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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)

Ideal college essay length?

Okay, I know there’s probably a 'recommended' length for college essays, but what’s the real sweet spot? Should I be hitting the maximum word count to show I’ve put in effort, or is it more about quality over quantity?

8 months ago

The optimal length for a college essay is one that allows you to fully and concisely convey your story without any fluff or filler. Admissions officers have to read thousands of essays, so clarity and brevity are appreciated.

The common advice is to stay within 10% of the word limit either way. If the limit is 650 words (like the Common App personal statement), aim for no fewer than 585 words and no more than 715. Also be careful, as some application platforms have a hard cutoff at which point they won't allow anything else to be typed.

Remember, with these essays, it's definitely about quality over quantity. An essay that's too wordy can be as weak as one that's underdeveloped. It's all about striking the right balance and ensuring that every word you include serves a purpose. For example, if you're sharing a personal anecdote, make sure that story illustrates something important about your character or values without unnecessary details.

8 months ago

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