Having the right length of a college personal statement can make a huge difference between your acceptance and rejection. However, a personal statement length is something that many students keep struggling with when writing their college applications. Their hardships are easy to understand because many people end up with a long paper when trying to write a personal story or explain individual challenges and achievements. Ensure that your personal statement has a correct length if you want to improve your chances to be accepted by the chosen college.
The importance of planning and brainstorming
Unfortunately, it’s common for applicants to write the entire statement just to realize that they must cut a lot to bring it within the required word count limit. The good news is that this problem is easily avoided through effective planning that will help you keep the right length of your personal statement to the chosen college. For example, all of these interesting topics won’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 future statement are helpful methods. If you understand that you have only about 500 words to write, determine how much space to devote to every paragraph and stick to this plan when you’re in the writing process.
What if there are no character limits and word counts
Even if there aren’t any assigned character limits and word counts for a college personal statement, take the guidelines of your program seriously. That’s because some programs impose quite hard character and work count limits, especially when it comes to a centralized application system, while others offer useful guidelines for the right length while allowing students to submit their statements in a preferable word limit.
Although your college application won’t be rejected if your essay is longer considerably, take the necessary requirements seriously because they tell you what to do. You shouldn’t view flexible guidelines as an invitation to do everything you want. The rule of thumb is not to go over 10% of the required length when writing a college personal statement. For instance, when program guidelines require a 1-spaced and 1-page personal statement, don’t submit a longer one because admissions officers won’t be happy to read it.
Basic personal statement characteristics
Writing a remarkable personal statement is not as simple as it seems because you must guarantee that everything is covered within the necessary length. A good one is a choice point for your acknowledgement and it should have the following characteristics:
- 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 any college application, which isn’t fully in view of capabilities and evaluations. It helps the committee realize your true identity, so demonstrate the type of personality you are. Admissions officers usually read many personal statements, so the one you submit should be really remarkable.
Helpful questions and answers
Why is the length of your college personal statement so important? It’s a common question asked by students. When you send your college application, you’re also asked to include a personal statement. It’s a part that isn’t fully based on your qualifications and grades and this paper allows readers learn who you are. A well-written statement serves as a deciding point in your acceptable or rejection. However, writing the best one isn’t as easy as many students want. Admissions officers receive many applications, so they pay close attention to a word limit. This means that you should never exceed the required personal statement length. If you exceed it, you will not only make your essay longer than needed, but you will also show that you’re a student who ignores and fails to follow the necessary instructions.
How can you keep a personal statement within its limit?
Learn to write your application essay effectively and without exceeding its required page count. Some instructions require students to use less than 500 words, while others ask applicants to write about 250 words. You should be quite concise with this type of writing if you don’t want to exceed its word count.
How is it possible to achieve this goal? Look at these basic areas to guarantee that each word that you write only adds more value to a college personal statement:
- Ensuring that it’s relevant, understanding what admissions officers are searching for, and including everything in your statement (irrelevant details will only take your word count);
- Avoiding any information included in other parts of your college application;
- Using concise and short examples to demonstrate your achievements and skills while reducing your word use;
- Avoiding any obvious facts, like telling the committee about specific responsibilities.
How to write a personal statement concisely?
To make your college statement in a concise manner, you should do the 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 your writing;
- Avoiding clichés;
- Not using any euphemisms because they tend to be longer than other words.
Use the above-mentioned hints if you want to stay within the necessary word limit when writing your college personal statement.
Effective methods to meet length requirements
What should applicants do to meet important length requirements when creating personal statements for their colleges? Most of them decide to apply to several colleges at once, so it’s unfeasible to write a different paper for each one. It’s advisable to write only a few versions of a personal statement (shorter and longer essays) because they will meet the necessary length requirements with minor modifications. Start with writing a 3-page version, finish it, and pare it down to a 2-page alternative. The paring down process can be confusing and it usually takes a few hours. However, it’s still simpler than writing 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 requirements because it’ll be clear to the committee that you changed the properties of your essay to fit more words into the required space. Another problem is that it’ll be less interesting and pleasant to read. Keep your college personal statement brief and write something longer than 3 pages only if you have something really unique to tell others when no length limits are specified. Don’t forget to use headers, including your full name and other basic details.
What a perfect college personal statement includes
Writing an impressive personal statement is something more than simply describing yourself. There are many things that should be covered in it, but the following pointers can help you stay focused and produce a good final product.
Creating your outstanding content
A poorly-written personal statement with meaningful details will beat a well-written paper that doesn’t tell readers anything important. Remember that admissions officers are quite sophisticated and intelligent people. So, if your application essay is vapid, it’s impossible to fool them by being loquacious. Put aside rhetoric skills and try to write something really insightful and personal.
Its impeccable organization
A personal statement that has any unusual presentation of information and jumps around is quite hard for readers to follow. Besides, its main purpose is different from showing your literary skills. Create an outline before you start writing to guarantee that it will has quite a logical path from one idea to another.
All paragraphs in your college personal statement should work together and create a unified paper. Use smooth transitions as helpful bridges between every paragraph. Some students locate them at the beginning of the next essay section, while others put them at its end. Without transitions, your application essay will seem unfinished and choppy.
A strong conclusion
The conclusion challenges many students when writing a personal statement. It’s your last chance to get important points across to the committee. Take enough time to summarize everything you want admissions officers to take away from reading it.
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