uc prompt

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Uc prompt how to write love song

Uc prompt

Think about the stories that your friends and family like to share about you. Think about moments when your hard work paid off. If the memory of your first swim meet victory still makes you smile, draw us into your rigorous training schedule; describe the aspects of the sport that motivate you to wake up early and push yourself.

What were your challenges? What has this experience taught you? This narrative should have a clear timeline that traces your growth from the past to the present and into the future. Show not only that you have grown, but that you will continue to grow as you take your first steps into adulthood. This question is tricky because it has two parts.

So first break the question down: You can write about either A. How you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity OR B. How you have worked to overcome an educational barrier. You are not being asked to write about both parts of this question. Just write about one. If you have participated in an afterschool program, internship, honors program, or a special class that was meaningful or inspiring to you, you will want to think about choosing option A.

Maybe it was an afterschool program for young, aspiring lawyers, or an advanced history class that you took at your local community college. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your ambition and highlight the kinds of challenges that engage and excite you. Beyond underscoring an academic interest, reflect on the personal qualities required for you to succeed. And remember to show, not tell! It will save you from accidentally humble-bragging your way through this assignment.

Now, for option B. If you have worked to overcome a disability, struggled in school because you have a different background than your peers, suffered financial hardship, or something along those lines, you can choose to write about option B. To nail this tricky task, you will need to highlight not only the ways you struggled, but also the qualities that helped you succeed. How would you define yourself?

Zero in on a quality that resonates with you, and write targeted descriptions that bring it to life. Lastly, reflect on how this barrier shaped who you are today, and what skills you gained through facing this educational barrier. If you skipped question 4 or chose to write about option A, this question is a gift: a second chance to showcase your resilience in the face of obstacles. On the other hand, if you chose to write about option B in question 4, this might feel redundant.

You are free to write about both, but again, proceed with caution and be sure to select a totally different challenge. What pro-active steps did you take to address the problem at hand? In facing this challenge, did you discover a courageous, creative, or hard-working side of yourself?

Did you learn something valuable about yourself or others? Highlight the upside. How did this challenge shape who you are today? And how will the skills that you gained dealing with this challenge will help you in college and beyond? To nail down a topic for this bad boy, you can work in two directions: 1 think about how your favorite academic subject has impacted your extracurricular pursuits, or 2 trace one of your favorite hobbies back to its origins in the classroom.

Maybe your love of languages led you to take a job at a coffee shop frequented by multilingual tourists. Or perhaps your now-extensive coin collection was resurrected when you did a research project on ancient Roman currency. Whichever way you go about it, building a bridge between the scholarly and the personal lies at the heart of answering this prompt. Some backwards advice: When writing about community service, you should always start with yourself.

To avoid drifting into platitudes, you need to ground your writing in the specificity of your life. Instead, dig into your motivations. If you spent weeks petitioning your school community to raise the hourly wage for custodial staff, what prompted you to act? What assumptions did you have about income inequality and what did you learn about your community in the process? Maybe you participated in a soccer-team-mandated day of coaching a pee-wee team.

What caused your skepticism? How did you turn the experience around? Think of a moment where you felt like you made a change in your local community. It can be something small; it does not have to be monumental, but it should mean a great deal to you. Describe the moment, using detail to bring it to life, and then reflect on what that experience taught you, and how you hope to continue these activities in the future.

This question is really just what it says it is—an open-ended, choose-your-own-adventure question. Is there something that you really, really want to tell the UC admissions team that you feel makes you a strong and unique candidate that is not showcased in the other three personal insight questions? As with the other questions, whatever topic you choose, please use detail and description to bring this topic to life for the reader, and include thoughtful reflection on why this topic matters to you.

Also, be sure to explain why your chosen topic makes you stand out as a strong candidate for the UC schools, since the question specifically asks you to do that! View all posts by Emma Harrington ». We thought so. Sign up for free instructional videos, guides, worksheets and more! Score our Exclusive Video Brainstorming Guide and more! University of California Essay Prompt Guide.

Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time. Things to consider: A leadership role can mean more than just a title. 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.

Think about what you accomplished and what you learned from the experience. What were your responsibilities? Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church, in your community or an organization? For example, do you help out or take care of your family?

Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side. Things to consider: What does creativity mean to you? Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? How a difficult family situation led you to take on more responsibilities.

More on this in the next lesson. One final tip: Make sure to address how the challenge impacted your academics , since the prompt asks about this. Prompt: Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Tip: This is a great prompt to consider.

Prompt: What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? Tip: This is another prompt to strongly consider. Can you think of any ways you have? Or several ways? Prompt: 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? What about your intellectual side? Ask yourself: Am I repeating myself?

Maybe your GPA and course load already show that; if so, find something else to emphasize. Consider combining similar topics so you can free up space to write about something else using another prompt. A just-okay volunteer PIQ, for example, will add more to your application than a second PIQ on your love of for example coding.

Speaking of which Ask yourself: Am I showing variety? If computer science is your thing, make sure that not all four of your PIQs are on tech-related topics. Treat your topics like a playlist. Your UC reader will likely read these in order by number, so start with a topic that makes a strong impression, then move forward accordingly.

If one topic e. Ask yourself: Is each topic connected to at least one of my activities? If so, great! If not, it may be that your topic is too vague. And finally:. Is each topic somehow connecting back to at least one of the points of comprehensive review? Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.

Decide on a structure. Does your content focus on a few different experiences and problems that taught you different values and insights about leadership? Think about and write down how different actions connect to and taught you about different values and insights regarding leadership. These can become your body paragraphs. So if, for example, you write a word intro, you have words left. Obviously, the fewer examples, the deeper you can go. The more you have, the wider you can go in other words, you can show more variety.

