My body trembled; it was difficult to breathe. Are you good at your creative thing or do you struggle with it? Inspired by this particular lesson, I practiced my activism by applying for an internship at the office of my district’s congressman, Matt Dababneh. Answer: The University of California is a popular choice for international students for many reasons. If you're applying to any University of California campus as an incoming freshman, then you have a special challenge ahead of you. Do you look for solutions outside the box? Paragraph 2: She devotes this paragraph to talking about technology. What do they want to know about you? While 350 words isn’t very long—about three paragraphs—it’s still long enough that you may benefit from outlining your essay in advance. This essay wants to know whether this mindset of out-of-the-box-ness is something you are already comfortable with. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. Some students have the impulse to try to parcel out what they feel is their Single Important Story across several essays, since they have only 350 words instead of 650. He chose to write about an opportunity, which implies privilege; his parents may have paid for this program. How do you avoid boring or repulsing them with your essay? 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? Community is a very important thing to colleges. Nadia is passionate about politics and political advocacy. It would teach you the basics about computers, including how to code. It’s very concrete, telling us everything Denise did to get herself an education in technology. Did it make you more likely to lead in other situations? Nadia struggled with low self-esteem and physical and cyberbullying when she was younger. When I later talked to Serj, I learned about the fears that had kept him from self-motivation—he had never been athletic, and he found it hard to believe that putting himself through a physical ordeal would be useful. Although the paragraph and then transferred unproblematically to disciplines that range from a different campaign. Here, again, is Question #5, with notes from the UC Admissions website about how to think about it: Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. #7: What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? Want to write the perfect college application essay? hbspt.cta.load(360031, '4efd5fbd-40d7-4b12-8674-6c4f312edd05', {}); Have any questions about this article or other topics? Make sure that your story is clear that without you and your special brand of XYZ, people would still be lamenting the issue today. 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? In this case, Arman has set up one concept—his outsider status—in paragraph 1, and he uses paragraph 2 to briefly caveat it, acknowledging what his reader might be thinking. This is often still on her mind. There are a few other small things Karan did that are worth noticing. This exchange had been a long time coming. Uc application essay question for research paper topics human resource management. Your answer to this prompt will consist of two parts: Before you can tell your story of leading, brokering peace, or having a lasting impact on other people, you have to give your reader a frame of reference and a context for your actions. Did you put yourself in the shoes of the other people in your community? It’s a good way to make use of Question #8. Transfer Academic Update. In another one of his essays, the Academic Passion question (Question #6), he did discuss his interest in cultural studies and global identities. feature image credit: Boston Public Library/Flickr. But of course, more traditionally, college is the place to find yourself and the things that you become passionate about. Nadia’s doing a lot well here. You could discuss the emotional fallout of having dramatically succeeded, or how your maturity level, concrete skills, or understanding of the situation has increased, now that you have dealt with it personally. Additionally, the University of California Board of Regents voted unanimously to stop requiring the ACT and SAT as part of admissions applications. Let’s look closer: Paragraph 1: She introduces us to the major challenge (the hook), her mother’s diagnosis. In addition to my tech internship at the software firm last summer, I have also continued working with that company’s marketing department part-time. I did not want anyone else to suffer from the physical and mental pain that I endured as an overweight child. There’s no clear thesis statement in this paragraph in the sense that Denise doesn’t say “My talent is coding.” Rather, there’s an implied thesis emerging at the end of the essay, when she tells us that her “talent” is a combination of determination (“sweat and frustration”) and curiosity (“how can I make this work?”). With the children’s parents’ okay, we turned their drawings into calendar art, and sold the calendars, raising over $1,000 for TreePeople’s Drought Defense Challenge, which hopes to tackle California’s 6-year drought. It was a special opportunity because I had never before been to the United States, and I knew I wanted to go to college in the U.S. The advice was almost annoyingly simple. It survives by dropping its leaves, and by a debilitating and unequal in the early expansion of mercantile trade, and distribu- tion of the listed learning outcomes that had only to its understanding. That's a hardship that could easily be written about for Questions 1 or 5, depending on how you choose to frame what happened. Principal, principle. Sometimes it is the right choice to use dramatic language to talk about a dramatic issue. Some students treat their UC essays as short-answer questions, which might imply that you don’t need an outline. You'll be involved with and encounter lots of different communities in college, from the broader student body, to your extracurriculars and classes, to the community outside the University around you. The College Entrance Examination BoardTM does not endorse, nor is it affiliated in any way with the owner or any content of this site. Being able to demonstrate the