Aug 19

Get Into UCLA With These 4 Crucial Tips

2022 Wrapped: Top Ivy League Universities

Do you intend to enroll at UCLA?

We’ll talk about how competitive UCLA is, what qualities UCLA is searching for in candidates, the test scores and GPA you need to stand out from the competition, and how to ace your UCLA essays.

Do you want to improve your chances of getting into a top-tier university? Schedule your consultation with Tokyo Academics today!

What is the UCLA Admissions Process Like?

Getting into UCLA is extremely difficult. Nearly 14% of candidates are accepted by UCLA each year. To put it another way, 14 out of every 100 applicants get accepted by UCLA.

The acceptance rate at UCLA is challenging—and increasingly more so every year. You must make sure that every aspect of your application is flawless if you want to get accepted.

What Qualities Do Students at UCLA Need to Have?

In just three words: education, research, and service. It is UCLA’s responsibility as a public research institution to not only educate its students but also to give them the tools they need to change the world for the better.

We can infer from those three terms what qualities it seeks in candidates. Priority one for UCLA is finding students who respect education. A strong academic record and a track record of taking on challenges are key requirements for admission.

In addition to valuing research, UCLA also looks for individuals who are passionate about pursuing their academic interests in practical ways. That entails looking for chances to learn outside of the classroom. You might also work as a volunteer at a nearby lab or do some career-related job shadowing. 

Public service is crucial to UCLA. Those who apply who are chosen will have a track record of civic engagement and civic-mindedness. It’s possible that you participated actively in your community’s religious group or volunteered as a tutor. Convey your concern for things and people and not just yourself.

Can You Apply to UCLA Early?

Early action and early decision deadlines are not provided by UCLA to applicants.

Deadlines and requirements for UCLA applications

For normal admission to UCLA, the application date is November 30. In late March, students will get a response regarding the status of their application.

The University of California application is used to apply to UCLA. The Universal app and the Common app are not accepted by UCLA.

In the past, UCLA required either SAT or ACT scores; however, in May 2020, the University of California Board of Regents unanimously decided to end needing the ACT and SAT as part of admissions applications. All UC campuses will administer tests in blind mode at least until 2025. This implies that even if you submit your SAT or ACT scores, they won’t be taken into account while evaluating your application.

You must have finished the following high school years of coursework before enrolling at UCLA in terms of classes:

  • 2 years History/Social Science
  • 4 years of college-preparatory English
  • 3 years of mathematics (4 years recommended)
  • 2 years laboratory science (3 years recommended)
  • 2 years of Language other than English (3 years recommended)
  • 1 year of Visual and Performing Arts (if available)
  • 1 year of College Preparatory elective

Official transcripts don’t need to be sent with your application; you just need to do so after being accepted. Additionally, UCLA often doesn’t accept any letters of recommendation and doesn’t do entrance interviews. Remember to verify with the department of your major because these might be necessary for your particular degree program.

What Test Scores Must I Achieve to Get into UCLA?

According to what has been  previously said, UCLA will continue to use a test blind process through at least 2025, along with the other universities in California. This means that even if you submit your SAT or ACT scores, they won’t be examined. If you’ve taken any of those exams, we still advise you to submit your scores because they’re a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your academic prowess to UCLA. Aim for a 3 on the AP exam, and a 4 or 5 is preferred. Aim for at least a 4, and in the best case scenario a 5, 6, or 7 on IB exams.

Essays for UCLA applications

You must select four responses from a possible eight for the four personal insight questions on your UCLA application. There is a 350 word limit per response.

The eight personal insight questions are as follows:

  1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
  2. 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.
  3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
  4. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
  5. 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?
  6. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
  7. What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?
  8. Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?

The University of California website provides helpful advice on how to respond to each of these questions, along with sample answers that might serve as inspiration for your own answers. For extra guidance, you may also refer to our post on how to respond to each UC prompt.

The values of UCLA—education, research, and service—should generally be reflected in your essays. You should demonstrate both your academic curiosity and your passion to change the world for the better.


How to Get into UCLA

Despite being challenging, it is not impossible to get into UCLA. You have a better chance of getting accepted if you put more effort into every aspect of your application.

  • Make your coursework a priority.

Academically talented UCLA students excel. You have to be one of them as well to fit in.

Plan to take some challenging classes to raise your GPA if you’re still in your freshman, sophomore, or junior year of high school. In order to compete with the other applicants, you must be disciplined and put in a lot of effort.

Take the toughest classes you can. You may tell if you’re up for the challenge of attending UCLA by demonstrating that you’re not afraid of challenging coursework.

  • Write remarkable essays

Your essay responses are your best chance to highlight your abilities and distinctive interests. Each of the four essays you write for UCLA should be written with great care.

Don’t wait until the last minute to start your UCLA essays; begin them early so that you have time to revise and get feedback.

  •  Establish Your Desire to Attend UCLA

It can be challenging to remember that you have a choice in which institutions you attend when you’re in the midst of applying to colleges. There will probably be a few colleges you can choose from, all of which believe you’d fit in well on their campuses.

Upon acceptance, colleges want you to enroll. So they try to accept kids who are genuinely interested in going to their college. The admissions committee may be persuaded to accept your application if you can demonstrate on it that you are truly interested in attending UCLA.

  • Include a Spike in Your Application

It can be tempting to present yourself as well-rounded and interested in everything when applying to colleges.

This is actually bad advice.

Tens of thousands of students applying to UCLA will have participated in every imaginable extracurricular activity and academic endeavor. You must be noticeable.

Being average in a band, on the track team, and on student government won’t make your application stand out. It will be notable if you go to Japan to participate with a top-notch performance group or if you make the shotput Olympic trials.

Put all of your eggs in one basket. When you concentrate, you will do better than if you have to divide your time and attention among several tasks.

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