easily avoided through effective planning that willhelp you keep the right length of your personal statement to thechosen college. For example, all of these interesting topicswon’t work if you don’t fit them into the necessary length:
- A funny anecdote;
- Your explanation of a very challenging life experience;
- A story of your significant accomplishments.
That’s why brainstorming useful ideas and outlining your futurestatement are helpful methods. If you understand that you haveonly about 500 words to write, determine how much space to devoteto every paragraph and stick to this plan when you’re in thewriting process.
What if there are no character limits and word counts
Even if there aren’t any assigned character limits and wordcounts for a college personal statement, take the guidelines ofyour program seriously. That’s because some programs impose quitehard character and work count limits, especially when it comes toa centralized application system, while others offer usefulguidelines for the right length while allowing students to submittheir statements in a preferable word limit.
Although your college application won’t be rejected if your essayis longer considerably, take the necessary requirements seriouslybecause they tell you what to do. You shouldn’t view flexibleguidelines as an invitation to do everything you want. The ruleof thumb is not to go over 10% of the required length whenwriting a college personal statement. For instance, when programguidelines require a 1-spaced and 1-page personal statement,don’t submit a longer one because admissions officers won’t behappy to read it.
Basic personal statement characteristics
Writing a remarkable personal statement is not as simple as itseems because you must guarantee that everything is coveredwithin the necessary length. A good one is a choice point foryour acknowledgement and it should have the followingcharacteristics:
- Being interesting and imaginable;
- Being 250-500 words long;
- Not being focused just on personal achievements.
In most cases, a personal statement is the main part of anycollege application, which isn’t fully in view of capabilitiesand evaluations. It helps the committee realize your trueidentity, so demonstrate the type of personality you are.Admissions officers usually read many personal statements, so theone you submit should be really remarkable.
Helpful questions and answers
Why is the length of your college personal statement soimportant? It’s a common question asked by students. When yousend your college application, you’re also asked to include apersonal statement. It’s a part that isn’t fully based on yourqualifications and grades and this paper allows readers learn whoyou are. A well-written statement serves as a deciding point inyour acceptable or rejection. However, writing the best one isn’tas easy as many students want. Admissions officers receive manyapplications, so they pay close attention to a word limit. Thismeans that you should never exceed the required personalstatement length. If you exceed it, you will not only make youressay longer than needed, but you will also show that you’re astudent who ignores and fails to follow the necessaryinstructions.
How can you keep a personal statement within its limit?
Learn to write your application essay effectively and withoutexceeding its required page count. Some instructions requirestudents to use less than 500 words, while others ask applicantsto write about 250 words. You should be quite concise with thistype of writing if you don’t want to exceed its word count.
How is it possible to achieve this goal? Look at these basicareas to guarantee that each word that you write only adds morevalue to a college personal statement:
- Ensuring that it’s relevant, understanding what admissionsofficers are searching for, and including everything in yourstatement (irrelevant details will only take your word count);
- Avoiding any information included in other parts of yourcollege application;
- Using concise and short examples to demonstrate yourachievements and skills while reducing your word use;
- Avoiding any obvious facts, like telling the committee aboutspecific responsibilities.
How to write a personal statement concisely?
To make your college statement in a concise manner, you should dothe following:
- Removing any intensifiers from your paper;
- Avoiding redundant words;
- Reducing the length of different phrases;
- Getting rid of any phrases that don’t add any value to yourwriting;
- Avoiding clichés;
- Not using any euphemisms because they tend to be longer thanother words.
Use the above-mentioned hints if you want to stay within thenecessary word limit when writing your college personalstatement.
Effective methods to meet length requirements
What should applicants do to meet important length requirementswhen creating personal statements for their colleges? Most ofthem decide to apply to several colleges at once, so it’sunfeasible to write a different paper for each one. It’sadvisable to write only a few versions of a personal statement(shorter and longer essays) because they will meet the necessarylength requirements with minor modifications. Start with writinga 3-page version, finish it, and pare it down to a 2-pagealternative. The paring down process can be confusing and itusually takes a few hours. However, it’s still simpler thanwriting different personal statements.
Extra rules of thumb
Follow the instructions of every college, such as:
- Font sizes;
- Page limits;
- Double or single-spaced;
- 1- inch margins.
Don’t play any games with the above-mentioned requirementsbecause it’ll be clear to the committee that you changed theproperties of your essay to fit more words into the requiredspace. Another problem is that it’ll be less interesting andpleasant to read. Keep your college personal statement brief andwrite something longer than 3 pages only if you have somethingreally unique to tell others when no length limits are specified.Don’t forget to use headers, including your full name and otherbasic details.
What a perfect college personal statement includes
Writing an impressive personal statement is something more thansimply describing yourself. There are many things that should becovered in it, but the following pointers can help you stayfocused and produce a good final product.
Creating your outstanding content
A poorly-written personal statement with meaningful details willbeat a well-written paper that doesn’t tell readers anythingimportant. Remember that admissions officers are quitesophisticated and intelligent people. So, if your applicationessay is vapid, it’s impossible to fool them by being loquacious.Put aside rhetoric skills and try to write something reallyinsightful and personal.
Its impeccable organization
A personal statement that has any unusual presentation ofinformation and jumps around is quite hard for readers to follow.Besides, its main purpose is different from showing your literaryskills. Create an outline before you start writing to guaranteethat it will has quite a logical path from one idea to another.
All paragraphs in your college personal statement should worktogether and create a unified paper. Use smooth transitions ashelpful bridges between every paragraph. Some students locatethem at the beginning of the next essay section, while others putthem at its end. Without transitions, your application essay willseem unfinished and choppy.
A strong conclusion
The conclusion challenges many students when writing a personalstatement. It’s your last chance to get important points acrossto the committee. Take enough time to summarize everything youwant admissions officers to take away from reading it.
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