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Why To Write Shorter Sentences

According to the American Press Institute:

  • When the average sentence length of a piece is less than 8 words long, readers understand 100% of the story.

  • At 14 words, they can comprehend more than 90% of the information.

  • Move up to 43-word sentences, and comprehension drops below 10%.

Longer sentences have been shown, repeatedly, to be harder to understand.

The UK Government now prohibits sentences longer than 25 words on public civil documents.

Great advertisers, who can’t afford to be misunderstood, use the shortest sentences of all.

As a competitive GAMSAT student you can’t afford to be misunderstood either. The examiner cannot give you marks for sentences they don’t understand. It is therefore your duty to make comprehension as easy as possible for them. The easiest way to do this is to write shorter sentences.



So how does one learn to write concisely?


Long-winded sentences are a habit of the lazy mind. Habits like this can only be broken intentionally. Force yourself to practice shortening all your sentences. Take out every word that isn’t crucial. Every sentence is a message to the reader and your job is convey that message as efficiently as possible. You don’t get marks for having more words on the page.

Less words = less time writing on the exam = more time to think about how awesome your essay is gonna be.

Here’s a brilliant set of tips and tricks for finding shortcuts through sentences:


Excercise: Open a word document and see how short you can make these sentences without subverting their original meaning. I will dedicate a song to whoever emails me the shortest set before GAMSAT UK 2014.

Any person who is truly honest will find they become absolutely awesome at writing communicative messages and, in this day and age, that is a very necessary skill to have.

For some mysterious reason unknown to me, there were a grand total of twelve surgeons congregating in close proximity to an ancient stone monolith from the time of the paleolithic era smiling with suspicious grins.

State-of-the-art new innovations have a tendency to be inspirational to white people from the United Kingdom as a result of their nature as original and exciting entities.

When James passed away, not one person wanted to even think about the possibility that they should co-operate in case, when he was to come back as a zombie, they found they had placed their trust in the wrong person. Being stabbed in the back in this way would surely lead to an immediate end to their life.