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OK to exceed SOP word limit?


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Hey some universities give us a limit of 500 words for SOP (Which according to me is really less) however I would like to know how strict are they about these word limits. Would it be OK if i sent them a SOP of 750 words or something despite their word limit?

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Hey some universities give us a limit of 500 words for SOP (Which according to me is really less) however I would like to know how strict are they about these word limits. Would it be OK if i sent them a SOP of 750 words or something despite their word limit?

I am encounting the same problem here....a school requires 500 but I ended up with nearly 1000...I guess I will tailor it a little bit but I doubt the possibility to downsize it to 500.

Anyway,I do not think it is a big deal if it is just over the limit not that much..Perhaps you may contact the school you are applying for to ask.

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I would advise you to check with the department first. Sometimes the graduate school sets the word limit for all programs, but the departments don't really have a limit for themselves and would accept an SoP that was above the limit set by the grad school. If the limit is set by the department I wouldn't advise going over it. Sometimes people have found that cutting down your SoP to get to a low limit like 500 words actually improves it helps you find out what is really necessary and what is fluff.

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The advice I heard around here last year was to try not to go over the word limit by more than 10%. So, for a 500 word SOP, that would be 550 words total. I applied to schools last year and started with a SOP of over 1000 words but had to cut it down for a school with a limit of 500. I agonized over it but, once I had cut it down to the bare minimum, I found I liked that version better than the longer, wordier one. Also, keep in mind that if everyone else who applies keeps within the limit, your SOP will stand out and the committee might not want to read all of it.

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