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Length of Personal Statement


Junior Member
15+ Year Member
Oct 27, 2003
    Okay, I have looked everywhere and I can not find a definitive answer to this question: How long should the personal statement be? I was told that most people write about 1-2 pages. However, according to ERAS, they allow for five pages and 32,000 characters! I know that just because they offer the space does not mean you have to fill it up, but I find it hard to believe that such a big discrepancy exists. It seems like everyone always aims for this one page, like it is a requirement or something. Is that true?

    And as far as fitting the statement into the space provided, I currently have cut my essay down to three pages and am having no problem at all fitting it in. ERAS actually says to write the residency programs and ask them if there are specific requirements for the lengths of personal statements. Most of the programs I am intersted in don't mention a length requirement.

    So if ERAS allows for five pages, why do most people only write one page? Is this just "protcol" or is there actually something out there somewhere that says this is a rule.

    I have also heard that Programs will only print out one page of the personal statement. ERAS does not make any mention of this however. And I find it hard to believe that if it were true they would allow for five pages.

    Someone help me please.


    Senior Member
    7+ Year Member
    15+ Year Member
    Dec 26, 2002
      I don't think theres a rule about anything, except that the PS has to fit in the space provided. Now, with that said, a three page personal statement seems awfully personal unless you're planning to go into psych. Really, three pages, and it still isnt submitted. At this point, I cant imagine any PD sitting to read a three page PS, esp after having read all the PS that have already been submitted...

      Three words for you: edit, edit, edit


      You didnt build thaT
      Moderator Emeritus
      15+ Year Member
      Oct 3, 2003
      1. Fellow [Any Field]
        Shape that bovine novel into a succinct literary masterpiece. The essay shouldn't go over one page (so says the helpful first aid for the match) because these poor people have to read hundreds of these damn things. After about the 10th one I would imagine they all sound identical. Once the PD gets to your pile of paper he's gonna toss it aside with an exasperated sigh and move on to the 5 paragraph 3/4 of a page essay.
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