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College Essay Series: Writing the UC Personal Insight Questions (PIQs)

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

It can be overwhelming for students to start the UC Application and learn that the University of California wants them to write not one but four essays. Each essay should be no more than 350 words in length, and students can’t reuse their Common App Personal Statement.

Not to worry! Robert Powers, the college counselor at College Torch, has created a brief guide for each of the eight UC essay prompts. And, he’s published them all here in the College Torch Blog.

So, read on! Choose the essay you want to learn more about:

Want an all-in-one resource for the UC Personal Insight Questions you can save to your desktop? Download our free UC Essay Planning Guide here!

Robert Powers (M.A. Johns Hopkins) is the college counselor at College Torch. He helps students with all aspects of college admissions. You can reach him by emailing him at or by booking a consultation here. Parents are also able to join his private Facebook group for Parents of College-Bound Students.

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