University of California – Admissions
How to apply
Personal insight questions
The personal insight questions are about getting to know you better — your life experience, interests, ambitions and inspirations.
Think of it as your interview with the admissions office. Be open. Be reflective. Find your individual voice and express it.
While this section of the application is just one part we consider when making our admission decision, it helps provide context for the rest of your application.
Applying for Admission
Who can apply
UCLA accepts applications from first-time freshmen and junior-level transfer students.
Who is a first-time freshman?
You are considered a first-time freshman applicant for admission purposes if:
- you are still in high school, or
- you have graduated from high school but have not enrolled in a regular session at any college or university. You cannot disregard your college record and apply as a freshman.
If you plan to attend a college summer session immediately after graduating from high school or have completed college work while in high school, the University still considers you a freshman applicant.
Who is a junior-level transfer student?
- You are a transfer student if you graduated from high school and enrolled in a regular session at any college or university since your high school graduation. You cannot disregard your college record and apply as a freshman.
- To be considered junior level you must have completed 60-86 semester units (90-129 quarter units) by the end of the spring term before you transfer to UCLA.
UCLA does not accept applications from students seeking second baccalaureate degrees.
Admission to UCLA is highly selective, as we receive far more applications from qualified students than we can accommodate. For detailed information about the freshman and transfer admission processes, refer to our pages on Freshman Admission and Transfer Admission criteria. We also recommend that you discuss your academic program with your high school or college counselor.
When to apply
UCLA is on the quarter term system with regular sessions in the fall, winter, and spring.
Fall Quarter (September – December)
- UCLA is open to new students in most undergraduate programs. The regular application filing period for November 1-30.
The deadline to apply to Fall Quarter 2018 has passed. The next opportunity to apply will be for Fall Quarter 2019; the application will be available in August.
University of California – Admissions
How to apply
Freshman: Personal insight questions
What do you want UC to know about you? Here’s your chance to tell us in your own words.
- You will have 8 questions to choose from. You must respond to only 4 of the 8 questions.
- Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.
- Which questions you choose to answer is entirely up to you: But you should select questions that are most relevant to your experience and that best reflect your individual circumstances.
Keep in mind
- All questions are equal: All are given equal consideration in the application review process, which means there is no advantage or disadvantage to choosing certain questions over others.
- There is no right or wrong way to answer these questions: It’s about getting to know your personality, background, interests and achievements in your own unique voice.
Questions & guidance
Remember, the personal questions are just that — personal. Which means you should use our guidance for each question just as a suggestion in case you need help. The important thing is expressing who you are, what matters to you and what you want to share with UC.
1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church, in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities. For example, do you help out or take care of your family?
How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom? Does your creativity relate to your major or a future career?
Does the talent come naturally or have you worked hard to develop this skill or talent? Does your talent or skill allow you opportunities in or outside the classroom? If so, what are they and how do they fit into your schedule?
If you choose to write about educational barriers you’ve faced, how did you overcome or strive to overcome them? What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who are you today?
If you’re currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, “How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends or with my family?”
Has your interest in the subject influenced you in choosing a major and/or future career? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject (honors, AP, IB, college or university work)? Are you inspired to pursue this subject further at UC, and how might you do that?
7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community?
From your point of view, what do you feel makes you an excellent choice for UC? Don’t be afraid to brag a little.
Need more help?
- Download the worksheet for freshman applicants [PDF]
- See our writing tips & techniques
Ready to get started?
It’s a good idea to work on the questions before you enter them into the application. Here’s a word doc with all the questions to help you.
Personal Insight Questions
The following are tips to help applicants find appropriate topics, styles, and tones for their answers to the personal insight questions. Please also see the University of California’s instructions.
In your application—including your answers to the personal insight questions—we are looking for evidence of your intellectual curiosity and your interest in personal development. UCLA is a dynamic and exciting place—due largely to our creative, ambitious, and diverse student body. We anticipate that the applicants we admit will contribute to the intellectual vitality, cultural life, and diversity of UCLA.
Your Answers to the Personal Insight Questions
- These questions are about getting to know you better, so be open, reflective, find your individual voice and express it.
- Freshman Applicants: You will have 8 questions to choose from, you must respond to any 4 of the 8 questions. The questions you choose to answer are entirely up to you.