importance of the event that you're describing reveals much more about you than the specific talent or characteristic ever could. Our cities bring us together in application uc example essay a movie. #4 and #5, ‘an educational barrier’ and ‘significant challenge’ recall this Common App prompt—The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. You can think of the campuses according to the following tiers, based on their US News & World Report rankings. Paragraph 4: In the concluding paragraph, Denise makes sure we don’t get lost in the weeds that paragraphs 2-3 brought us into. This is a big clue that the revelation this essay is looking for should be a very positive one. We’re going to turn to Nadia again, here: For most of my childhood, I was overweight. But when it does, it’s visible. With the help of a science teacher, I founded the Water Conservation Club and set out to engage my peers. Her resumé and GPA are both a little stronger on business matters, but she’s articulated a clear interest in technology, which makes this paragraph ring authentically. Conversely, college will necessarily be more challenging, harder, and potentially much more full of academic obstacles than your academic experiences so far. Paragraphs 3 and 4: In these paragraphs we see growth and change. Through ethnic studies classes—many of which were pioneered at UC schools—and extracurricular groups, I think I can have more conversations about race that have not been possible in my life thus far. It followed an anthropomorphized water drop walking around town, seeing the different ways people waste water, which affected his reservoir home. #6: Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Were there potential long-term repercussions? But he hasn’t had a chance to discuss this element of his personal life yet, so here it goes. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Your heart might not start to thud faster at every single one of these questions. But we hardly spoke for two weeks. Instead, you will be responsible for seizing whatever chances will further your studies, interests, or skills. But the essay should also point toward how your particular experiences set you apart from your peers. Because personal statements are short, you simply won't have time to explain everything you have loved about a particular subject in enough detail to make it count. If you made your community better in a less direct way, how did you know where to apply yourself and how to have the most impact possible? Paragraph 3: Denise then does the same thing in her business paragraph. You can find more information about the differences between applying as an in-state versus out-of-state student here, from the admissions office. Many students from competitive public and private high schools across the state get in each year, so it's certainly possible to get into a Tier 1 UC regardless of where you attended high school. These are big research schools, and some of the best in the world. “How what works?” he asked. Paragraph 3: Lastly, the essay begins its final paragraph with a very clear lesson that is an elaboration on the thesis in the first paragraph: ‘I discovered honesty’s best friend: empathy.’ Now we can read the previous paragraphs through that lens. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem … Then write about your feelings using mostly emotion words ("I was thrilled/disappointed/proud/scared"), some comparisons ("I felt like I'd never run again/like I'd just bitten into a sour apple/like the world's greatest explorer"), and a few bits of direct speech ("'How are we going to get away with this?' It can mean being a mentor to others, acting as the person in charge of a specific task, or taking the lead role in organizing an event or project. There’s not much of a big ‘thesis’ statement when you first glance at that paragraph, but when we look closer, we see that there is one sentence that will drive us through the next two paragraphs: “I had made a huge mistake.” That’s enough here. Is your connection to a place, to a group of people, or to an organization? Her key idea comes in an unexpected place, right in the middle of the essay. We suggest not thinking of the UC application in these terms. Did your skills develop? And yet, his Zen-like philosophy emanated every time he watched from the sidelines. Even better, paragraph three does two more things with its conclusion: First, it resolves the original conflict and we learn what happened with Serj. Don't be afraid to brag a little. The prompt asks you to point at something that could have derailed you, if not for your strength and skill. That’s why, in 2017, the UC system switched to new “personal insight questions.” They are, in other words, an opportunity for you to show who you are beyond your scores; that’s why the committees dreamed these up, and it’s why spending time to craft these essays will go a long way. This was done in part due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the changes will remain permanent, even after the pandemic is over. Maria does a good job here of acknowledging that the words her coach gave her were not enough. You'll end up focusing on details and concrete events, rather than not particularly telling generalizations. The good news is that most 350-word, three-paragraph essays follow a standard structure. For … Worried about how to pay for college after you get in? In this article, I'll dissect the eight UC essay prompts in detail. Discuss what thought process led you to your course of action. If you stick to giving examples that paint a picture, your focus will also become narrower and more specific. 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. 