How Long Should A College Essay Be (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 500 To 650 Words

A college essay is a task given to students for different purposes. The college essay could be part of an assignment task, or for admission purposes, or for judging a child’s abilities and creativity.

A college essay is not just to test a student’s writing skills but also to know about the student, his or her academic skills, interests, and other such information. However, the college essay is not just for knowing about the student or test his/her writing abilities but also test the creativity.

Therefore, it gets really important for students to make the college essay as creative as possible so that it can leave an impression of yours into jury’s mind and they get impressed. However, word count is a very crucial factor to be considered when it comes to writing a college essay along with other factors.

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How Long Should A College Essay Be?

Type Of College EssayLength Of College Essay
High school college essay500 to 1000 words
Essay for college admission500 to 650 words
Undergraduate college essay2000 to 5000 words
Postgraduate college essay2000 to 3000 words

College essays are of numerous types and for different purposes. However, the major types of college essays are high school college essays, essays for college admission, undergraduate college essay, and postgraduate college essay.

With each and every college essay, just like the purpose changes, format changes, word limit changes as well. So it is important to make sure what type of college essay you are writing, and what is its purpose.

Though college admission essays and high school college essays are almost similar, to be marked, not the same. Both of these essays just not differ in their word count, but also in format and purpose also.

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High school college essays are written on a common topic and with a general audience in mind. Such essays are written in such a way that anyone can read them easily and are not much complicated or personal to the writer (student) as compared to college admission essays.

Generally, the length of these college essays is 2 to 3 pages. That means, the word count can range anywhere from 500 to 1000 words.

An essay for college admission, known as a college admission essay or simply a college essay is written by students for getting admission into the college.

However, college admission essays are not just all students have to perform in order to get admission into college, but writing an essay is a part of the admission process of almost all colleges.

The purpose of such an essay is to showcase all your achievements, academics, showcase writing skills and creativity as well.

The word limit of such colleges ranges from 500 to 650 words and have a length of not more than one and a half page.

Undergraduate college essays are given to students to write as a part of an assignment or testing skills. These essays have nothing to do with admission but plays a vital role in marking scheme and improving the result.

Thus, it is important to write these essays in the best way possible, so that your essay impresses the jury and you get good marks for them.

The word limit of an undergraduate college essay ranges anywhere from 2000 to 5000 words and should have a length of 4 to 5 pages long.

Postgraduate college essays are just like undergraduate college essays with almost the same format and the same purpose only, that is to increase academic scores.

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However, the difference is that these essays are supposed to be written while you are doing your master’s or any such postgraduate degree.

Another difference between undergraduate college essays and postgraduate college essays is that they vary in word count.

Postgraduate college essays are shorter in length and have a word count ranging from 2000 to 3000 words. Such essays have a length of around 3 to 4 pages.

Why Should College Essay Be That Long?

When you are writing a college essay then it is important to make sure that your essay is short and precise. Talking about the major type of college essay, that is, college admission, it should range from 500 to 650 words only.

The reason behind that is because no one enjoys reading long and 10 pages long essays. Everyone enjoys reading a short, crisp, and interesting essay which would not take them only 5 to 7 minutes.

Another reason behind short college essay length is because the jury members have thousands of essays to read, so they willingly read short essays only. And if your essay is too long then there is a high probability that it might get rejected.

So, before writing the college essay, make sure you are not making it long and boring to read. Moreover, the first thing that you should always keep a check upon should be word count only. Because if your essay goes over a length of 650 words, it will automatically get rejected by the college’s automatic system of filtering essays.

However, if the college essay template or guidelines give you the liberty to write as long as you want, then you can make the essay go your way.

Most of the college essays give you a word limit range under which you have to work. Thus, it is important to follow those guidelines.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

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