- Transfer Applicants: There is one required question you must answer; then you answer 3 out of 7 additional questions. Which 3 of the 7 you choose to answer are entirely up to you.
- All applicants: We recommend you select questions that are most relevant to your experience and best reflect your individual circumstances.
- All questions will be given equal consideration in the application review process, which means there is no advantage or disadvantage to choosing certain questions over others.
- Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.
Tips for Success
Give yourself time to think about your topics, and carefully consider the rationale behind each question.
Be clear. Be focused. Be organized.
Make sure your answers to the personal insight questions follow a logical structure. Try to think about how it may seem to an audience who doesn’t know you. Input from people you trust—teachers, friends, relatives—can help you get different perspectives on how your answers to the questions affect those who are reading them.
Be careful with humor and clichés.
What might seem funny or bitingly ironic to you might not seem that way to someone who doesn’t know you. Remember that these questions are an opportunity for you to give us a complete picture of yourself. Don’t allow clichés to speak for you.
Don’t manufacture hardship.
Your answer to a personal insight question isn’t effective simply because it chronicles difficult circumstances. Rather, an effective answer to any question gives us a clear sense of your personal qualities and how you have used and developed them in response to your opportunities and challenges.
Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.
Most students will answer some of these questions discussing initiative. A much smaller number will show us initiative with concrete examples of demonstrated motivation and leadership. But examples are only one part of the equation: we need you to prove to us with written examples that you have a sense of who you are, where you are going, and how you are going to use your education and your experiences to accomplish your goals. Although some events have long-term or even lifetime ramifications, it is usually better to focus on recent events because they shed more light on who you are right now.
Finally, give yourself plenty of time for revisions.
Read your writing to others, and revise for clarity in content and in style. Pay attention to rules of correct grammar and punctuation, and don’t forget to spell check.
We hope these tips will help you get organized and will inspire you. Your accomplishments, your opinions…you are important! Your answers to these questions are the best tool you have to show us the individual gifts you have to offer to the UCLA community.
Please visit the University of California site for more help with your personal insight questions, including the text of the questions you will be asked to answer.
Special Instructions for Veterans
The University is interested in knowing about your military service. Therefore, you may wish to use the personal insight questions to communicate the following.
- Describe how your military service has been instrumental in developing your educational plans.
- Indicate if you are entitled to educational benefits as a result of your own military service to the service connected death or disability of a parent or spouse.
- Indicate if you are affiliated with the military such as, but not limited to, the spouse or dependent of someone who is on active duty or a current participant in an ROTC-type program.
The UC Personal Insight Guides are also available in Spanish.
UCLA Admissions Essays
These college essays are from students who got accepted at University of California – Los Angeles. Use them to get inspiration for your own essays and knock the socks off those admissions officers!
1. The World I Come From
It is incredible how social environment plays such a great role in a person’s holistic development. It is like the butterfly effect on an individual, yet grand scale. Each decision is like a ripple that spreads out uniformly, increases many fold, and eventually changes the person’s futur.
2. Resource in Mind
I only allow myself to watch one movie in theatres every year. Although some people may view me as cheap, my frugal nature has been a strong source of my self-identity. This sense of resourcefulness is apparent throughout my family’s activities, whether it is cooking our own dinner or bargaini.
3. Education is my life
Many scholars have come up with different definitions for the concept of education. Some motivational speakers call it “the key to success”. Others refer to it as the backbone of our society. Many leaders, especially duri.
Essays That Worked
Read the top 3 college essays that worked at UCLA and more. Learn more.
University of California – Los Angeles Facts
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, United States. It is the second-oldest of the general-education campuses of the University of California system. UCLA is considered a Public Ivy of the UC.
- 18.6% acceptance rate
- 43,239 enrolled students
- $12,753 tuition & fees
- #23 in US News & World Report
Located in Los Angeles, CA
- 108,029 views
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
What is Study Notes?
That’s easy — it’s the best way to study for AP classes and AP exams! StudyNotes offers fast, free study tools for AP students. Our AP study guides, practice tests, and notes are the best on the web because they’re contributed by students and teachers like yourself. Always 100% free.
Tips for Answering UCLA Application Prompts
Answering UCLA Application essay prompts can be a very tricky task. Even though the majority of universities make sure their applicants have a hard experience when it comes to answering to the essay prompts, in UCLA is a little less stressful and easier. However, it is still a task that could make some students have a really difficult time.
