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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Optimal word count for Harvard’s additional essay?

What's up, future Harvard applicants and alums! I’m drafting the additional essay for Harvard, and I’m kinda confused about how long it should be. The prompt says there’s no word limit, but what's a good length to aim for? I want to provide enough detail without rambling on and losing the reader’s interest. If anyone could share how long their essays were or any strategies for keeping it concise, I'd be super grateful!

7 months ago

While it's true that Harvard doesn't impose a strict word limit on the additional essay, there's an unspoken rule that brevity aligned with substance is key. A good target length is typically between 500 and 700 words. This should give you enough space to demonstrate intellectual curiosity, depth of thought, and insight into your personality without overstaying your welcome. Think purposeful and impactful, not exhaustive.

During my time guiding applicants, the most effective essays often have a focused narrative or theme, and every sentence works to further that purpose. Begin with a vivid anecdote or a compelling hook to draw the reader in and build from there, cutting any fluff or redundancies. Remember, quality over quantity every time.

7 months ago

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