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Duke University
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UCLA
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
1.0
4.0
SAT: 720 math
200
800
| 800 verbal
200
800

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Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

UC Essays – How did you showcase yourself?

With the UC applications on the horizon, I'm stuck on how to tackle the four PIQs. What strategies did you all use to select the best prompts to answer, and what aspects of your life did you choose to highlight?

7 months ago

A good approach is choosing personal insight questions that will allow you to cover a broad range of your interests and experiences. For example, you might choose one prompt that allows you to discuss your zeal for a particular academic subject, another to talk about leadership in a club you're passionate about, a third to reflect personal growth from a challenge, and the last to highlight your more playful, creative side by talking about a hobby or personal "fun fact."

It's crucial to choose experiences that don't overlap, so that each essay teaches UC admissions officers something concrete about who you are. Think of it like painting a complete picture for the admissions committee, where each response adds a unique color to the canvas.

If you want more specific guidance, you can check out CollegeVine's blog post breaking down each PIQ and how to write an effective response to it: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-write-the-university-of-california-essays. And once you have a solid working draft, remember that CollegeVine also offers both free peer essay review and paid reviews by expert college advisors.

Happy writing—you got it!

7 months ago

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.