But it is something that can be overcome really easy. Like answering UC application prompts you just need to know about the admission requirements for all graduate degree programs plus the UCLA Essay Prompts list and how to answer them. Then, your pass to the University of California, Los Angeles will be a lot closer.
Admission Requirements for UCLA
All universities in the world, especially those which are a little more demanding, always have these types of requirements every applicant needs to comply with. When it comes to UCLA, the requirements are pretty easy to follow:
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 for California residents and 3.5 for out-of-state applicants. Calculated using only 10th and 11th courses.
- SAT or ACT Writing test performance.
- Transcripts of all your coursework and school experience during the entire high-school program.
- All registries of academic activities to develop intellectual abilities. From honours and awards to recognitions or any other type of achievements with an academic purpose.
- UCLA Application Prompts answers as an entrance exam.
- Interview if needed
- Statement of purpose for graduate school
All of these requirements need to be delivered before the UCLA application deadline ends. The normal admission dates are from the 1st of November to the 30th of the same month every year. However, the application site is available from August in order to receive applications from all type of students willing to be part of such a wonderful university.
List of Common UCLA Prompts
As you know, the UC application prompts are of utmost importance for the application process when you apply for the university. They can change the outcome of your application, making you look better and possibly – getting you an admission on the program of your liking. These are the most common personal statement UCLA prompts and how to answer them, take a look:
Prompt #1: Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem-solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
This prompt is mainly directed to know more about your creative side, about your concept of creativity and about how creative you can be. If your artistic side is an important thing for you, and it actually helped to overcome any of your personal problems, you can state it here. However, if it is a big influence on your life, if you take creativity as an important part of your every day, this is the moment to let the admission committee know. Just tell them exactly what you think about creativity and how it moulds with your personality.
Nadira Berman from Magoosh, a professional college advisor says:
“This prompt about creativity could also be answered in many different ways, whether you wish to write about artistic work or your ability to think of creative solutions to difficult problems.”
Prompt #2: Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
This essay prompt can be both used to know about your interests according to your academic goals and your interests outside your academic goals. For example, if you choose to talk about something relevant to the university and program you want to apply for in your UCLA admission essay, you are immediately making sure they know exactly what inspires you to keep studying in such subject or idea.
But if you choose to talk about something not relevant to the university, about something that flourishes your enthusiasm but doesn’t have as much to do with the university you are immediately making the admission committee know that you have other interests, maybe making you look better than those who talk about an academic one.
Nadira Berman affirms:
“They want to learn more about the various parts of students’ lives. Take the opportunity to show that you’re well-rounded.”
So, don’t choose something with academic purpose if you don’t really want to, you can choose something that only seems academic but actually is something more personal and it will still be good.
Prompt #3: What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
Wherever you’re going, whether it is a university or a company or any other type of institution, they will want to know what you’ve done in the past, especially out of pure solidarity. Here, you can talk about what you’ve done to offer your community, what you’ve made and what you’ve achieved in order to make of the place you live a better one.
However, you shouldn’t stick to a problem or something you’ve fix or made. You can just talk about something you offered, an idea or whatever of that sort. Berman says:
“But you also shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the box. You don’t always need to take the prompts completely literally.”
Prompt#4: Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?
This is a wonderful essay prompt to choose. According to Nadira Berman:
“This is exactly what colleges want to know about you and exactly what will get you admitted. You can have all of the qualifications, but if there’s nothing about you that sets you apart, then you may not be accepted. Make sure you don’t blend into the crowd.”
So, take your time, answer according to what you think it’s best of yourself and increase your chances of getting admitted.
Need Help with UCLA College Prompts?
We know the difficulty of answering the questions like how UCLA application essays should be written. That’s why we offer the best help for you to make all of your answers perfect according to the essay prompt you choose.
Just avoid making yourself look bad. Write according to your deepest thoughts and you will be better off than most applicants. Be honest and everything will be easier.
But if this still makes it too difficult for you, there’s no better option than our guidance and writing service for UC application prompts. We will make your essays look wonderful and achieve you an admission to the university of your liking.
More Than UC Personal Statement Prompt Examples
UPDATE Oct. 2016: The UC essay questions have changed!
