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 University of California Essays

UC Essays

Since the University of California system has gone “test optional,” they place significantly more weight on the Personal Insight Questions. And because the UC schools do not offer in-person interviews, these essays are as close to a personal conversation as it gets.

The UC Personal Insight Questions offer you eight wide-ranging 350-word prompts from which you will choose four to answer. These prompts are designed to be a window into your academic and personal life – selecting the right four is crucial. Done correctly, these essays give admissions officers a more complete picture of who you are. I work with you to carefully choose which four prompts to answer, and to work hard and with tactical consideration to show the different sides of your personality.
Our Process:

  • Via telephone we discuss the UC prompts, identifying which four the applicant is most excited about and has the best answers for. Together, we brainstorm the first two then create an outline for first drafts.
  • We discuss the drafts, identifying what works and what doesn’t. The applicant then writes a second draft using the notes and suggestions we agree to.
  • We then repeat the process for the second two prompts.
  • Finally, we review all four short answer essays before they are turned into final drafts.

“Working with Robert was a great experience. He was highly organized, honest, creative, kind, punctual and much more. Not only did he give me great feedback on my work, but, even over the phone, created an environment where I felt comfortable to be honest and real — creating some of my best writing. He helped me get into some top tier universities, including Carnegie Mellon and USC. Robert was a great mentor and I miss our talks! “ 

—Emma, UCLA, Class of 2025

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Caltech
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Brown
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UCLA
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Yale
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Dartmouth
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Harvard
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Columbia
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Princeton
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Penn/Huntsman
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University of Chicago
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Harvard
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Columbia University
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UCLA
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Carnegie Mellon
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Rice University
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MIT
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UT Plan II Honors
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Northwestern
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Duke
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