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So each school has different length requirements:

write a brief statement

write a statement no longer than 1 page

compose a succinct statement of approximately1000 words


What would you define as brief? For that school, I have a happy draft of ~630 words, so a smidge over a page single-spaced. Is that "brief"? I know it'd work for the second school (with a little bit of modification).

For the third one, I was planning on using a modified draft, adding a few things to boost up the word count. How short would be too short? Could I stop at say, 750, or should I aim for >900?

In general, how much wiggle room do we have? I obviously want to give them what they ask for, so I'll aim for that.... but as you guys might know, that can be tricky.

I apologize if this has been discussed already. I checked and I couldn't find anything that really addressed my question. (Maybe I overlooked?)

Thoughts? Ideas? Cookies?

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If they don't give a word count,, but say 'brief', then 1 page or there abouts is enough I think. I'm using my default SoP to be around 900-1000 words and then I cut this down for schools that have a shorter limit, like 750 or even 500 words.

For the third one, if you say everything you need to say and it's around 750 words, don't put in fluff to get it up to 900+. They'd prefer reading the 750 words that are concise and to the point rather than 900+ words that have superfluous stuff in it.

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Cool beans. My default is ~650 words/~1 page.

Yet another school asks for one "no longer than 2 pages"... see, now that makes me wonder if I'm being too brief by only giving them one page. On the other hand, one professor told me that one of my mantras should be "make it easier for the admissions committee," and having a shorter/more concise/more succinct SOP fits in with that rule.

I don't want to change my default by too much anyway, so hurray!

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