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

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:

Have any feedback or questions about this UC Essay guide? Contact the author directly at Or, schedule a one-on-one consultation with college counselor Robert Powers here to start working with an expert to plan your path to an amazing college.

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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