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Make sure your recommendation letter does not request the colleges consideration. Your teacher should not be saying in the letter that you are college material. This is a sure sign to turn the admissions officer off almost instantly. Your high school transcript can show whether you are college material or not. If your teacher states that you were involved in a lot of activities after school. This is another red flag that shows they are recommendation letter is just another generic one. Once again this can be obtained by simply looking at your high school transcript. If your teacher states that your test scores are above average. Once again this is just another generic statement to write a letter and get you out of their hair. If your teacher states that you are very enthusiastic about participation in class.
A well written letter of recommendation can really enhance the way that the admissions department views the overall person "beyond the paper application". A good example of this is a student who may not have a lot of extracurricular activities listed but has worked throughout high school to earn money for their college education. The drive maturity and desire to further their education can be highlighted through a thoughtful letter of recommendation from a faculty member who has seen this "other side" of the student. In light of how the letter of recommendation is used by admissions departments it is important that a careful thought process goes into who the student asks for the college recommendation letter. Yes colleges give you a standard that is usually 2 teacher recommendations.
Stress to your recommender the need to provide detailed specific examples of both your work accomplishments and your character. Use this opportunity to tell a story about yourself that doesnt necessarily fit neatly into a 500 word limit essay. I often receive feedback from clients that a letter longer than a page is too much and that the admissions committee will not read it all but this could not be further from the truth. The recommendation letters normally do not have a word limit so more is usually better. A good detailed letter of recommendation with concrete examples can be 4-5 pages. Make sure your recommender knows this by providing a recommendation letter MBA sample as a guide. Put together an organized set of information to make the process easier for your recommender.