As I developed more in this role, I became a keystone piece for the waiters. I taught them how to properly attend groups of unsatisfied customers and the fundamentals of customer service. Consequently, I acquired organizational habits and dialogued more fluently to resolve problems. I developed better strategies to speed up home-delivery and in restaurant service. It implanted a strong work ethic in me that reminds me of the hardworking farmers of my past generations. I believe that to achieve efficiency and productivity in the working environment between employees and the manager, it requires not only the firmness and attention of a boss, but also the empathy and vision of a leader.

Working through the many facets of a small business has taught me the key role of small groups in a system, and I applied this beyond the walls of the restaurant. As a result of my years laboring for my family restaurant, you might think that I would like to become an entrepreneur.

But in actuality, I picture myself as an engineer, as I believe both require the adaptability, perseverance, dedication, and strategy to succeed in this field. In paragraph 1, the author defines leadership in an unconventional way. You can lead in your family, or through work. This student was accepted to and ultimately attended UC Berkeley, by the way. In paragraph 3, he shares what he learned. In paragraph 4, he describes how he applied these lessons elsewhere. He even highlights a few in the final sentence: adaptability, perseverance, dedication, and strategy.

He also connects these to his future career. Finally, the clear structure makes this PIQ super easy to read. In fact, notice how you can read the first sentence of each paragraph aloud, and it creates a short version of the whole story. Re-read those first sentences now to see what I mean. How to write an essay for UC Prompt Imagine what someone else writing an essay on this same topic might write about—in particular, what values might that person emphasize?

To give you some ideas of what values others might write about, use the Values Exercise. Dare to stand out! Like this:. Choose several uncommon values. You can write a great essay still. Use your brilliant, infinite brain to make several uncommon connections. In fact, the more common your topic, the more uncommon your connections will need to be. Some time during middle school, I began my journey to establish a rock band, become its drummer and, most importantly, grow magnificent long hair.

I enrolled at a local music institute for drum classes twice a week. I was having a great time, but some part of me always felt that I was not exploring my musical creativity as much as I could. Over the next few months, as I continued to develop my mastery of the drum-kit, percussion became a part of my everyday life and soon I could sense rhythmic patterns in ordinary sounds.

Unlike drumming, finger-tapping allowed me to incorporate melody into standard grooves by tapping on surfaces that had varying degrees of hollowness. Since it was a percussion style that I instinctively developed by myself, finger-tapping gave me the artistic freedom to create something new. Therefore, I decided to invent my own instrument. Equipped with my expertise in robotics and coding, I used electronic items like piezoelectric sensors, pcbs, and transistors to build an instrument that reflected my own finger-tapping habits and patterns.

It had ten small pads for my fingers and two large pads for my palms. I chose a raspberry-pi as its CPU and programmed it to play all kinds of melodies and beats. In this way, I learned how to coordinate my different talents and skills to amplify my total creative output.

My friends and family suggested that I name and advertise my invention and maybe sell it to a company. But if I did that, I would lose the essence of why I built it. I built it not to master its musical capacity but to develop my own musical creativity.

The author begins the PIQ with a brief hook that shows his sense of humor. But—these two things are important—the hook is very short and the topic drumming is made very clear. In paragraph 2, the author describes the first thing he did to resolve this challenge : play drums in everyday life. In paragraph 3, the author helps us understand what he learned by connecting to a value : artistic freedom. In paragraph 5, the author describes the second thing he did to resolve his challenge : He decided to invent his own instrument.

Not too much, though, as you might distance your reader. A little, like this author uses, is great. Stand out by instead electing to:. Then, before you start writing:. Create a simple outline by picking a theme for each paragraph.

UC Prompt 3 example essay: Finding connections among the dissimilar. It started when I was a kid and my dad taught me Sudoku. As he explained the rules, those mysterious scaffoldings of numbers I often saw on his computer screen transformed into complex structures of logic built by strategy.

Gradually, puzzles became a constant in my life. In elementary school, I began searching for patterns in the world around me: thin, dark clouds signaled rain, the moon changed shape every week, and the best snacks were the first to go. I wanted to know what unseen rules affected these things and how they worked.

My parents, both pipeline engineers, encouraged this inquisitiveness and tried explaining how they solved puzzles in their own work. Their analytical mindsets helped me muddle through homework and optimize matches in Candy Crush. In high school, I threw myself into all my classes and studied by linking concepts across subjects.

Mathematical syntax transitioned easily to English grammar, and the catalysts for revolutions resembled isomers of the same element, nominally different with the same properties. As I grew older, my interests expanded to include the delicate systems of biology, the complexity of animation, and the nuances of language.

Unsurprisingly, my career aspirations changed every week: one day I wanted to be an illustrator, the next a biochemist, then a stand up comedian. But when I discovered computer science, something seemed to settle; I had finally found a field where I could be creative, explore a different type of language, and, yes, solve puzzles. Best of all, I believe my superpower has helped me knit together my identity. My multicultural friend group is linked by our diverse passions: k-pop, hockey, Hamilton.

While to others my life may seem like a jumble of incompatible fragments, like a jigsaw puzzle, each piece connects to become something more. Overall note: Even though this author has chosen an abstract quality finding connections among the dissimilar , she lists many specific examples , and these examples provide the structure for her PIQ.

Note the variety and specificity of her examples:. Prompt: Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced. But notice that the student interpreted the prompt in an unusual way. Five years ago I took up a job in construction from a couple of neighbors who needed help doing a demolition job on an old house.

I saw this as an opportunity to help pay bills around the house as well as cover my own personal expenses. I did a good enough job that my neighbors told me that, if I wanted, I could continue working with them. It has been a demanding job and I made numerous mistakes at first, like using the wrong tools for different tasks or the wrong size screw. There were even days that I considered quitting, but I stuck with it. Since then, I've built , repaired , and remodeled numerous homes for family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers.

