From the University of California System:
"After almost 10 years, UC is changing the personal statement section of its undergraduate admissions application, replacing the current two personal statement prompts with short-answer questions that students can choose from. The new questions, now called personal insight questions, aim to give applicants a greater say in the kind of information they share with the University. Students can express who they are and what matters to them not only in how they respond to the questions, but also through the questions they choose to answer.
The new questions also provide students with better direction and focus on topics that are important to campuses. Each new question aligns to one or more of the14 comprehensive review criteria (nine criteria for transfer students) that campuses consider in their admissions decisions. “We hope this new format will not only provide us with additional insight into applicants, but also allow students to better choose the questions that speak to them most directly,” stated a UC admissions director.
Here are some important points about the personal insight questions:
- Freshman applicants will now choose four out of eight questions to answer.
- Transfer applicants will answer one required question in addition to three out of seven additional questions.
- Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.
- All questions will have equal value in the admissions selection process. For applicants, there is no advantage or disadvantage to choosing certain questions over others.
- The new questions will be included in the fall 2017 application which will be available Aug. 1, 2016."