How to Respond to the UC Essay Prompts
Many students are quite interested in applying to one or many of the campuses within the University of California system (or the “UC system” for short). That’s not too surprising as 6 of the 9 campuses (UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, & UC Irvine) are ranked in the top 40 of the US News & World Report’s “Best National Universities.” The UC system has always had one main application that all the campuses share. Incoming freshmen must respond to two essay prompts on the UC application in order to apply for undergraduate admission. Each applicant must respond to both essay questions within a maximum of 1000 words total. These words may be allocated as the student wishes as long as the shorter one is greater than 250 words.
Assuming this makes sense to you, I’d like to discuss the two prompts, what they’re asking the student, and how best to respond to them. Here are the two questions:
- Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
- Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?
When my students read these prompts, they usually look dumbfounded and then start to slowly ask all the questions that come into their heads. Because these questions tend to be repeated each year with my new set of students, I thought you might benefit from some of the answers.
“There are too many words in this essay question.”
Anytime an essay question confuses you, break it down into parts so that you understand everything it’s asking. The writers of these essay questions usually add words and ideas that they think will help the student start brainstorming.
“What’s a prompt?”
A prompt is an essay question.
“What is #1 really asking?” “Describe my world?”
To summarize, #1 is really asking WHO WILL YOU BECOME? It wants to know how your surroundings—the people or the environment–have helped shape who you want to become. Often students can relate to this one by thinking about why they have chosen a certain path—Why have they decided to study a certain major and want to become an engineer, a doctor, a psychologist, a social worker, a business executive, an English teacher, a politician or a church leader? What/Who made them want to become an athlete, an artist, a singer, a cook, a journalist?
What is #2 really asking?”
To summarize, #2 is really asking WHO ARE YOU NOW? It wants to know how some experience or quality or characteristic really describes who you are. Here you want to show a personality trait through an anecdote. This one will be more related to your personal statement on other applications.
“Tell us about a talent?” “I thought I’m not supposed to TELL anything Danielle—You say to SHOW it.”
You’re right. You don’t want to spend time in an essay TELLing anyone who you are. That is why they followed up that question with “…how does [this quality, talent, accomplishment] relate to the person you are?” They want you to describe the type of person you are by through SHOWING them through example.
“This sounds like they want a laundry list of things.”
No, the UC (or any college for that matter) does not want a laundry list of all your extracurricular activities. Save those for the right section on the application.
“How am I supposed to choose which one is longer and which is shorter?”
Generally, one essay can become your personal statement for other applications. Since almost all personal statements on other applications give you a 500-600 word count limit, make this one your longer one. Your other one would be around 300-400 words.
“Should I write two 500 word essays or one long and one short?”
You can allocate the words as you wish. In my experience, students have chosen one to be 500-600 words and one to be 300-400 words.
“If I’ve already written my personal statement, can I use it for one of these answers?”
Other UC Prompt Resources
In the past, the UC application has been very difficult to navigate and even more difficult to locate the essay prompts / questions. In recent years, however, they have really turned this around and students can read a page about the prompts, review tips for writing, and watch a YouTube video. Here is the website: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/personal-statement/index.html
64 thoughts on “ More Than UC Personal Statement Prompt Examples ”
This information actually helped me a lot. I’ve been pulling my hair out just wondering how the heck I’m going to write my essays but this page has actually got some ideas going in my head. THANX SO MUCH.
So glad to hear it helped you! Good luck on college responses!
Hi, how do we get tutored from you?
I need to practice writing a personal statement for my AP English class but I don’t really know how to start and where to begin.
Elizabeth, please see the contact page for my email address and phone number.
I am currently writing a personal statement for my AP English class and i am really stuck. Can you write one without giving out too much personal information?
Not quite sure what you mean about too much personal information, but may I presume you have an experience that was significant but one that perhaps is too private to discuss in a paper? Your personal statement is a time to reflect your personality, not just a description of an experience. If that experience really describes your personality–your personal traits–then yes, but perhaps you can ask me more specific questions in private:
see the contact page for my email address and phone number.
Holy crap. This helped me out SO MUCH. I had to rewrite my personal statements from scratch (for reasons I won’t care to explain) and now I’m thinking, “I got this!”
Wonderful news, Marisa! Glad to hear you gained your needed confidence. I wish you luck on your responses from colleges!
For prompt #1, is it very important to link your aspiration to your intended course of study?
