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winterallsummer

Length of personal statememnt

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Hi, I have a CASPA account and it says 650 words. Do you guys find this hard to stick to? Did you go over or under 650 words, or do you want to be as close to 650 as possible?

 

I read (and can identify with) that those going over our statements are turned off by the longer ones as these people give them extra work by not following the rules.

 

I have my statement at about 900 words now wondering what I should aim for.

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CASPA won't allow you to turn in anything over 650 words. Your statement will be cut off at anything over the 650 word mark. Personally, I did find it somewhat challenging to trim my statement to under 650 words but I found a way to make it work. Focus on "trimming the fat" and only keeping what is truly essential to convey your message.

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I also read somewhere that CASPA will just cut off your statement at 650 words... So you're final words could be left out if you're not careful! It's hard to keep it to 650, but I was reading another forum that said to just keep it simple and say exactly what you want the admissions committee to know about you and why you want to go to PA school. Hope this helps!

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CASPA is character limited at 5000 characters, not word limited.

Best thing to do is to prepare your narrative in Word and check the number of characters by checking in the Word Count box (double click on the word count at the bottom of the page in Word 2007, under the Tools dropdown in older versions) prior to entering in to CASPA. Best to leave a few characters for breaks to make paragraphs, as the format will be lost when transferred.

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When I went to copy/paste into the CASPA app. from word it gave me a huge character count. I called CASPA and they said to paste it into notepad in the accessories menu- this gives a more accurate count- and then copy and paste from there. My character count went down substantially after that. I would aim for about 635-650, that way you are not going over your limit, but you also show that you have plenty to share to fill up the space.

 

Good luck!

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I had a hard time trimming mine down last year until I finally realized just how much was written in the passive vs. active voice. It's an annoying habit I've had from as far back as junior high. Restructuring your sentences this way will cut down on a LOT of unnecessary words and make your statement sound more polished.

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think of the word/character limit as training for presenting to your eventual SP. Your SP has a full schedule themselves and have no desire to listen to anyone ramble about non important sub plots. Cut to the chase, highlight the real important things, tell that what you are going to do and how it'll benefit them.

 

Or, from an EMS side of things...think of it as calling in a patient report on the radio...you get less than a minute of their attention...make that minute count.

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I had a hard time trimming it down. I had a lot to explain because my undergrad career was not the smoothest. When I wrote it initially, it was more than double what it needed to be. I had to cut out more than half! In the end I think it came out alright, though. I just had to really focus on my main points, shorten sentences, omit details and sacrifice a few things.

 

When I submitted it, it was 4,999 characters hehe. Good luck! Just make sure to keep saving your work as you go along and keep copy/pasting into CASPA to monitor you character count. And, as someone mentioned above, write in the active voice.

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I so agree with using a character count online tool, and being concise. Also, remember to answer the question....there's so much you want to present, but stay on task. The question is why do you want to be a PA? you're going to use your explanations for undergrad inconsistencies, your stellar stats and hce to support why you want to be a PA. Best Wishes in trimming it down, because CASPA will cut off anything over the character limit.

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Also keep in mind that the PA programs have set these limits for the CASPA application because they don't want to read your life story! They read hundreds of PS each application year and the limits are put in place because they can usually tell within the first paragraph if the rest is worth looking at. Stay focused, honest, and concise. As those above mentioned, its a great exercise in sharpening your writing skills.

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Keep it simple and concise. They have hundreds to read, a long essay can quickly become tiresome to read. And you know where it ends up then....

 

You guys are spoiled, CASPA only had 500 word limit when I was applying.

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Ouch! We are spoiled! :)

 

500 words is very little! Mine was about 810 words/ 4999 characters. I ate those characters up!

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For CASPA's character count? No.

 

For your essay? That depends on whether you feel like you added anything in that was extraneous or if you focused on your main points.

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