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Is there a maximum number of words for the personal statement?

The question about the optimal size of the personal statement is quite disputable so far. On the one hand, an applicant should give the selection committee as more information about himself/herself as possible. Sometimes the outcome of the personal statement consideration depends on this. On the other hand, the selection committee can’t pay a lot of attention and time to each statement of purpose physically. Besides, long essay about the applicant life story may tire them and in the end it will tell upon the result again.

The conclusion is that you should write briefly, but capaciously on the limited space. There is a matter of talent to a certain extent.
Ideally, your personal statement shouldn’t contain more than 500 words. Or the more general rule says the most optimal volume is one printed page. The majority of universities and colleges follows this rule. At the same time a number of programs may have their own certain requirements as to the length and format of the personal statement. You should pay attention on this moment as well.

Anyway, remember that, first of all, this is your brief autobiographic academic work – curriculum vitae (perhaps, the first in your life) and there definitely will be a temptation to describe your whole lifetime in all details. But before doing so imagine that there are thousands of other applicants to take your stand with their personal statements. And the selection committee will have to read all of them carefully. So, what do you think, whether they choose a long essay written on two or more pages or the short single-page one? Only in that case when the beginning of your personal statement is so interesting and exciting that will attract the committee attention at once you have a chance to be read. But this is rather an exception than a rule. Moreover, you should possess an outstanding narrative talent at least. If you feel such power inside, you may try. But don’t forget one British proverb: “the English say: if a person just has finished a school and written more than two pages of the Curriculum Vitae then he is either a liar or a tramp“.

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