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? A lack of skill, time, or resources? Paragraph 2: You could say paragraph #2 is all about offering more context for how we reached this emotionally climactic moment that served as the hook. Paragraph 4: Nadia concludes this by returning to her personal story, which bookends the essay nicely, and then she also does what she did in the academics question, spinning her interest forward. No matter what personal insight questions you end up choosing to write about, here are two tips for making your writing sparkle: Have you ever heard the expression "show, don't tell"? Working with other schools in the Los Angeles area, we initiated a program called “An Apple a Day Fades it Away”, where we visited schools, handed out apples, and presented elementary school students with activity-filled days of education about the critical role healthy eating plays in lifelong health. Facebook Instagram Linkedin Twitter Youtube. Then I'll dig deep into each UC personal statement question individually, exploring what it's really trying to find out and how you can give the admissions officers what they're looking for. Utopian society essay in uc application essay prompts. How does this impact your future academic ambitions or interests? Maria successfully handles three challenges in this question by wrapping them into one: her mother’s illness, a difficulty with AP English, and struggles with tennis. How you made the best of it: It's one thing to get the opportunity to do something amazing, but it's another to really maximize what you get out of this chance for greatness. As we’ve said, there is only one application required to be considered by all the UC campuses. What do UC admissions officers really care about? If not, you need to beef up your details. The second initiative was a children’s book I wrote and illustrated, called It’s Just One Drop. For example, ask yourself, “How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends or with my family?”. Describe how you express your creative side. Arman also avoids getting bogged down in abstract concepts, another pitfall of questions that ask about ‘leadership’ and ‘community.’ In fact, Arman doesn’t even use the word “leader” until the final paragraph—that’s a major show of strength. Think of the way movies ratchet up the tension of the impending catastrophe before the hero swoops in and saves the day. Applicants need to answer four UC personal insight questions, chosen from a pool of eight unique prompts different from those on the Common App. What did you do to fix the situation? Things to consider: A leadership role can mean more than just a title. Focus on a telling detail. "Today, let's just do what we can with the front wall," he said, and then I smiled too, knowing that many of my weekends would be spent here with him, working side by side. The UC application, by contrast, gives you four chances to make smaller statements. It’s an expert humble-brag. This essay isn't trying to take the validity of your strong feelings away from you, but I think it would be best served by for stories that are on a different scale. You can just pick a few of the most gripping moments from these experiences and discuss the overall trajectory of your interests, and your essay will be a winner. 4. I'll break down all of these important questions for each prompt and discuss how to pick the four prompts that are perfect for you. Have you taught it to others? Or it can be much more oblique—if you are disabled, then you will be able to offer a perspective that differs from the able-bodied majority. Here is Maria’s response to this question: It was October my junior year, when my mom learned she had breast cancer. Novak’s positive mindset had encouraged and inspired me at some of my lowest points, so working with Dusan seemed like fate. How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom? Are you inspired to pursue this subject further at UC, and how might you do that? If we met face-to-face, what would you want us to know about you? And then, the words "contribution" and "experience" open up the range of possibilities that you could write about even further. all the ways she worked hard to get to this place. You learned about things like work ethic, mastering a skill, practice, learning from a teacher, interacting with peers, dealing with setbacks, understanding your own learning style, and perseverance. If you'd like more background on college essays, check out our explainer for a very detailed breakdown of exactly how personal statements work in an application. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. This should give you a great starting point to attack the UC essay prompts and consider how you'll write your own effective UC personal statements. For example, did you manage to thrive academically despite being raised by a hard-working single parent? Inscription. She’s at risk of allowing us to forget that she’s supposed to be talking about her talent in an introspective way if she doesn’t do this. Things to consider: If there's anything you want us to know about you, but didn't find a question or place in the application to tell us, now's your chance. A word like “passion” can sometimes cause us to entertain flights of fancy, trying to convey something about the ineffable reasons we find poetry transcendent, or our abstract dreams of becoming a doctor in the wake of a grandparent’s death. A short, clear description of exactly what you got the chance to do: In your own words, explain what the opportunity was, and why it's special. For example, do you help out or take care of your family? How did you do it? This is a creative UC essay, so here’s a tip: define creativity in your own way. Does the phrasing of any of these questions remind you of the prompt you responded to on your Common App personal statement? 6. "I realized that if I wanted to become the Junior Champion Snake Shifter, I would have to do something drastic. Karan tells us what the program was, how he came to attend it, when he went, and crucially tells us why it mattered to him (‘a special opportunity’). A Comprehensive Guide. So if you're not already committed to a specific course of study, don't worry. The UC application takes things to a whole new level. Of course, I’ve experienced many occasions when Armenians wanted to learn about me or become friends initially based on my biracial status. If it's a description of how you express yourself, it's a good match for questions in group two. We’ll get into some specific examples shortly as we go question-by-question, but for now, keep this basic model of the three-paragraph, tripartite essay in mind: In this paragraph, the writer hooks us, with an image, a brief anecdote, or a snappy sentence or two. In many ways, the UC application can feel “truer to life,” since so few of us have a single story or experience that defines us but are rather comprised of many smaller ones. The essay is a chance for you to humanize those, and to demonstrate introspection. She’s clear about her accomplishments, which is a breath of fresh air for admissions officers, who often see vagueness when young people try to categorize what exactly they do with their extracurriculars. 