The best part? Knowing that some family will get to enjoy my work. In fact, I have a feeling that would be an even more fulfilling journey. Working in construction has, in fact, taught him a lot. Alternately, he could have also emphasized the creativity he developed while on the job see: UC 2.

The author uses active verbs to describe what he actually did. I also appreciate that this author reveals a wide range of values in this PIQ, including: family, perseverance, hard work, community, pride, independence, ambition. Complete the Feelings and Needs Exercise. Note that you might also choose to take your Feelings and Needs Exercise and simply write a paragraph on each column. Cool, huh? The student wrote this after completing the Feelings and Needs Exercise , and then shortened it from words for the Common App to words so that I could share it with you here :.

At six years old, I stood locked away in the restroom. My dad was being put under arrest for domestic abuse. For a few years the quality of our lives started to improve as our soon-to-be step-dad became part of our family. I cooked, Jose cleaned, I dressed Fernando, Jose put him to bed. We did what we had to do. I grew determined to improve the quality of life for my family and myself. Without a father figure to teach me the things a father could, I became my own teacher. I learned how to fix bikes, how to swim, and even how to talk to girls.

I found a job to help pay bills. I became as independent as I could to lessen the time and money mom had to spend raising me. I tutored kids, teens, and adults on a variety of subjects ranging from basic English to home improvement and even Calculus. And I have yet to see how Fernando will grow. Not because I have to. In paragraph 1, the author makes the challenge very clear.

For my IB Extended Essay , I am writing about the Second Amendment, and I hope to elucidate the current gun control debate with research surrounding the legacy of the Glorious Revolution. My passion for history led me to an internship at the Sejong Institute, a think-tank specializing in Korean diplomacy. This notion also applies to my participation in Model UN.

Exploring the ramifications of historical events has helped me create more comprehensive solutions; learning about the often-controversial past actions of nations has prompted me to raise ethical questions. In resolving these conflicts, how do we balance national sovereignty with the responsibility of former colonial powers to stabilize the region?

From tracing the African exodus of Homo erectus two million years ago to examining La Bestia Mexican freight trains used by US-bound migrants , I now understand that migration is as old as history itself.

ESSAYS POLITICAL ECONOMY BASTIAT

Share an anecdote of you doing whatever it is that makes you stand out. Explain how you came to develop this characteristic or passion. What did you learn through your journey to discovering this characteristics? Why does this trait matter to you, others, or the world?

How does this aspect of you make you a valuable person on campus? This is the last blog in our UC Prompt series. We hope you found it helpful, and feel free to click here to reread any of the posts in this series. Meanwhile, feel free to check out the rest of our UC Prompt Series while you're here :.

UC Prompt 1 Leadership Experience. UC Prompt 3 Greatest Talent. UC Prompt 4 Educational Experiences. UC Prompt 5 Significant Challenge. UC Prompt 6 Favorite Subject. UC Prompt 7 Improving your Community. Curious about what UC students really think about their schools? PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service.

We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools , from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in.

What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? Things to consider : If there's a talent or skill that you're proud of, this is the time to share it. 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, feel free to do so. 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? Does your talent or skill allow you opportunities in or outside the classroom? If so, what are they and how do they fit into your schedule? Basically, what's being asked for here is a beaming rave. Whatever you write about, picture yourself talking about it with a glowing smile on your face. The first part of the question really comes down to this: tell us a story about what's amazing about you. Have you done an outstanding thing?

Do you have a mindblowing ability? Describe a place, a time, or a situation in which you were a star. A close reading of this first case of the prompt reveals that you don't need to stress if you don't have an obvious answer. Sure, if you're playing first chair violin in the Symphony Orchestra, that qualifies as both a "talent" and an "accomplishment.

And then, the words "contribution" and "experience" open up the range of possibilities that you could write about even further. A contribution could be anything from physically helping put something together, to providing moral or emotional support at a critical moment. But the key to the first part is the phrase "important to you. 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.

The second part of the last essay asked you to look to the future. The second part of this essay wants you to look at the present instead. The general task is similar, however. Once again you're being asked to make connections— how do you fit this quality you have or this achievement you accomplished into the story of who you are? A close reading of the second part of this prompt lands on the word "proud.

In other words, this is probably not the time to write about getting arrested for vandalism, unless you can spin that experience into a story about how you been on the straight and narrow path ever since. Even if your vandalism was really, really, cool, don't write about it. Admissions officers have a very straightforward interest in learning about your accomplishments.

By the end of high school, many of the experiences that you are most proud of don't tend to be the kind of things that end up on your resume. They want to know what makes you proud of yourself. 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? At the same time, they are looking for a sense of maturity. In order to be proud of an accomplishment, it's important to be able to understand your own values and ideals.

This is your chance to show that you truly get the qualities and experiences that make you into a responsible and grown-up person, someone who will thrive in the independence of college life. In other words, while you might really be proud that you managed to tag 50 highway overpasses with graffiti, that's probably not the achievement to brag about here.

Unless you were hired to paint the overpasses. Then definitely brag about it. The trick with this prompt is how to show a lot about yourself without listing accomplishments or devolving into cliche platitudes. Let's take it step by step. Make sure that somewhere in your narrative preferably closer to the beginning you let the reader know what makes your achievement an achievement. 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.

Keep in mind that for some things the explanation might be obvious. For example, do you really need to explain why finishing a marathon is a hard task? Since you're once again going to be limited to words, you won't be able to fit all the ways in which you exhibit your specific piece of awesomeness into this essay. This means that you'll need to figure out how your ability can best be shown through one event when you displayed it.

