Hey there! Have you tried Googling, “UC Essay Examples”? Well, if you had, you’ve probably found that there’s little to no UC essay examples online. That’s because the new UC Personal Insight Questions came out just last year, so there aren’t any UC essay examples posted.

I know that reading essay examples is incredibly helpful so I’ll post a ton of solid UC essay examples for you. This one in particular is from a student who got into the prestigious, UC Berkeley College of Engineering’s EECS program! Enjoy!

If you need UC essay writing tips, check out this 2017 definitive guide for the new UC essays!

UC Essay Example – Creative Math Essay

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. (350 words)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve taken math classes above my grade level. I whizzed through classes, memorizing everything from constants to concepts, seamlessly applying them to problems. In retrospect, I focused more on solving problems than questioning the “whys” behind what I learnt—“why does matrix multiplication exist?” I sped through courses in search of cheap validation—better grades and advanced classes—and failed to realize there was a higher level of mathematical maturity to aspire to… until dr. _____ tore me down at [math program].

In a room full of aspiring mathematicians, _______ was imploring the class to prove Fourier Transforms. Hesitantly, I volunteered as tribute. Halfway through the third step, _______ interrupted me. “No! Think a little deeper… Maybe you could solve this if you knew what a trigonometric function was!” I recited the definitions I had so devoutly memorized, but_______ coolly ripped them apart.

So I opened my mind to her suggestions and began to refine my definition until it was bulletproof. I was finally able to grasp Fourier Transforms—they essentially broke a function into frequencies, then into arcs.

_______’s prodding pushed my mind back to all those years when I sped through math, relying on intuition instead of taking a step back to truly comprehend the theory. I revisited all those concepts I took for granted, building a new, rigorous understanding of math. I started solving problems in creative ways—for example, proving graph theory lemmas using concepts from linear algebra. I discovered that even seemingly insignificant concepts had much greater meaning—who would have guessed that matrix multiplication represented function composition?

I began to approach math as a fundamentally creative endeavor. I discovered that every proof, every research question, every conjecture is a problem to be solved, a vessel to express innovative thinking. The “whys” have helped me develop a new value system based on curiosity, open-mindedness, and love for learning. My quest for deeper understanding inspires me to try everything, from cofounding a startup to learning new algorithms. The “whys” have helped me cherish the nuances of not only mathematics but also the world around me.

Analysis of UC Essay Example Strengths:

1.Easy-to-read, playful voice

In this UC essay example, the student does a really great job making his story easy-to-digest with a playful voice. This is noteworthy because 99% of the time, I see a lot of overly formal language in college application essays which gives off a stuffy, boring feel. Keep in mind that voice is actually pretty important with these essays — admissions officers are human beings that actually want to enjoy the UC essays you’ve submitted. Voice allows you to keep that admissions officer’s interest and make you more relatable and likeable!

2. Showcases student’s intellectual growth through a story

This UC essay example is fantastic for many reasons, one of which is that it showcases a student’s intellectual growth using an anecdote. Apparently, this student had a lightbulb moment during one of his many extracurricular activities that changed his thought process about his favorite subject, math. Upon reading this UC essay example, you can tell easily that this student is extremely intellectually curious and loves to learn — both attributes that admissions officers love to hear and read about 🙂