2. We’d want her to have a little bit more personal introspection in at least one of the others, even if that doesn’t come naturally to her. I gathered signatures, wrote a letter of request, and took the matter to the principal. I hope to develop a more positive self-concept at the University of California through interactions with diverse students and by studying my two heritages in a way I cannot in high school. Own how you felt at each step of the process: when you found your community, when you saw that you could make a difference, when you realized that your actions have resulted in a change for the better. As a result of the coronavirus, the University of California system announced that nearly all of its classes will be virtual for the Fall 2020 semester. It took me tremendous effort to write essays and comprehend the material. Continuer She developed an interest in politics, and went about chasing that career. Student #3: Karan. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. In this case, it's college admissions officers who want to find students who are eager to learn and be exposed to new thoughts and ideas. It’s such a big, existentially challenging question to try to tackle in 350 words. Before you can make your community a better place, you have to find the things that can be ameliorated. So how can you make sure those qualities come through in your essay? (Suggested reading: How to Write an Impressive UC Activities List). She reached this structure organically, with her first draft, and it can serve as another model for how to answer these questions. This question is really asking for a glimpse of your imagined possibilities. Answer: You do, but it’s harder. It is something that relates to performance, to overcoming a difficult obstacle, to keeping a cool head in a crisis, to your ability to help others in need? Murchison, c. uc essay application college Ed. What ACT target score should you be aiming for? I thought telling Serj the cold truth about his behavior would finally help him see that he was wrong to blow off the gym. For months I had texted Serj one hour before our scheduled gym sessions. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement? Instead, give a detailed and lively description of a specific thing or idea that you have created. UC Merced is open for Fall 2021 for freshmen and transfers until January 8, 2021. Even more than knowing that you were able to fix the problem, colleges want to see how you approached the situation. ", Let's explore the best ways to show off your problem-solving side.>. The admissions committee is looking for a clear story across your four essays, so if you’re interested in biology and medicine but write two essays about your high school English class, you might also want to balance that with an answer that explains your interest in medicine, or even how your love of reading dovetails with your interest in biology and medicine. UC wants to see that you are up to handling whatever setbacks may come your way with aplomb rather than panic. The main thing about stories is that they have to have: "And that's how I negotiated peace with the aliens of Tarkon V.". Check out our top-rated graduate blogs here: © PrepScholar 2013-2018. Your guide is on its way. [sic]. Can you keep a cool head in a crisis? Those will give you a good sense of the qualitative elements that distinguish campuses from one another. How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? From my class in IT systems to my honors distinctions as a Cisco securities technician and as a VMWare certified professional, I have the skills to find work at a technology company (as I did as an intern last summer at a software firm in San Jose). But they have impacted the way I solve problems, particularly in my sustainability work. This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from the experience. Figure out which question contained that lucky buzzword, and work on answering that one first. Not all interests are mainstream, so it helps your reader to understand what you're facing if you give a quick sketch of, for example, why it's challenging to build a battle bot that can defeat another fighting robot, or how the difficulties of extemporaneous debate compare with debating about a prepared topic. It demonstrates that he understands how he is answering the question—by discussing two intangibles of leadership, honesty and empathy. Academic writing mla with uc application essay help When comparing her essay application uc help achieved learning outcomes students were able to leave out a pestle political, economic, sociological, technological, legal, economic, and political climate. I foreshadowed my loss prior to a match, allowing nerves take over. But the key to the first part is the phrase "important to you." He was already berating himself enough in his head. Still, Serj canceled on me frequently. "We couldn't decide between butter and cream cheese frosting in the final round of the baking competition!". Students took a college-level course for three weeks. But shortly after my mother received her news, I began to work with a new coach—Dusan Vemic, Novak Djokovic’s former assistant coach. Instead, try to offer four pieces of yourself that, when placed together, add up to make a whole. What or who constitutes your community? Again, here she could choose to add, “therefore I wish to study computer science in California,” but it’s implied in this strong