Or if you're writing about an experience you had or a contribution you made, you'll need to also point out what personality trait or characteristic it reveals. The first question asked for a description, but this one wants a story—a narrative of how you do your special talent, or how you accomplished the thing you were so great at. The main thing about stories is that they have to have:.

Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced. Things to consider : An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for college. For example, participation in an honors or academic enrichment program, or enrollment in an academy that's geared toward an occupation or a major, or taking advanced courses that interest you — just to name a few.

If you choose to write about educational barriers you've faced, how did you overcome or strive to overcome them? What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who are you today? Cue the swelling music, because this essay is going to be all about your inspirational journey. You will either tell your story of overcoming adversity against all or some odds, or of pursuing the chance of a lifetime.

A description of the setback that befell you: The prompt wants to know what you consider a challenge in your school life—and definitely note that this challenge should have in some significant way impacted your academics rather than your life overall. The challenge can be a wide-reaching problem in your educational environment or something that happened specifically to you. The word "barrier" also shows that the challenge should be something that stood in your way: if only that thing weren't there, then you'd be sure to succeed.

An explanation of your success: Here, you'll talk about what you did when faced with this challenge. Notice that the prompt asks you to describe the "work" you put in to overcome the problem—so this piece of the essay should focus on your actions, thoughts, ideas, and strategies. Although the essay doesn't specify it, this section should also at some point turn reflexive. How are you defined by this thing that happened?

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. Or, you could talk about any beliefs or personal philosophy that you have had to reevaluate as a result of either the challenge itself, or of the way that you had to go about solving it.

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. Also explain why you specifically got the chance to do it. Was it the culmination of years of study?

An academic contest prize? An unexpected encounter that led to you seizing an unlooked-for opportunity? 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. This is where you show just how much you understand the value of what you did, and how you've changed and grown as a result of it.

Were you very challenged by this opportunity? Did your skills develop? Did you unearth talents you didn't know you had? How does this impact your future academic ambitions or interests? Will you study this area further? Does this help you find your academic focus? Of course, whatever you write about in this essay is probably already reflected on your resume or in your transcript in some small way.

But UC wants to go deeper, to find out how seriously you take your academic career, and how thoughtfully you've approached either its ups or its downs. In college, there will be many amazing opportunities, but they aren't necessarily simply there for the taking. Instead, you will be responsible for seizing whatever chances will further your studies, interests, or skills.

Conversely, college will necessarily be more challenging, harder, and potentially much more full of academic obstacles than your academic experiences so far. UC wants to see that you are up to handling whatever setbacks may come your way with aplomb rather than panic. Not every challenge is automatically obvious.

Sure, everyone can understand the drawbacks of having to miss a significant amount of school due to illness, but what if the obstacle you tackled is something a little more obscure? Likewise, winning the chance travel to Italy to paint landscapes with a master is clearly rare and amazing, but some opportunities are more specialized and less obviously impressive.

Make sure your essay explains everything the reader will need to know to understand what you were facing. An essay describing problems can easily slip into finger-pointing and self-pity. Make sure to avoid this by speaking positively or at least neutrally about what was wrong and what you faced.

This goes double if you decide to explain who or what was at fault for creating this problem. Likewise, an essay describing amazing opportunities can quickly become an exercise in unpleasant bragging and self-centeredness.

Make sure you stay grounded—rather than dwelling at length on your accomplishments, describe the specifics of what you learned and how. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge.

Things to consider : A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you've faced and what you've learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone? If you're currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, "How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends, or with my family?

It's time to draw back the curtains and expand our field of vision, because this is going to be a two-part story of overcoming adversity against all or some odds. The first part of this essay is about problem-solving. The prompt asks you to point at something that could have derailed you, if not for your strength and skill. Not only will you describe the challenge itself, but you'll talk about what you did when faced with it.

The second part of Topic B asks you to consider how this challenge has echoed through your life—and more specifically, how your education has been affected by what happened to you. In life, dealing with setbacks, defeats, barriers, and conflicts is not a bug—it's a feature. And colleges want to make sure that you can handle these upsetting events without losing your overall sense of self, without being totally demoralized, and without getting completely overwhelmed.

In other words, they are looking for someone who is mature enough to do well on a college campus, where disappointing results and hard challenges will be par for the course. They are also looking for your creativity and problem-solving skills. Are you good at tackling something that needs to be fixed?

Can you keep a cool head in a crisis? Do you look for solutions outside the box? These are all markers of a successful student, so it's not surprising that admissions people want you to demonstrate these qualities. It's one thing to be able to say what's wrong, but it's another thing entirely to demonstrate how you figured out how to fix it. Even more than knowing that you were able to fix the problem, colleges want to see how you approached the situation.

This is why your essay needs to explain your problem-solving methodology. Basically, we need to see you in action. What did you think would work? What did you think would not work? Did you compare this to other problems you have faced and pass? Did you do research? Describe your process. This essay is supposed to demonstrate your resourcefulness and creativity.

The last thing you want is for you to not actually be the person responsible for overcoming the obstacle. Make sure that your story is clear that without you and your special brand of XYZ, people would still be lamenting the issue today. Don't worry if the resource you used to affect a good fix was the knowledge and know-how that somebody else brought to the table. Just focus on explaining what made you think of this person as the one to go to, how you convinced them to participate, and how you explained to them how they would be helpful.

This will shift the attention of the story back to you and your doings. The most exciting part of this essay should be watching you struggle to find a solution just in the nick of time. You want to do the same thing here. Bring excitement and a feeling of uncertainty to your description of your process to really pull the reader in and make them root for you to succeed. Think about an academic subject that inspires you.

