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Writing Your UC Personal Statement

The UC Personal Statement This year the UC Personal Statement requires you to respond to two prompts for a total of 1000 words. Neither response can be less than 250 words.

Prompt #1 – Describe the world you come from – for example, your family, community or school – and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

Suggestions for Prompt #1 The majority of your response should be the description of your world. • While describing your world, don’t forget to add how the world has influenced your development as a student, or as a person.

Prompt #2 Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution, or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud, and how does it relate to the person you are?

Suggestions for Prompt #2 Think about answering this prompt first, as it may help set the context you will wish to describe in Prompt #1 • Choose a topic that has not been addressed in detail in another section of the application. • Keep the information relevant to your personal experiences.

Suggestions for Writing the Personal Statement

1. Answer the question – Take time and think about each prompt before you start writing. Use details and examples. Write to add context and depth, not to fill space.
2. Give yourself time to edit – Start writing to answer each prompt, then go back and consider word count, content, and overall message.
3. Be you – Remember to talk about yourself so that they can get to know you and your potential to succeed at their school. Use plenty of “I” statements.
4. Stick to one topic per response – Making a list of accomplishments will lessen the impact of your words. Expand on a topic by using examples and facts.
5. Think outside the box – Consider including: personal triumphs or challenges (do not forget to explain what you learned from the experience), leadership opportunities, experiences outside the classroom, disabilities, and culture.
6. Stay focused Avoid common mistakes such as: inappropriate use of humor, creative writing (poems, clichés, scene setting), quotations (they want to know your thoughts and words, not someone else’s), repetition, lists of accomplishments or activities, philosophy (don’t ask questions without answers).

*** The Personal Statement is meant to compliment your application and is your one opportunity to add clarity, richness, and meaning to the information you present in other parts of your application. Use it to help the Admissions Office get to know the real you. ***