Personal Insight Questions

Note: Starting with the fall 2017 Application, the University of California replaced its essay section (formerly called the Personal Statement section) with a new section called Personal Insights. The section includes more specific questions with more flexibility in which questions students choose to answer.

While academic criteria (grades, courses taken, test scores) are most important, the Personal Insights are also a very important part of the application and selection process. The Personal Insight questions are about getting to know you better – your life experience, interests, ambitions, and inspirations.

Freshman applicants will have eight questions to choose from, and they must respond to four of the eight questions. Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.

Transfer students will have one required question, plus seven additional questions, and they must answer three out of those seven questions. As with the freshman application, each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.  

Additional information about the Personal Insight section

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