How to answer UC’s Personal Insight Questions

How to answer UC’s Personal Insight Questions

August 16, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Okay, you’re about to start the personal insight
questions for the UC undergrad applications – stressful, I know. So here are some tips on what the questions
are about and what they cover. What are the personal insight questions and
what kind of topics will they be covering? So the personal insight questions provide
the admissions officers with an opportunity to get to know you as a person beyond the
GPA and the test scores and also the kinds of courses that you’ve taken. It’s really our attempt to hear who you are
to hear your authentic voice. It just gives us a much better understanding of you as a
person and that’s really the goal is to have you express who you are to us in the written
form. So for our freshman applicants we are actually
giving eight options and the student needs to choose four questions to answer. We actually are asking students to really
think about what leadership means and creativity and opportunity for them to explain their
own background perhaps in a short set of words but in a very powerful way that directly answers
the question. So transfer students need to respond particularly
to one question regarding your major. In addition to that, there are three of seven
other questions that you need to choose from. Similar to freshman applicants we want to
learn more about your experiences. Maybe you have responsibilities working. Maybe you’ve
taken advantage of research at your school – leadership skills. Whatever it is that you bring to the table
we want to hear more from you about that. So basically you’re saying freshman applicants
you’ll have eight questions to choose from and must answer four of them. Transfer applicants you’ll also have to answer
four but one of them is required and about your major and last but not least the maximum
amount of words allowed per question is 350 words. So which ones do I pick? Does it matter? I think that’s a fair question and a question
that a lot of students may wonder about. All the questions that you have to select from
are of equal value to the University of California and its campuses. So you select the questions that you feel
you can provide us the greatest insight into. If you feel that there are questions that
don’t relate to you, don’t respond to those questions. Pick the ones that are most relevant
to you – your experience your accomplishments your background. Well I’m not really sure what the UC campuses
are looking for, is there anything specific? There’s no right or wrong answer to these
questions. We’re looking for your unique abilities and accomplishments and background and we
want to hear it in your unique voice. What’s great about these questions is that
they come from factors that we’re already looking for in our admissions review. So no
matter what you choose you’re already giving us what we’re looking for. It’s really important I think to understand
that in this process, in the same way that if you and I were in an elevator and we only
had a few seconds and I asked you who are you what you believe in, that you’re able
to explain to me and to the people reading the applications what you believe in what
inspires you. So I’m not really the best writer. Do I need
to worry about my writing and my vocabulary? So it’s not a writing test, however we want
to make sure that you’re displaying your best writing. So you want to get a proofread. Review
it. Make sure that you’re looking for spelling and grammatical errors and correcting those
because those things can be distracting to the admissions readers. However we want you to use your own words
– your own vocabulary. Be concise and be thorough in your writing
and proofread. All right I think I got it. I’m ready to get
started but where do I go for more information? Ok so in terms of getting started, first and
foremost you want to give yourself plenty of time and just remember that the personal
insight questions are one of many different factors that we’re considering when we are
reviewing your application. So if you visit the admissions website you
can find more information that will help you get started including worksheets and other
resources. So definitely take advantage of all that is
available online. Take a deep breath and know it will all be
ok and give it your best shot.