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I got printed stacks of personal letters.  No way I'm counting that.  One of my colleagues, however, somehow did word counts, and brought one overcount to our program director.  He basically said if you're a little over, it's okay.  I still recommend that you adhere to the limit.  If you got this far in life, you can wordsmith your way out of 50 words.

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lol as an aside on the other hand doctors are notorious for writing not enough, like how many times do radiologist get a req for xray with no clinical history?

maybe your carms essay can just be:

S: me = super cand. :D (rest illegible handwriting)

O: me = >99% other cand. B) (rest illegible handwriting)

A: DC other cand. :lol: (rest illegible handwriting)

P: me match :wub:. (rest illegible handwriting)

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  • 2 weeks later...
18 hours ago, _gettingthere_ said:

What about if a program has a max word limit of 1500 for the personal letter and you can't think of anything else to say after 900 words? Is this bad? I just feel like after writing the shorter ones (like 600 words max) I can convey the same ideas in much fewer words. 

My instinct is to not dip below ~20% of the word limit, but if you feel like your statements are really strong then it might be okay. It would be helpful to get others to read them and give you some feedback. 

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thanks everyone! I just can't think of what else to say so I'm going to leave it (I got to 1100 words though haha)

Also, another question - if a program's prompt doesn't ask "why do you want to come here", should I still address that in my letter (if I have space after answering their specific questions)? Or just answer the questions and nothing else 

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12 hours ago, _gettingthere_ said:

thanks everyone! I just can't think of what else to say so I'm going to leave it (I got to 1100 words though haha)

Also, another question - if a program's prompt doesn't ask "why do you want to come here", should I still address that in my letter (if I have space after answering their specific questions)? Or just answer the questions and nothing else 

i would always highlight this especially if you have the space. 

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14 minutes ago, callmeswags said:

When a program says "Approximately 500 words" - opinions on what the upper limit here would be? I'm at about 530, really don't want to cut down any more, but also worried about being sent to the reject pile for an extra sentence or two :unsure:

I’m going through the process right now too so take this with a grain of salt, but I think if it’s “approximately”, 530 would be okay? Some of them explicitly say “below 500”, or “max 500”, so I think in those cases I wouldn’t want to go higher! 

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16 hours ago, callmeswags said:

When a program says "Approximately 500 words" - opinions on what the upper limit here would be? I'm at about 530, really don't want to cut down any more, but also worried about being sent to the reject pile for an extra sentence or two :unsure:

i'm reaching :lol: for one i'm at like 560 (emailed to confirm going above was ok), and the other they said it really doesn't matter as long as it fits within a page. sticking to 12 pt font and single spaced with spaces between paragraphs to ensure they're both within a page comfortably. 

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