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Personal Statement Length


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One department has the following wording regarding personal statement length:" Though fairly short (one or two pages). . ." Is this a standard length? The other schools' statements seem to be 2-3 pages long. Would it be improper if the statement were longer, 2.5 pages or so? Have other applicants exceeded the length noted on the schools' websites?

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wow, we've gotten a lot of questions regarding 'SoP length lately! i suppose everyone wants to finish the apps before the break starts :)

the general consensus in this forum is that you should not exceed the recommended/required length of your SoP.

check out this thread for more discussion:

Edited by bhikhaari
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One department has the following wording regarding personal statement length:" Though fairly short (one or two pages). . ." Is this a standard length? The other schools' statements seem to be 2-3 pages long. Would it be improper if the statement were longer, 2.5 pages or so? Have other applicants exceeded the length noted on the schools' websites?

I believe that you can exceed the required length, but only a little bit and NOT if the website states that your SOP must be MAXIMUM 1,000 words, for example. If you see "maximum" you should not try to exceed this limit. But some schools write "approximately 1,000 words". I think that means that 1,050 and may be even 1,100 is still fine but I would not make it longer.

If a website states that a SOP must be 1-2 pages long I would not make it longer, because it will be very easy to notice that you exceeded the limit. And it will look bad.

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