Do UC essays have to be 350 words?
These UC essays are especially tricky because of the word limit: you only have 350 words to convey your message per essay. That means this: Don’t do too much in one short essay. In other words, don’t try to write about 3 different topics in one essay so that you can fit all you want to say.
Do UCs care about essays?
Not every UC reads the Personal Insights for transfers so your great essay might not even be seen. Yes, it’s true: Berkeley, UCLA, San Diego, Merced and Davis are the only UCs that read the transfer Personal Insights. Santa Barbara, Irvine and Santa Cruz do not. However, every UC sees the additional comments.
How important are the UC essays?
The essay is the only part of the UC application that allows you to express your true self. The essay allows you to separate yourself from the crowd. For UCLA, the test scores are much more important. That is not to say essays are not important, but of a slightly less importance than at Berkeley.
Do essays matter?
Essays are actually ahead of the 20% for grades and coursework, 15% for test scores, and 10% for recommendations and interviews. You might be surprised to learn that essays are that important, but keep in mind that at top schools, there are at least 4 academically-qualified candidates for every open spot.