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how strict is essay word limit if there's no text box?

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kcpride

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does anyone know how strict adcoms are about word limits, when they ask u to attach the secondary essay responses on a separate piece of paper? i.e. technically you can write more than what they suggest because there's no text box stopping you. i'm asking because i'm working on the UIC secondary, and for a 250 word essay, ive managed to cut my response down from 450 to 300, and i really am having a hard time cutting it more. will this be a problem?
 

Carmenita79

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kcpride said:
does anyone know how strict adcoms are about word limits, when they ask u to attach the secondary essay responses on a separate piece of paper? i.e. technically you can write more than what they suggest because there's no text box stopping you. i'm asking because i'm working on the UIC secondary, and for a 250 word essay, ive managed to cut my response down from 450 to 300, and i really am having a hard time cutting it more. will this be a problem?

I doubt they will count the words.
 

the negative 1

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If your essay does not wildly deviate from the proposed word count, nobody will care if you're over by 50 or so words.
 

nosugrefneb

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Are your 50 characters worth risking it? What if they do count?
 

Keg

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I've always been told to be within a window of +/- 10% on length limited essays such as the one you're writing. As such, on your 250 word essay, you should shoot for 225 - 275.
 

jackieMD2007

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I don't know. I'm going to invoke the "Adcoms aren't stupid" rule here and tell you to watch the limits.

You can cut and paste your essay right onto UIC's word doc form of the application, anyway, so there is no excuse to fudge. I think they know what the right length looks like.
 

Carmenita79

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On a similar note, I had an essay ask for 500 words, but mine ended up around 350. Is that an issue?
 

Keg

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Carmenita79 said:
On a similar note, I had an essay ask for 500 words, but mine ended up around 350. Is that an issue?

Not if you've answered the question to your satisfaction.
 

DesiMcatAcer

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kcpride said:
does anyone know how strict adcoms are about word limits, when they ask u to attach the secondary essay responses on a separate piece of paper? i.e. technically you can write more than what they suggest because there's no text box stopping you. i'm asking because i'm working on the UIC secondary, and for a 250 word essay, ive managed to cut my response down from 450 to 300, and i really am having a hard time cutting it more. will this be a problem?

I can't answer this for sure, but here is my take on it. If it's only few words like 5 or so, they might not even notice, but you have to remember that they read 1000's of essays and if it's 50 or more words extra, they might be able to just look and see that it's over the length. Ultimately, the decision is yours. Good luck!
 

DesiMcatAcer

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Carmenita79 said:
On a similar note, I had an essay ask for 500 words, but mine ended up around 350. Is that an issue?
No, it's the quality thats important not quantitity.
 

Dov

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just do what they ask. that's the best thing
 

TCIrish03

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When a school sets a maximum limit, it is generally to filter out the bull-shat artists and get you to go right to the point. I've seen a trend in the last few years of college students, whether in the school newspaper or in english class, use as many superfluous words they can to make them sound smart, yet they never address the topic with any substance.

Carmenita79 said:
On a similar note, I had an essay ask for 500 words, but mine ended up around 350. Is that an issue?
 

notdeadyet

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Writing over the amount is the equivalent of not following directions. Many adcoms may not care, but many will. Med schools don't seem to be lax on all that many rules, so they may not on this either. Trim it down. You can do it.
 
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Chances are that your response is too verbose and fails to adequately answer the question, or at least the reviewer is likely to think so. Cut it back. Don't exceed their requirement, because you're going to drag it out for too long.
 
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