Essay Scoop: How to answer UCLA Essays

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UCLA is the second oldest University of California campus and offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines, of which 125 are undergraduate.

UCLA is competitive to get into and looks for more than straight-A students. It wants college students that bring with them rich experiences with diverse perspectives. The purpose of short answer questions in the UCLA application is to elicit the accomplishments, enriching experiences and motivations of the applicant. Below is some helpful advice on how to respond to each of the questions.


Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

Every applicant has lived through unique experiences in their life and sometimes these moments leave a lasting imprint. Focus on a moment or two or a trend between experiences that have contributed to your goals for the future. Keep in mind that the message can complement the next prompt by explaining the motivations behind your passions. This question requires reflection of the past that serves as the rationale for your aspirations.


Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud, and how does it relate to the person you are?

This is a great place to connect your goals for the future to a specific moment or an approach you have. Either way, the reader will need to see an explanation that connects your career/life goals to your observations. What moments directly contributed to your vision and what problems do you hope to address?

Questions? Let us know!