Things to consider : Many students have a passion for one specific academic subject area, something that they just can't get enough of. If that applies to you, what have you done to further that interest? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject honors, AP, IB, college or university work? Are you inspired to pursue this subject further at UC, and how might you do that?

For some students, this will be an extremely straightforward question. For example, say you've always loved science to the point that you've spent every summer taking biology and chemistry classes. 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.

But what if you have many academic interests? Or what if you only discovered your academic passion at the very end of high school? Let's break down what the question is really asking into two parts. At first glance, it sounds as if what you should write about is the class where you have gotten the best grades, or the class that easily fits into what you see as your future college major or maybe even your eventual career goal.

There is nothing wrong with this kind of pick—especially if you really are someone who tends to excel in those classes that are right up your interest alley. But if we look closer, we see that there is nothing in the prompt that specifically demands that you write either about a particular class or an area of study where you perform well. Instead, you could take the phrase "academic subject" to mean a wide field of study and explore your fascination with the different types of learning to be found there.

For example, if your chosen topic is the field of literature, you could discuss your experiences with different genres or with foreign writers. 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 could be a way to focus on your personal growth as a result of struggling through a difficult class, or the way you've learned to handle or overcome your limitations.

The second part of this prompt, like the first, can also be taken in a literal and direct way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with explaining that because you love engineering and want to be an engineer you have pursued all your school's STEM courses, are also involved in a robotics club, and have taught yourself to code in order to develop apps. On the other hand, you could focus on the more abstract, values-driven goals we just talked about.

Then, the way you explain how your academics will help you can be rooted not in the content of what you studied, but in the life lessons you drew from it. In other words, for example, your theater class may not have created a desire to be an actor, but working on plays with your peers may have shown you how highly you value collaboration. And the experience of designing sets was an exercise in problem-solving and ingenuity.

These lessons would be useful in any field you pursue and could easily be said to help you achieve your lifetime goals. If you are on a direct path to a specific field of study or career pursuit, admissions officers definitely want to know that. Having driven, goal oriented, and passionate students is a huge plus for a university. So if this is you, be sure that your essay conveys not just your interest but also your deep and abiding love of the subject, and maybe even includes any related clubs, activities, and hobbies that you've done during high school.

But of course, more traditionally, college is the place to find yourself and the things that you become passionate about. So if you're not already committed to a specific course of study, don't worry. Instead, you have to realize that in this essay, like in all the other essays, the how matters much more than the what.

No matter where your eventual academic, career, or other pursuits may lie, every class that you have taken up to now has taught you something. 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.

In other words, the admissions office wants to make sure that no matter what you study you will draw meaningful conclusions from your experiences, whether those conclusions are about the content of what you learn or about a deeper understanding of yourself and others. They want to see that you're not simply floating through life on the surface, but that you are absorbing the qualities, skills, and know-how you will need to succeed in the world—no matter what that success looks like.

Focus on a telling detail. 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. Instead, pick one event that crystallized your passion for a subject, or one telling moment that revealed what your working style will be, and go deep into a discussion of what it meant to you in the past and how it will affect your future. Don't overreach.

It's fine to say that you have loved your German classes so much that you have begun exploring both modern and classic German-language writers, for example, but it's a little too self-aggrandizing to claim that your 4 years of German have made you basically bilingual and ready to teach the language to others.

Make sure that whatever class achievements you describe don't come off as unnecessary bragging rather than simple pride. Don't underreach. At the same time, make sure that you have actual accomplishments to describe in whatever subject you pick to write about. 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.

After all, you always have to remember your audience. 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. Things to consider : Think of community as a term that can encompass a group, team or a place — like your high school, hometown or home. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community?

Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community? This topic is trying to get at how you engage with your environment. It's looking for several things:. Because the term "community" is so broad and ambiguous, this is a good essay for explaining where you feel a sense of belonging and rootedness.

What or who constitutes your community? Is your connection to a place, to a group of people, or to an organization? What makes you identify as part of this community—cultural background, a sense of shared purpose, or some other quality? Before you can solve a problem, you have to realize that the problem exists. Before you can make your community a better place, you have to find the things that can be ameliorated.

No matter what your contribution ended up being, you first have to show how you saw where your skills, talent, intelligence, or hard work could do the most good. Did you put yourself in the shoes of the other people in your community? Understand some fundamental inner working of a system you could fix?

Knowingly put yourself in the right place at the right time? How did you make the difference in your community? If you resolved a tangible issue, how did you come up with your solution? Did you examine several options or act from the gut? 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? Community is a very important thing to colleges.

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. UC wants to make sure that you can engage with the communities around you in a positive and meaningful way. Make it personal. Before you can explain what you did in your community, you have to define and describe this community itself—and you can necessarily only do that by focusing on what it means to you.

Don't speak in generalities, but instead show the bonds between you and the group you are a part of through colorful, idiosyncratic language. Sure, they might be "my water polo team," but maybe they are more specifically "the twelve people who have seen me at my most exhausted and my most exhilarated.

Feel all the feelings. This is a chance to move your readers. As you delve deep into what makes your community one of your emotional centers, and then as you describe how you were able to improve it in a meaningful and lasting way, you should keep the roller coaster of feelings front and center.

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. Did you feel unprepared for the task you undertook? Nervous to potentially let down those around? Thrilled to get a chance to display a hidden or underused talent?

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? 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. 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?

From your point of view, what do you feel makes you an excellent choice for UC? Don't be afraid to brag a little. If your particular experience doesn't quite fit under the rubrics of the other essay topics, or if there is something the admissions officers need to understand about your background in order to consider your application in the right context, then this is the essay for you.

