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Top 4 University of California Admissions Essays

University of California

These are successful college essays of students that were accepted to University of California, Berkeley. Use them to see what it takes to get into UC Berkeley and other top schools and get inspiration for your own Common App essay, supplements, and short answers. These successful UC Berkeley essays include Common App essays, UC Berkeley supplements, and other UC Berkeley admissions essays.


  1. UC PIQ: Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside the classroom. I used to believe the common consensus of my classmates: math education beyond elementary level had few applications in real life. However, my perception of math has since changed. It’s not about what you learn, it’s the way math makes you think.Math is a tool I use to navigate the world around me. In third grade, I learned to think quickly by rehearsing my multiplication tables. In middle school, I explored my creativity by solving math riddles unconventionally. Now in AP Statistics, I sharpen my analytical skill and logical reasoning when designing population studies. Acquiring these skills has its challenges,… Continue Reading »
  2. UC PIQ: 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? The rattle of a doorknob pierced the night. It was my grandfather, Yeye. As usual, he was disoriented, thought it was time to eat, and being hard of hearing, required loud convincing by my mom to return to bed. Plaque and tangles had accumulated in my grandfather’s brain, and now they spread into our everyday lives.With my step-grandmother suddenly moving back to Taiwan, my family was completely unprepared to care for a 90-year-old disabled man. There were no funds for professional elder care, so my mom, dad, and I had to quickly adapt to accommodate his needs. After a number… Continue Reading »
  3. UC PIQ: 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. Ding! I had just received an email from my school’s yearbook committee in response to the first draft of my 2018 cover design. “We like the background, but the illustrated academy symbols are lacking originality.” I stared at my design in Photoshop and fidgeted with my stylus pen, without a solution. How could I create a clever retro-themed cover that integrated the visual, theatre, music, and dance academies of my school? I left my computer and went for a walk. Standing beneath my neighbor’s expansive tree, it became obvious that I needed to branch out and find inspiration from artists… Continue Reading »
  4. UC PIQ: Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced. The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program was a pivotal experience in my education. At no cost, I was selected to study computer science for 7 weeks amongst highly motivated females like myself.Each day I was grouped with new girls to collaborate on projects and form new friendships. We explored the coding languages of HTML, CSS, Arduino C, and Python (my favorite). I learned to code my own website, program robots to sing the latest pop songs, and create games that my peers could interact with! My curiosity drove me to ask many questions as I was eager to perfect… Continue Reading »