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Answering Questions for Your UC Personal Statement
When applying to the Berkeley personal statement or UC, you’ll be asked to answer 4 personal insight questions. Below is the list of the questions you have to prepare :
- Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time. It is important to let the committee know what you have achieved throughout the years. You can write about the project or event you organized or helped with. The most important tip here is – don’t lie. This can ruin the whole impression of you and not gonna do you any credit.
- 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. Explain your vision of creativity and what it means to you. How do you express it? Does it ever come in handy when facing challenges? In what way?
- What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time? Highlight all the skills you are proud of. Why are you proud of hem? Did they help you to achieve something? Tell about how you discovered this talent or skill of yours and what you’re going to develop it.
- Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced. Ever had difficulties with getting to the advanced course or educational program you were really interested? Write about this experience and how you overcame those difficulties. Who or what helped you?
- 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? Describe the challenge you faced. How you coped with it? Did this experience influence you in any way? If yes, then write about it.
- Describe your favorite academic subject and explain how it has influenced you. Talk about your interest in this subject and why you prefer this particular subject. Does this interest have anything to do with choosing your future career?
- What have you done to make your school or your community a better place? Discuss the problems you faced and how you helped to solve them? Did you cope with this on your own or someone helped you? How your actions changed the situation?
- What is the one thing that you think sets you apart from other candidates applying to the University of California? Here you are free to brag a little bit. But don’t go too far. Just tell about your distinctive qualities that make you the person you are.
- Please describe how you have prepared for your intended major, including your readiness to succeed in your upper-division courses once you enroll at the university. Describe how you organize your preparation process. Do you have any special techniques? Talk about your ambitions and how you are planning to achieve the set goal.
Tips to Answer Personal Insight Questions
UC personal insight questions examples will help you learn how to answer the essay prompts of the University of California. Now if you’re looking for tips on how to answer those questions, keep reading the following.
- You must start early. This is the most important tip to bear in mind. By starting early, you will have more opportunities to revise and make several copies of the answers. From such answers, you will determine which ones are best to use for the submission.
- You must write convincingly. In answering the UC application personal insight questions, you must use specific examples, which will support your points in the answers.
- You must use “I” statements. Remember that they want to know your accomplishments, talents, and personality. They want to know your potential for success. Thus, you should know how to use “my statements” when answering the questions given.
- You should edit and proofread. Check your writing for spelling and grammar mistakes, which can distract the readers. These errors will also get in the way of the message you’re trying to convey.
- You must get feedback. Get feedback from friends, teachers and family members in your answers to the UC personal insight questions. They can offer you with advice and suggestions. However, you should not plagiarize or use anyone’s work as your own.
- Save your work in plain text. Copy and paste the answers in the space provided in the application form. You must proofread and edit again to ensure there are no mistakes.
- Give yourself time to relax. When done submitting the answers to the questions, you should give yourself some time to rest and relax. Remember that the admissions will not base their decision in this part only.
5 Common Mistakes in Personal Insight Questions
- Not following instructions
- Not answering the questions sufficiently
- Not getting feedback
- Not proofreading and editing their essays
- Starting too late
Additional Comments Section
When done answering the personal insight questions UC, you need to complete this section, but optionally. It must not be a place to continue the responses you had in the personal questions.
- This is only a section where to write about additional clarification about your application, including activities, awards, and honors.
- Here is your chance to describe any relevant point but you did not include in the application.
- You may include about nontraditional or unusual school environment or circumstances.
- Write only up to 550 words in this section.
- Choose the right
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One of my greatest talents in life is my capability for empathy. I have found I am able to calm friends and loved ones, and listen to their hardships and troubles in a way that makes them feel better when they’re finished. This talent has given me a lot of insight into the human condition, and is why I believe I will excel as a Psychology major in university.
I discovered my capacity for empathy quite by accident. As a young girl, I often found myself the one all of my friends would turn to for consolation or to get a load of their chests. Without mentioning it to each other, my circle of friends knew I was the “designated empathy,” or the person who could understand why they felt the way they felt, and tell them what they needed to feel better. This came without any training, of course, but instead seemed like a natural outgrowth of my personality.
One experience stands out in my mind as exemplary of this talent. In middle school, my best friend’s father died of a heart attack. My friend was devastated and didn’t answer her phone for days. I went over to her house after school and threw pebbles at her window until she invited me inside. She cried on my shoulder, sobbing about how she would never see her father again, or hear his stories, or smell his aftershave. She realized she would miss all the small things that a little girl never notices about her Dad until he’s gone. She thought she’d never be happy again.
I listened to everything she said, hugging her close and wiping away her tears. I told her she’d always have the memories, and that’s all any of us ever have. We talked all evening and by nightfall she was smiling again. I realized for the first time that I could help people out of their darkest places, and a Psychology degree could train me to do just that as a career.
The author of prompt #2 has an extremely touching story about helping her friend after the death of a loved one, and how that experience convinced the author that she could be a psychologist and help people as a career. The experience and stories are very moving and effective. However, the author goes in to too much detail with her anecdote and fails to give enough attention to the final part of the prompt. She wants to study psychology, but simply being good with people is not enough to fully relate her experience to her goals. She should have given multiple examples of why psychology is her true calling.
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Melissa, UC Personal Statement
Writer and Coach