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UCLA essay requirements and tips?

Hello everyone! I'm applying to UCLA and was wondering what their essay requirements are. Additionally, can any current students or alumni share some tips for crafting a standout essay?

7 months ago

Hello! UCLA is part of the University of California (UC) system, and all UC schools use the same application and Personal Insight Questions (PIQs). You'll need to respond to four out of eight PIQs, and each response should be a maximum of 350 words.

You can find the list of PIQ prompts on the UC's application website or through this link: https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/how-to-apply/applying-as-a-freshman/personal-insight-questions.html

CollegeVine has an in-depth article breaking down each of the questions to help you determine which are best for you to write the best responses possible: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-write-the-university-of-california-essays

Now, let's discuss some general tips for crafting standout responses to the PIQs:

1. Be authentic: It's essential to stay true to your own voice and experiences. Avoid using overly formal language or trying to impress the reader with unnecessary jargon. Admissions officers want to get to know the real you.

2. Show, don't tell: Use specific examples and anecdotes to illustrate your points. Instead of saying you're a good leader, describe a situation where you demonstrated leadership, including the actions you took and the impact of your decisions.

3. Focus on impact: Discuss the impact of your experiences on your personal growth and development. Explain what you've learned and how these experiences have shaped your values, goals, and ambitions.

4. Choose a range of topics: Try to cover various aspects of your life, such as academic interests, extracurricular activities, personal challenges, and community involvement. This will help you create a well-rounded picture of who you are.

5. Be concise: With a 350-word limit for each response, it's crucial to be focused and concise. Answer the prompt directly and avoid unnecessary tangents or unrelated details.

6. Proofread: As with any college application essay, make sure to proofread your answers carefully. Look for grammatical errors and ask someone you trust (such as a teacher or counselor) to proofread your responses as well.

Remember, the UC Personal Insight Questions are a chance for you to showcase exactly who you are and what makes you unique. Focus on your experiences, growth, and impact, and don't be afraid to be genuine and authentic. Best of luck with your application to UCLA!

7 months ago

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