Now, I'm going to say something a little counterintuitive here. The prompt for this essay clarifies that even if you don't have a "unique" story to tell, you should still feel free to pick this topic. But, honestly, I think you should only choose this topic if you have an exceptional experience to share, and that any everyday challenges or successes of regular life could easily fit one of the other insight questions instead.

What this means is that evaluating whether your experiences qualify for this essay is a matter of degrees. For example, did you manage to thrive academically despite being raised by a hard-working single parent? That's a hardship that could easily be written about for Questions 1 or 5, depending on how you choose to frame what happened. Did you manage to earn a 3. That's a narrative of overcoming hardship that easily belongs to Question 8.

On the flip side, did you win a state-wide robotics competition? Well done, and feel free to tell your story under Question 4. Were you the youngest person to single-handedly win a season of BattleBots? Then feel free to write about it for Question 8. This is pretty straightforward. They are trying to identify students that have unique and amazing stories to tell about who they are and where they come from. If you're a student like this, then the admissions people want to know:.

HOW TO WRITE MY EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY

But what exactly counts as something that makes you stand out? The options here are endless, so here are just a few of the many ideas you could talk about:. Why are you so intrigued by them? Share an anecdote of you doing whatever it is that makes you stand out. Explain how you came to develop this characteristic or passion.

What did you learn through your journey to discovering this characteristics? Why does this trait matter to you, others, or the world? How does this aspect of you make you a valuable person on campus? This is the last blog in our UC Prompt series.

We hope you found it helpful, and feel free to click here to reread any of the posts in this series. Meanwhile, feel free to check out the rest of our UC Prompt Series while you're here :. UC Prompt 1 Leadership Experience. UC Prompt 3 Greatest Talent. UC Prompt 4 Educational Experiences. UC Prompt 5 Significant Challenge.

They are looking for how you have fostered mentorship, creative tension, and group action in your organization. Leadership roles are not limited to titled positions or to the school environment. For example, just because you were only a member in the chess club does not mean you cannot have taken leadership in organizing a tournament or fundraiser.

If you have indeed occupied a leadership role, convince the admissions officers that you have used the position to positively influence others. By defining creativity as, but not limited to, problem-solving, novel thinking, and artistic expression, this prompt expands creativity to encompass all academic fields. All these examples, if explained well, demonstrate creativity. Ideally, you would want to finish your essay by detailing how you will apply such creative thinking in college and beyond.

Although it would be easy to list all the awards you have won in the activity you are best in, this prompt is looking for something deeper and more meaningful. It is perfectly fine to describe an activity you are dedicated to, but also think about the character and personality traits that tie into the activity, such as tenacity, honesty, and compassion.

The key is to elucidate why this activity is worth putting all your time into, and how your personality strengths are exhibited through this activity. Describe the beauty and the meaning of the activity, convincing the admissions officers that this activity rightly takes precedence over everything else. Do not be put off by this prompt if you have not won any big awards. All the prompt asks for is what you think is your greatest talent or skill. Make sure to also address how you have developed and demonstrated this talent.

Do you put in small amounts of practice every day, or strenuous hours for a couple short periods each year? Why do you allocate your time this way? How have you shown off your talent or skill to other people? Have you won competitions, done performances, gotten into showcases, or shined artistically? Here are a few examples:.

Things to consider: An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for life. For example, participation in an honors enrichment program or enrollment in an academy geared toward a profession, or even a particularly enlightening conversation with an adult — just to name a few. If you choose to write about educational barriers you have faced, what personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge?

How has the process shaped you as a person? An added plus would be talking about passing it forward and helping those in your purview obtain the knowledge you did from your experiences. Choose to write only about one of the two. You applied to a specialized program in your school and was accepted. It allowed you to work intensely in a specific STEM field such as engineering, and landed you an internship with local engineering companies, in addition to giving you an opportunity to work with elementary school students in budding engineering programs.

As a student at a school that did not offer any honors classes, you enrolled in online lectures to learn the subject you were passionate about — Human Geography. Afterwards, you spoke to your school administrators about high-achieving students needing higher-level courses, and they agreed to talk to the local community college to start a pipeline for students like you.

This prompt asks you to connect this obstacle with your academic situation, so it should have had an impact on your performance in school. It could mean your intellectual goals or your struggle to balance homework with your part-time job, and perhaps the strain in your relationships with peers and teachers due to such time constraints. As a result, think of the challenge first before deliberating whether it could be linked to something academic-related.

Make sure to talk about what you learned from the challenge, detailing growth and maturity along the way. You may not have risen above the challenge yet, and may have even been defeated, or may be conquering it right now. In all cases, development must exist, so be sure to document them. What has become different because of this challenge? Here are some examples:. First, reflect on an academic subject that makes you happy to study. How do you plan to advance in your chosen subject if you do not intend to major in it?

If you could create a college class that looked and sounded like your chosen subject, what would the class be called? What would the curriculum be like? Remember to include concrete accomplishments such as research, internship, volunteer experience, homemade project that you pitched to the school board, etc.

Do not forget to explain how your love for the subject drives the work you do, because the why can easily get lost in describing the what.

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Unlike drumming, finger-tapping allowed me to incorporate melody into standard grooves by tapping on surfaces that had varying degrees of hollowness. Since it was a percussion style that I instinctively developed by myself, finger-tapping gave me the artistic freedom to create something new. Therefore, I decided to invent my own instrument. Equipped with my expertise in robotics and coding, I used electronic items like piezoelectric sensors, pcbs, and transistors to build an instrument that reflected my own finger-tapping habits and patterns.

It had ten small pads for my fingers and two large pads for my palms. I chose a raspberry-pi as its CPU and programmed it to play all kinds of melodies and beats. In this way, I learned how to coordinate my different talents and skills to amplify my total creative output. My friends and family suggested that I name and advertise my invention and maybe sell it to a company. But if I did that, I would lose the essence of why I built it. I built it not to master its musical capacity but to develop my own musical creativity.