It is not pertinent, but it is usually a good idea. Do you have an idea of a potential career path you might like? That could be a good response too. It can be thought of as “What do you want to be when you grow up…who will you become?”
i would like to major in Sociology but i dont know what to write for prompt one. Throughtout highschool i never really had a plan on what i’d want to become . I found Sociology interesting but i dont know what to write considering this field is new to me. HELP ?!
Do you like working with people? Do you like a Psych class you took? Do you like studying people’s behavior? Do you have an interest in Advertising? Do you have an interest in film/video/screenwriting/acting? All of these have foundations in Sociology. Let me know if that helps
Can you write about the person you will become in general for Prompt #1 or does have to be about the type of person youll become for your specific study?
Yes, writing about the person you want to become is a good answer. If you can show how a potential major(s) might aid in that career path or path to success/happiness…that would be a bonus.
Also, have you written an essay already for the Common App or Apply Texas app by chance? Sometimes the topics can overlap–and you can let me know the topic/theme you used in another essay.
your web page has been a great resource to start my personl statement (: i was wondering where can i contact you to ask ou some private questions?
I was looking up ways tow write my personal statement and came upon this website. Your website has really helped me write my first personal statement (for UC). Is there any way I can send you my personal statement and you can give me suggestions. Thank You.
Hi Muhammad Raza,
I can no longer take essays with the Nov 30th deadline. Try talking to your school counselor and/or English teacher for help. Thanks for writing, Danielle
Hi Danielle it really helped me out. Im working hard on prompt 1. Can you tell me what my approach should be. I reall want to be an Economist in the future. how should i link this inspiration with my school or my WORLD.
Have you taken any classes during high school that relate to economics? Did you shadow/intern with an economist? Is there someone in the family/teacher who helped you decide this path? Are you a member of a club that discusses issues related to the economy? What inspired you to want to be an economist?
Hi, I have a question concerning the essay. As of now I have made my essay 750/250 for the prompts. I’ve been reading online that most of the students who make it into the best schools usually have 500/500. The 750 words for my prompt number one requires every word to make it whole and itll be hard to start from scratch. I really need help deciding
I think 750 for Prompt #1 is good–that seems to be more the norm. If you can edit more words, however, I think the 2nd prompt would be better with at least a 300 word response…so shoot to make it more 700/300. Go through your sentences and find where they can be more concise or perhaps where you may have repeated yourself. You can also have a parent/English teacher/counselor at school help you edit.
This was really helpful! However, I have a quesiton about the second prompt. Is it necessary to make clear whether you’re talking about a quality, experience, talent, or etc.? Or can your essay kind of blur a couple together? The one I have written can work for accomplishment and quality, and I haven’t exactly emphasized either…
That all depends, Emily, what is your accomplishment and what quality are you trying to portray?
Thank you so much this has really help me with writing my prompt #1. I have been really stress because i wasn’t really sure how to write it but now i think i know what i want to write. Thank you so mcuh
Hi Alondra! I’m so happy to hear that.
This helped so much with my essay for prompt #1. Do you have any advice on how to make prompt #2 sound humbling rather than arrogant for how a talent or personal quality made me proud? Thank you so much!
First off, the UC does say that these prompts are a chance to brag about yourself as they don’t know anything about you otherwise.
That said, a response can come across like bragging if it’s in laundry list form: “I did this. Then I did this. I was good at this.”
Instead, talk about how you were surprised how much you learned, how happy you were to understand a new perspective after accomplishing your feat, or why you look back on the person you were and how far you’ve come and how proud you are of yourself now. You can also SHOW how proud you were/are by describing a parent, friend, teacher, or coach congratulating you…and how you smile and nod your head. The reader can then understand that you’re proud too.
Hi i was wondering if anybody could give me ideas or examples on what to write my second personal statement on. Its for my college applications and today’s the last day that i have to write it because the dead line is tomorrow please help me.
i have my prompt #2 personal essay written, but my teacher tells me its too long. can i send it to you in an email and tell me how to shorten it?
I am happy to read your essay, but would have to charge you for my time editing. I will write you directly.
Thanks for the article! It was very helpful during my writing process. Do you offer personal editing resources? That would be even more helpful. Thanks again!
I remember exchanging emails with you last month. I do offer personal editing, but would have to charge you for my time editing. I will write you directly. Thanks, Danielle
I am working on my uc davis prompt application and i am confused and would like your help.