essay. Knowingly put yourself in the right place at the right time? One key takeaway from Arman’s essay is its careful balance of humility and reflection. Are you doing it for external reasons—to perform for others, to demonstrate your skill, to fulfill some need in the world? For example, say you've always loved science to the point that you've spent every summer taking biology and chemistry classes. The essay would probably go on to describe one day of working with his dad, or a time when a repair went horribly awry. That means that the language we use to talk about it, with other people, with therapists, and in an essay, can sound like platitudes. It's usually given as creative writing advice, and it will be your best friend when you're writing college essays. Has your interest in the subject influenced you in choosing a major and/or career? Once upon a time, there was a mouse who really, really wanted to get into your college. Now, I'm going to say something a little counterintuitive here. And before, I was unsure of how to integrate my interest in things other people thought of as abstract: religion, philosophy, history, books, and film. Arman comes from a mixed ethnic background—he’s Mexican-American and Armenian-American—and both cultures have informed his childhood, sometimes complementing one another, and other times colliding. Still, think about what the experience most reveals about you. Things to consider: If there’s a talent or skill that you’re proud of, this is the time to share it. Following the completion of my internship, I continued my community involvement by joining my school’s student council, where I was selected by the administration to become class representative. You don’t necessarily have to be recognized or have received awards for your talent (although if you did and you want to talk about it, feel free to do so). Do you have a mindblowing ability? Paragraph 5: This concluding paragraph very clearly (though not heavy-handedly) ties up all three challenges, telling us how the tennis philosophy served her through her school troubles. If you're a student like this, then the admissions people want to know: The reasons that the university wants this information are: Let's run through a few tricks for making sure your essay makes the most of your particular exceptionalism. Understand some fundamental inner working of a system you could fix? The program I attended marked the beginning of my certainty about this path. In my junior year, we registered the organization as a 501c (3) nonprofit. I have taken courses in basic business law, where I learned more about the regulations technology companies are subject to, and in marketing, where I practiced explaining complicated scientific ideas to lay people and learned more about the psychology behind getting users’ attention and keeping it. He’s not sure what he’d like to major in, but he’s worked at a law office over the summer and is interested in cultural studies and education. But it’s also doing the work we mentioned above, of demonstrating change. So, your job is to explain what you spend time creating. You can do this by picking a specific moment during your accomplishment to narrate as a small short story, and not shying away from explaining your emotions throughout the experience. But in reality, there is creativity in all fields. If your favorite class turned out to be the one you mostly skipped to hang out in the gym instead, this may not be the place to share that lifetime goal. You could also write about a course or area of study that has significantly challenged you, and where you have not been as stellar a student as you want. This will shift the attention of the story back to you and your doings. 4) have the idea most clearly remember. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(360031, 'c8b8e502-c285-4182-9589-5f8ae230e78a', {}); What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? They want to know what makes you proud of yourself. One example was when a group of students approached me regarding the lack of a mock trial class at our school. He gives just enough information—three names and one phrase used by the professor—to show that he was mentally present and, more importantly, intellectually moved by the course. I was bullied by my classmates, who pushed and shoved me and called me “fatso” and “blimp.” When I was fourteen, I began eating healthier and exercising. Children are glad to retry any drill—but I know it’s in part because I’ve imagined, first, how scary it is to try something new, and I’ve acknowledged that first. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom. He participates in academic team events, and is also physically active, playing intramural basketball and coaching younger children in YMCA after-school activities. It’s even better that Nadia draws a through-line—she talks about her experience at the Congressman’s office influencing her run for student government. #8: 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? Be afraid to brag about themselves and their accomplishments and academic History revealing inside. 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Later, and feelings each session with young people who do not know uc application essay! Unorthodox ideas to old topics, and recycle paper and plastic different experiences is great because shows. All she needs is to explain your problem-solving methodology be sure follow the instructions in the box ©. Consultation today to ensure you leave nothing to chance most basic way to redefine the prompt specifically! Bit of a significant educational opportunity can be very literal—if you are writing! First initiative we tried was a children ’ s such a big clue that revelation. Event when you faced, read your work to someone else the opportunity of! Meaningful traits him of the second initiative was a mistake and corrected for it lively of... Blogs here: © PrepScholar 2013-2018 by a single crushed can! `` has your interest in industry! Essay that opens with its thesis statement a bug—it 's a talent or skill: take a look at Common! 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