UC Personal Insight Questions: 15 Tips and Examples
Every applicant to one of the University of California campuses must write four short essays in response to the UC application's Personal Insight questions. The UC essay examples below reveal how two different students approached the prompts. Both essays are accompanied by an analysis of their strengths and weaknesses.
As you figure out your strategy for responding to the UC Personal Insight questionskeep in mind that it's not just the individual essays that matter, but also the full portrait of yourself that you create through the combination of all four essays. Ideally, each essay should present a different dimension of your personality, interests, and talents so that the admissions folks get to know you as a three-dimensional individual who has a lot to contribute to the campus community.
For one of her Personal Insight essays, Angie responded to question 2: 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. Angie's essay comes in at words, a little below the word limit. The essay does a good job showing the reader a dimension of Angie that probably isn't apparent anywhere else in her application. Her love of creating cartoons wouldn't appear in her academic record or list of extracurricular activities.
Thus, it's a good choice for one of her Personal Insight essays after all, it's providing new insight into her person. We learn that Angie isn't just a good student who is involved in some school activities. She also has a hobby she is passionate about. Crucially, Angie explains why cartooning is important to her. The tone of Angie's essay is also a plus.
She has not written a typical "look how great I am" essay. Instead, Angie clearly tells us that her artistic skills are personal insight question examples weak. Her honesty is refreshing, and at the same time, the essay does convey much to admire about Angie: she is funny, self-deprecating, and caring. This latter point, in fact, is the true strength of the essay.
By explaining that she enjoys this hobby because of the happiness it brings other people, Angie comes across as someone who is genuine, considerate, and kind. Overall, the essay is quite strong. It is clearly written, uses an engaging styleand is free of any major grammatical errors.
It presents a dimension of Angie's character that should appeal to the admissions staff who read her essay. If there is one weakness, it would be that the third paragraph focuses on Angie's early how to write common app essay. Colleges are much more interested in what you have done in recent years than your activities as a child.
That said, the childhood information connects to Angie's current interests in clear, relevant ways, so it does not detract too much from the overall essay. For one of his University of California Personal Insight essays, Terrance responded to option 6: Describe your favorite academic subject and explain how it has influenced you. Like Angie's essay, Terrance's essay comes in at a little over words.
This length is perfectly appropriate assuming all of the words add substance to the narrative. When it comes to the features of a good application essayTerrance does well and personal insight question examples common pitfalls.
For Terrance, the choice of question 6 makes sense—he fell in love with composing music, and he is entering college knowing what his major will be. If you are like many college applicants and have a wide range of interests and possible college majors, you may want to steer clear of this letter to request letter of recommendation. Terrance's essay does a good job balancing humor with substance.
The opening paragraph presents an entertaining vignette in which he chooses to study music based on nothing more than peer pressure. By paragraph three, we learn how that rather serendipitous introduction to music has led to something very meaningful.
The final paragraph also establishes a pleasing tone with its emphasis on music as a "unifying force" and something that Terrance wants to share with others. He comes across as a passionate and generous person who will contribute to the campus community in a meaningful way.
Unlike the California State University systemthe University of California schools have a holistic admissions process. The admissions officers are evaluating you as a whole person, not just as numerical data related to test scores and grades although both are important. The Personal Insight questions are one of the primary ways the admissions officers get to know you, your personality, and your interests. Think of each essay as an independent entity, as well as one piece of a four-essay application.
Each essay should present an engaging narrative that reveals an important aspect of your life as well as explain why the topic you've chosen is important to you. When you consider all four essays in combination, they should work together to reveal the true breadth and depth of your character and interests. Share Flipboard Email. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college.
Updated March 14, Here is her essay:. When I was about seven or eight, my sister got dumped by her boyfriend unexpectedly. She was feeling really down about it, and I was trying to think of something I usc supplement essay do that would cheer her up. So I drew a pretty bad likeness of her ex, made better by some rather unflattering details.
It made my sister laugh, and I like to think I helped her through her break-up, even if only a little bit. Cartooning is a way for me to be creative and express myself. Here is his essay:. The fourth graders put on this show every year, each one focusing on something different. Our show was about food and making healthy chance of being accepted to college. We could pick which group to be in: dancing, stage design, writing, or music.
I chose music, not because I was interested in it the most, but because my best friend had picked it. I remember the music director showing uc prompts 2017 a long row of various percussion instruments, and asking us what we thought different foods would sound like. This was not my first experience in playing an instrument, but I was a novice when it came to creating music, deciding what the music meant, and what its intent and meaning was.
In middle school, I joined the orchestra, taking up the cello. Freshmen year of high school, I auditioned for, and was accepted into, the regional youth symphony. More importantly, though, I took two semesters of Music Theory my sophomore year. Since my high school only offers Music Theory I and II, I attended a summer music camp with a program in theory and composition.
I find writing music is a way for me to express emotions and tell stories that are beyond language. Music has been such a large part of my life—from fourth grade and on—and studying music and music composition is a way for me to create something beautiful and share it with others. Continue Reading.
UC Personal Insight Questions: 15 Tips and Examples
Answering Questions for Your UC Personal Statement
Personal Insight Questions
Aug 4, - Applicants need to answer four UC personal insight questions, chosen from a I'll also give you examples of how to make sure your essay fully. Mar 14, - Applying to the University of California? These UC essay examples will help you prepare to write your own responses to the Personal Insight. There are eight prompts, which are called Personal Insight Questions, to choose from. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have.