Thanks so much for writing. What is the confusion? What to write about? What the prompt is asking? Let me know some specifics and I can help you more effectively.
Hey I just wrote my personal statement prompt 1. It’s my first draft, but I’m not to sure if it’s good. Can you help me in any way? Bty, amazing website! It’s because of this website I was able to write something down.
I’m so glad you liked the website and I am glad it helped you.
I do read students’ essays and would just charge for my time editing. I will email you directly.
Your information is really helpful. But I was wondering if for prompt 1, since we have to talk about the world we come from I can talk about how I am an undocumented student & how at some points in my life I find myself having everything so much harder than the olpeoplr surrounding me?
Your information is really helpful. But I was wondering if for prompt 1, since we have to talk about the world we come from I can talk about how I am an undocumented student & how at some points in my life I find myself having everything so much harder than the people surrounding me?
I would first research the specific UC campus(es) of interest to you & find a contact there. Here is UCB’s policy/facts about undocumented students: http://undoc.universityofcalifornia.edu/
Hello! My name is Sofia Cervantes and I am currently a senior in high school. In the summer of 2015 I will be graduating and hopefully continuing my studies elsewhere. For this reason being, it is of importance for me to begin my applications. However, I am having difficult beginning my personal essay. I was wondering if you could please be of aid. If so please contact me as soon as possible. My email : Sjcervantes11@gmail.com
Did you go through the Personal Statement Blueprint? And did you think of ideas? Or did you write a draft of your essay(s)? I’ll also send you a personal email.
I would like to major in Computer Engineering and I do not know what to write about it for UC Prompt 1. Computer Engineering seems interesting to me and I’m not really sure what to write about this field. Please help. Thank You
I would start to think about what made you decide that you would like/benefit from a Comp E style major. Have you shadowed a computer engineer before? Is someone in the family a computer engineer? Have you taken any classes at school that relate? Or joined any clubs/enrichment programs that led you down that path? Think about WHY you have chosen this field. It can also help to look up the Comp E programs at the UC’s that interest you–you can find descriptions of the majors, the classes, often even bios of teachers you can email to ask questions.
I really need help with writing a personal statement for college
I need you to be more specific…Common App #1-#5 essays? UC Prompts #1, #2? Undergraduate app? Graduate/Transfer app? public university app? Are you having trouble with what to write or how to write it?
Thank you so much for the advice you have given through this post. I have made a few revisions after completing a draft of my Prompt 2 essay and was wondering if you could e-mail me to take a look at it and give feedback. I am also struggling to not restate “the world I come from” in Prompt 1 with the experience I wrote about in Prompt 2. Hope to hear from you soon.
Per my email that I sent you privately, I do read students’ essays and just charge for my time editing. My current fee is $185/hour. Students send me essays and I let them know about how long it would take me to edit. Then they let me know how/when they would like to proceed. Thanks for your interest. –Danielle
Thank you so much for the tips! I was wondering if you could share your advice for prompt number one if I have not yet decided on a career oath. I’m really struggling to figure out what to write! Thank you!
I find UC Prompt #1 is really asking “Who will you become?” This can be the major you will choose or the career path you choose. Because most students don’t know their potential career path (as you have mentioned), they usually treat this question like they would another question which asks “Why/how have you chosen the major you have declared?” that we find so often on many university applications these days. Do you know what major you are choosing and why you are choosing it? Let’s start there.
I would like you help on personal statement. How can I contact you.
I just emailed you directly.
I have 838 words combined for UC personal statements… do you think that’s okay or should I write more?
That completely depends. As you know, one must be at least 250 words. My students tend to write one closer to 350-400 and one at 600-650, but that is by no means a rule. If you feel like the admissions readers can get a great feel (and great range) of who you are by reading the 2 prompts at the length you have them, then the essays could be fine.
Samples would be nice please
Do you know if UC Davis changes there personal statement prompts each year? I am a college freshman and want to get a head start so I can perfect my personal statements.
No the UC’s did not change their prompts this year, and in fact opened their app on Aug 1st–so you can definitely get started!
My English teacher wants us to writing a personal statment. I want to be a psycholoist but I still don’t understand what are the prompt 1 really mean’s to me. I still don’t make any sense of it can you explaint specific for me ? Please.