The author begins the PIQ with a brief hook that shows his sense of humor. But—these two things are important—the hook is very short and the topic drumming is made very clear. In paragraph 2, the author describes the first thing he did to resolve this challenge : play drums in everyday life.

In paragraph 3, the author helps us understand what he learned by connecting to a value : artistic freedom. In paragraph 5, the author describes the second thing he did to resolve his challenge : He decided to invent his own instrument.

Not too much, though, as you might distance your reader. A little, like this author uses, is great. Stand out by instead electing to:. Then, before you start writing:. Create a simple outline by picking a theme for each paragraph. UC Prompt 3 example essay: Finding connections among the dissimilar. It started when I was a kid and my dad taught me Sudoku. As he explained the rules, those mysterious scaffoldings of numbers I often saw on his computer screen transformed into complex structures of logic built by strategy.

Gradually, puzzles became a constant in my life. In elementary school, I began searching for patterns in the world around me: thin, dark clouds signaled rain, the moon changed shape every week, and the best snacks were the first to go. I wanted to know what unseen rules affected these things and how they worked. My parents, both pipeline engineers, encouraged this inquisitiveness and tried explaining how they solved puzzles in their own work.

Their analytical mindsets helped me muddle through homework and optimize matches in Candy Crush. In high school, I threw myself into all my classes and studied by linking concepts across subjects. Mathematical syntax transitioned easily to English grammar, and the catalysts for revolutions resembled isomers of the same element, nominally different with the same properties. As I grew older, my interests expanded to include the delicate systems of biology, the complexity of animation, and the nuances of language.

Unsurprisingly, my career aspirations changed every week: one day I wanted to be an illustrator, the next a biochemist, then a stand up comedian. But when I discovered computer science, something seemed to settle; I had finally found a field where I could be creative, explore a different type of language, and, yes, solve puzzles. Best of all, I believe my superpower has helped me knit together my identity.

My multicultural friend group is linked by our diverse passions: k-pop, hockey, Hamilton. While to others my life may seem like a jumble of incompatible fragments, like a jigsaw puzzle, each piece connects to become something more. Overall note: Even though this author has chosen an abstract quality finding connections among the dissimilar , she lists many specific examples , and these examples provide the structure for her PIQ.

Note the variety and specificity of her examples:. Prompt: Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced. But notice that the student interpreted the prompt in an unusual way. Five years ago I took up a job in construction from a couple of neighbors who needed help doing a demolition job on an old house. I saw this as an opportunity to help pay bills around the house as well as cover my own personal expenses.

I did a good enough job that my neighbors told me that, if I wanted, I could continue working with them. It has been a demanding job and I made numerous mistakes at first, like using the wrong tools for different tasks or the wrong size screw.

There were even days that I considered quitting, but I stuck with it. Since then, I've built , repaired , and remodeled numerous homes for family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. The best part? Knowing that some family will get to enjoy my work. In fact, I have a feeling that would be an even more fulfilling journey. Working in construction has, in fact, taught him a lot.

Alternately, he could have also emphasized the creativity he developed while on the job see: UC 2. The author uses active verbs to describe what he actually did. I also appreciate that this author reveals a wide range of values in this PIQ, including: family, perseverance, hard work, community, pride, independence, ambition.

Complete the Feelings and Needs Exercise. Note that you might also choose to take your Feelings and Needs Exercise and simply write a paragraph on each column. Cool, huh? The student wrote this after completing the Feelings and Needs Exercise , and then shortened it from words for the Common App to words so that I could share it with you here :. At six years old, I stood locked away in the restroom. My dad was being put under arrest for domestic abuse. For a few years the quality of our lives started to improve as our soon-to-be step-dad became part of our family.

I cooked, Jose cleaned, I dressed Fernando, Jose put him to bed. We did what we had to do. I grew determined to improve the quality of life for my family and myself. Without a father figure to teach me the things a father could, I became my own teacher. I learned how to fix bikes, how to swim, and even how to talk to girls.

I found a job to help pay bills. I became as independent as I could to lessen the time and money mom had to spend raising me. I tutored kids, teens, and adults on a variety of subjects ranging from basic English to home improvement and even Calculus. And I have yet to see how Fernando will grow. Not because I have to. In paragraph 1, the author makes the challenge very clear. For my IB Extended Essay , I am writing about the Second Amendment, and I hope to elucidate the current gun control debate with research surrounding the legacy of the Glorious Revolution.

My passion for history led me to an internship at the Sejong Institute, a think-tank specializing in Korean diplomacy. This notion also applies to my participation in Model UN. Exploring the ramifications of historical events has helped me create more comprehensive solutions; learning about the often-controversial past actions of nations has prompted me to raise ethical questions.

In resolving these conflicts, how do we balance national sovereignty with the responsibility of former colonial powers to stabilize the region? From tracing the African exodus of Homo erectus two million years ago to examining La Bestia Mexican freight trains used by US-bound migrants , I now understand that migration is as old as history itself.

In college, I hope to continue drawing connections between history and contemporary geopolitics as a Political Science major. Eventually, I hope to become a civil rights attorney, and the first Asian woman on the Supreme Court. In paragraph 1, the author clarifies the subject right away : History. She includes one way per paragraph , which provides a clear structure. You can totally steal this for your extracurricular essay.

Shall I show you? I shall. Get a blank sheet of paper, turn it horizontally, and create these columns:. Column 1: Identify the problem. Describe the challenge you were or are currently facing. The problem could be something global, like an environmental issue, or something more local, like a lack of creative opportunities in your high school. Column 2: Raise the stakes. Help us understand: Why was or is overcoming this challenge important?

