- Discuss a significant personal archievement.
- Evaluate the pros and cons of a political issue, and discuss how that issue related to your community.
- Write an essay describing a person who has influenced you.
- Write about your favorite book, poem, or play.
- The admissionos committee has a copy of your autobiography opened to page 367. What does it say?
- discuss a challenge you overcame and how it changed you.
- What is the best advice you have received, and why?
- If you could time travel, what period in history would you visit, and why?
- You have been selected to meet with the president of the United States for one hour. What will you discuss?
- If you could switch bodies with someone for a day, who wouldyou choose, and why?
Source: College Planning Workbook, Spark Publishing, 2008, p. 138-167.
UC Davis – The Personal Statement
- Write it yourself.
- Write it about yourself.
- Provide any relevant information about yourself that you don’t think is captured elsewhere in the application.
- Write about experiences, accomplishments, etc. that occurred during or after high school.
- Provide specific examples of your accomplishments or activities in which you’ve participated.
- Keep your statement focused.
- Have your statement checked by a teacher, counselor or other adviser for spelling, grammar and clarity.
Writing and Reading UC’s Personal Statement (PowerPoint presentation)
What characteristics is UC looking for?
- Thoughtful, incisive reflection — some sense of who the student is.
- Personal qualities including, but not limited to, leadership, creativity, initiative, persistence, maturation, commitment to others.
- Students who have done more to enrich their education.
- Students who have had meaningful participation, not just a listing of activities. Quality over quantity should be the general guideline.
- Students who demonstrate tenacity, self-discipline and motivation for academic success.
- Students who have demonstrated a sensitivity to and respect for differences, e.g., through sustained community service.
- Students who are informal leaders — the type of student who makes things happen — a catalyst who motivates others, who initiates or takes responsibility for something that meets a perceived need.
What the personal statement is not:
- A visionary statement of what you plan for your future, without concrete examples of what initiatives you have already taken that will lead you to your goals.
- An elaboration on someone you admire, without a specific description of what you, yourself, have done or not done as a result of your inspiration.
- An exaggeration of problems but an acceptance of responsibility for choices, academic performance, and/or behaviors.
- An exhaustive listing of activities, honors, awards but rather a judicious selection of important indicators.
- Solely a sample of writing skills although appropriate grammar, level of usage and spelling are expected.