Thanks for writing.
Have you had any practice writing answers to any other prompts for college apps and you are struggling with the UC one? Or have you never started writing one before?
If you have never written an essay, go through my Personal Statement Blueprint for only $5: https://www.personalstatementblueprint.com/
If you’re struggling just with how to change another one you’ve written to work for the UC one…Read this:
Things to know about your personal statement essay and how it can be used for multiple applications.
I’ll suggest which essay prompts can have similar answers. (This obviously depends on your stories, but in general, you can use this guide).
Common concerns I get this month:
“I’ve filled out Essay A & Essay C for UT-Austin and now I want to know if they can be used for the Common App.”
I’ve filled out my Apply Texas A & B. Can I use them for the UC’s or the Common App?
“I want to apply to the UC’s and have written the Apply Texas essays. Do I have to write new essays or can I reuse any?”
“I have written my Common App essay. Can I use it for Apply Texas or one of the UC prompts?”
You have 3 essays to choose from depending where you will be applying (Essay A, Essay B, Essay C)
Essay A: Describe a setting in which you have collaborated/interacted with people…how were your initial feelings changed/not by this experience? (Could work for: Common App #1, #4, #5, UC Prompt #1…however the experience needs to be with PEOPLE—not just one person)
Essay B: Describe a circumstance/conflict and the skills and resources you used to resolve it…did it change you and how? (Could work for: UC Prompt #2, Common App #1, #2, #3, #5)
Essay C: Considering your lifetime goals, discuss how your current and future academic and extra-curricular activities might help you achieve your goals. (Could work for: UC Prompt #1, Common App #1, #5)
University of California
You have 2 mandatory essay prompts
Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations. (In short: WHO WILL YOU BECOME?) (Could work for: Texas Essay A (if you discuss people not one person) & definitely Texas Essay C, Common App #1, #4, #5)
Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are? (In short: WHO ARE YOU NOW?) (Could work for: Common App #1, #4, #5, Texas Essay A—if you talk about people not just one person)
You have 5 essays to choose from
Which one should I use?
#1 Some students have a background story that is so central to their identity that they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
(Could work for: Texas Essay A, B, C, or UC Prompt #1, #2)
#2 Recount and incident/time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?
(Could work for: Texas Essay B)
#3 Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
(Could work for: Texas Essay A (if people involved), B, and possibly C if it relates to your goals; possibly UC Prompt #1 or #2)
#4 Describe a place/environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
(Could work for: Texas Essay A (if people involved) and possibly C if it relates to your goals; possibly UC Prompt #1 or #2)
#5 Discuss an accomplishment/event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
(Could work for: Texas Essay A (if people involved), B, C and possibly C if it relates to your goals; possibly UC Prompt #1 or #2)
I am having trouble trying to brainstorm ideas to write for UC prompt #1 because I am doubting myself on if the topic is good enough to write about.
Ever since I was little I always loved animals so I wanted to write about how I accidentally killed my bird and how it has shaped me as a person and how it affected my dreams to go into the medical field to help people but I dont know if its focusing enough on the “world I came from” or focusing on family community or school.
Could you please give me some advice on what I should do? It would be greatly appreciated!
How did you kill your bird? And I get the transition to medicine (esp if it were veterinary!)…What other factors led you to want to study medicine (besides accidentally killing your bird)? Classes at school? Doctor in the family? The way a teacher taught a bio/chem/physics class at school? YouTube videos you’ve watched on surgery? Outside/enrichment programs/classes? Opportunities you’ve taken to shadow someone in the field? Internships/jobs you’ve had that sparked an interest in science/medicine? These would all discuss the “world you come from” influencing your goals to pursue a degree/major in science/med.
Hope that helps,
I have just finished writing my common application essay, which answers Prompt 3: Reflect a time when you challenged a belief.
In my common app essay, I start off by describing ‘my world’ and later talk about how my volunteering in a foreign country and internship helped me consolidate my aspirations.
So I was wandering how I could incorporate this essay to the UC essays? The common Application essay is just above 650 on word count and I believe the UCs ask for no more than 1000 words for both essays?
Many thanks in advance,
So what was the time you challenged a belief?
Yes if you write about your world and aspirations, then for sure it works with the UC prompt. You can even keep the word count at 650 if you can make the other one 350.