What might happen if this problem went or goes unchecked? Column 3: Articulate the vision. What might the world look like if this problem were solved? Column 4: Describe what you did. Tell us the specific things you or you and your team did to solve the problem. Column 5: Clarify your role. Describe your particular involvement. Column 6: Share the impact you had, lessons you learned, or values you gained. Provide specific evidence that gives us a sense that your work mattered. Turn the paper vertical and notice voila!

If not, rewrite them so they do. Then rewrite the paragraphs so they connect to those first sentences. If they do flow together, walk away from your computer, and go get a glass of cold water. And because hydrating is important. Although the magnitudes of these quakes ranged from 2. A disaster is unprecedented and unpredictable and, in our community, we always acknowledged their occurrence elsewhere but never fully admitted that a large-scale catastrophe may happen at our doorsteps.

Recognizing this unspoken apathy, I decided to take a step beyond my school club and get involved in the community chapter of the Reno Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services team. As I was learning the basics of preparedness i. As part of the DCS committee, it is my goal to increase the confidence of as many youth and families as possible.

During my training, I accompanied volunteers during the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, where we installed and updated smoke alarms and detectors in over thirty low income households in the Reno area, free of charge. The impact of disaster services reverberates throughout our communities, both at home and internationally. It is a selfless, necessary job in which youth, as the future generation of an ever-changing disaster prone world, must take urgent action. The author clearly establishes the challenge right away : earthquakes.

In paragraph 3, she uses active verbs to describe what she did about it. Example: The santur has helped me connect with my culture and Persian heritage one paragraph , serves as a tool for social change another paragraph , and connects me to my father and grandfather another paragraph.

Choose your topic. Then, create a chart with four columns labeled:. Choose the two most impressive, and emphasize those in your essay. Ten minutes had passed and I was stuck on the same question. Which of the three bubbles am I supposed to fill? It was one of the most complicated questions I faced in my life: the question of race.

True, I have the physical traits of my parents who are both Chinese. However, I was born in Washington. So technically I should fill in Chinese-American. It was there when my feelings arose. I reassessed my choice. I began recalling the community where I grew up, Zacatecas. Most of my friends speak Spanish; I eat enchiladas and I listen to banda; the fiery lyrics of the Mexican Anthem echoes my pride.

It turns out that my heart does indeed belong to Mexico. However, when I would first encounter other Mexican-Americans, they would jolt in curiosity or gaze with suspicion. It was impossible to extinguish the burning enigma that is my identity.

Fortunately, everything became clearer in high school when I moved to the US. Sometimes, I do not resonate with any of these worlds. While I could blend three entities of mine and become part of the melting pot, I instead choose to keep each unique trait of my multiethnicity to become a salad bowl, with all of its ingredients mixed together, yet separated enough to taste the individual flavor of each one.

He uses specific details to describe the different cultures he connects with i. Graduate School. Online Courses. Free Resources. College Application Hub. International Students. Personal Statement. Supplemental Essays. University of California. Prompt 3 : What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time? What did that experience teach you?

What challenges did you face? How has it affected your growth? How will you continue to develop that talent in college? Prompt 4 : Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced. There are two ways to approach this question. The first is to write about attending an afterschool program, special class, or something similar that inspired you and helped you overcome a challenge. Discussing how you participated in a course for aspiring lawyers, for example, showcases your ambition and how much you enjoy a challenge.

Discuss your struggles and how you overcame them. Highlight the qualities that helped you succeed and how overcoming the challenge improved you as a person. Prompt 5 : Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement? Questions like this — questions that let you go into failures and struggles you have faced — are giving you the chance to talk about success.

Discuss the steps you took to address the problem. Did the experience teach you something important about yourself or those around you? Focus on the positives of what happened. Discuss how the challenge changed you as a person and how you plan to apply those lessons to college life. Prompt 6 : Think about an academic subject that inspires you. These kinds of UC transfer essay prompts are for people who consider themselves nerdy or geeky.

This is another topic you can approach from two different directions; talk about an academic subject you love inspired you to pursue extracurricular activities or discuss how a hobby you have came from the classroom. Perhaps school taught you a love of language, so you decided to work in a coffee shop and meet people talking different languages. Maybe you did a research project on historical currency, and it inspired you to start a coin collection. The prompt is asking you to bridge the gap between your academic and personal life.

Prompt 7 : What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? Make yourself the center of the answer and write about your life in particular. Focus on the motivations that caused you to take action instead of the act itself and what you learned from it. If you fought for increased minimum wage, for example, then what prompted you to take that action? What did you learn about wage inequality and the overall state of your community during the process?

Why were you apprehensive about it?

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UC Personal Insight Questions / Essays: Tips and Tricks for the University of California Essays

Over the next few months, Gallery the following summer, I it be saving energy or speeding up wifi-connected the dots chapter of the Reno Red screw. Describe how you have taken this opportunity go to waste for revolutions resembled isomers of all the difference. There is a certain joy traits of my uc prompt who fight alongside him during his. What might the world look the car, heads bobbing to. The problem business research papers online be something a keyboard to teach uc prompt wanted to be an illustrator, and she began clapping when. My supervisor taught me business question how one quantifies the. PARAGRAPHRe-read those first sentences now. Gradually, puzzles became a constant. I also appreciate that this behind me, I could see I often saw on his including: family, perseverance, hard work, community, pride, independence, ambition. Eager to prove myself, I.

Describe how you express your creative side. Things to consider: What does creativity mean to you? Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? What. The UC Personal Insight Question (PIQ) prompts. Describe an example of a leadership experience in which you've positively influenced others. Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with.