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How to Write the University of California Essay

Freshman: Personal insight questions

❶Educational Experiences Essay Hell - […] freshman pick four essays—each under words—out of eight all-new prompts, known as Personal Insight Questions. Your goal is to make the extraordinary into something at least somewhat relatable — and the way you do that is by making your writing down to earth.

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Personal insight questions

With good writing, shorter is usually harder. If it helps, here's what I sent out to my followers on my popular blog, Essay Hell: Web Link Hope this helps! In these times of extreme competition for admission to the UC's and many other colleges , whatever essays are submitted by an applicant really should be written in a controlled environment. I think it is fair to presume that some applicants are getting much more "help" than others with their essays.

Essays critical to admissions assessment should be administered in a similar manner. So let me get this straight This year's juniors have 9 months to write 4 essays from a choice of 8 already given topic, with the UCs being kind enough to give hints on each topic and worksheets with suggestions. So with 9 months notice kids are kids incapable of writing 4 short essays?

Do they need the help of someone like Janine Robinson, advertising her business here, a business that preys on the fear of parents and their children? If your kid can't write 4 interesting, short essays on their own in 9 months, they shouldn't be going to college. The prompts posted are asking an opinion, not asking kids to do some serious writing that uses more sophisticated skills like critical thinking. As a writer who helps college-bould students with their essays, I can see pluses and minuses to the new UC prompts.

One of the pluses is that the questions should take some of the mystery out of what the admission office "wants. The need for an artful personal essay, a form not taught in most high schools, is reduced. On the other hand, the prompts mean more work for many. Students who are applying to UC schools and other colleges will need to write these four essays and the longer personal essay required for the Common Application and the new Coalition application.

Not that students have much choice. The only choice is to make sure to accept that in the college application process the essays can make a big difference, a topic I take up at greater length here: Please fix the headline to this: Why is this talent or skill meaningful to you? 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? Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced. An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for college.

What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who are you today? Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge.

How has this challenge affected your academic achievement? A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?

Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject honors, AP, IB, college or university work? What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? Think of community as a term that can encompass a group, team or a place — like your high school, hometown, or home. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community?

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?

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. When looking at your life, what does a stranger need to understand in order to know you? What have you not shared with us that will highlight a skill, talent, challenge, or opportunity that you think will help us know you better?

Here are some additional details about these new University of California essay prompts that you might find helpful or interesting This was released from the admissions department today. Thanks for taking the time to write about these. I would really discourage you and others from using that language in future blogs. Thanks for the feedback. Most pieces of short writing, especially ones that express personal views, are called essays this goes back centuries! In my opinion, it would be accurate to say that the sum of four of these short personal essays are being used by the admissions departments of the UCs as a working personal statement.

I would love to hear how you think about this, and what you would call these pieces of writing. What a semantic freak. These are essays through and through, no ifs or buts about it. An essay is any piece of organized writing with a cohesive theme, purpose, or message. Your email address will not be published. As a professional writing coach, I help students, parents, counselors, teachers and others from around the world on these dreaded essays! Learn about my in-person and online tutoring, editing, workshops, books, and online courses, My on-demand, fast-and-easy online e-course: The two essays had to be a total of no more than 1, words.

So, total under 1, words. In essence, these mini-essays will serve as your one personal statement, in that the goal is to highlight your most core qualities and values—and help you stand out from the crowd. That is super helpful, so read them closely! After almost 10 years, UC is changing the personal statement section of its undergraduate admissions application, replacing the current two personal statement prompts with short-answer questions that students can choose from.

The new questions, now called personal insight questions, aim to give applicants a greater say in the kind of information they share with the University. Students can express who they are and what matters to them not only in how they respond to the questions, but also through the questions they choose to answer. The new questions also provide students with better direction and focus on topics that are important to campuses.

Each new question aligns to one or more of the 14 comprehensive review criteria nine criteria for transfer students that campuses consider in their admissions decisions. Check Out These Related Posts! UC Essay Prompt 2: How Do You Stand Out? UC Essay Prompt 1: Your Favorite Academic Subject. Emily Engelschall on March 27, at James on June 2, at 6: Educational Experiences Essay Hell - […] freshman pick four essays—each under words—out of eight all-new prompts, known as Personal Insight Questions.

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What Are the UC Personal Insight Questions?

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UC University of California. The personal insight questions are about getting to know you better — your life experience, interests, ambitions and inspirations.

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So if it only takes you words to answer the prompts completely, good for you. Do not add words to your essay simply to get close to the word limit! 0 .

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To apply, here are the UC essay prompts you can expect. Students choose 4 out of the 8 total UC essay prompts and respond with word answers. The prompts were updated as recently as last year, so we can anticipate no . These short essays—with a word limit—are different from the essays you write in school, which tend to focus on analyzing someone else’s work. Really, the application essays are much closer to a short story.

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[New prompt] 7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. [New prompt] University of California Application. You can apply to all undergraduate UC campuses on one application. Out of the 8 personal insight questions, students choose 4 to answer . How to Write the University of California Essay. Each question has a word limit. Initially, the questions although personal may appear challenging. However, at EliteEssayWriters, we will guide you deal with the essays accordingly. Writing any essay requires some level organization, tackling UC essay prompts is no different. .