Tuesday, June 1

Crossing the limits!!! - Is it fine???

Lately, i have been thinking hard about "word limits". Is it fine to overshoot the limits given by colleges? I have read mixed responses on this topic. Some say it is fine. If yes, then by what %age? say a college asks you to define your career goals in 400 words, is 410 right or even going upto 460 alright??

And how about falling short?? helpppppppp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


SiD... said...

According to me, you should never cross the word limits.

1. If you can't respond and work under this minor constraint, why should I expect that you can handle a manager's role where there will be hundreds of constraints on you and you have work effectively through that.

2. I doubt that what you cannot say in 400 words, you will be able to do it in 410... (450 is another case but that will stand out glaringly.. wont it?)

3. It may happen that your application finds way in the hands of a evaluator who doesn't mind you breaking your word limit. But if it goes to some one who has a thing against people who dont obey rules, then for one minor mistake, you stand to lose precious marks. (I am not sure it happens this way in GMAT - just exploring an opportunity)

Braveheart said...

hmmm...Manager speaks ;) ... nice points....have come down from 1200 to 700 ... now coming down from 700 to 600 is really tough :'( ...

Linda Abraham said...

At Accepted we advise clients that they can go over by no more than 10%. Adcom members do not sit and count words, but they do know when essays significantly go beyond the norm, which hovers around the limits they set. And they don't like to read essays that go significantly beyond the norm.

Here is a post that links to several posts about cutting essays down to size: http://blog.accepted.com/acceptedcom_blog/2010/1/7/dealing-with-word-limits.html .

Linda Abraham

Braveheart said...

Hi Linda..thanks a lot for the info!!! it really helps..

Anonymous said...

As Linda says, around 10% extra is an acceptable margin (though it is always better to fit within the prescribed limits) for most schools that have word limits.

You might want to be even more careful and stay within limits when doing essays such as Stanford where there is a total word limit and you use your discretion to allocate words effectively across essays.

Good luck!


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