Sample Essay Directions

First Year Essay Instructions

Many UCA colleges require or accept the UCA Essay or Personal Statement. The college may also ask additional essays as part of their college-specific supplement. Use the information below to prepare your responses in advance.


Essay Prompts

Personal Statement

650 or fewer words
First-Year Admissions Application


Please write an essay that demonstrates your ability to develop and communicate your thoughts. Some ideas include: a person you admire; a life-changing experience; or your viewpoint on a particular current event.

Activity Description

100-150 words
First-Year Admissions Application


Tell us about one of your extracurricular, volunteer, or employment activities.

College Specific Essays

College Supplement


In addition to the topics above, a college may also require additional essays in the Supplements section of the application. To learn more about a specific college's requirements, visit their UCA page. See the complete list of colleges on the UCA Colleges page.

Transfer Essay Instructions

Many UCA colleges require or accept the UCA Essay or Personal Statement. The college may also ask additional essays as part of their college-specific supplement. Use the information below to prepare your responses in advance.


Essay Prompts

Personal Statement

650 or fewer words
Transfer Admissions Application


Please write an essay that demonstrates your ability to develop and communicate your thoughts. Some ideas include: why you are transferring; what you have learned about yourself at your current institution; or a description of an experience at your current institution that has changed your viewpoint.

Activity Description

100-150 words
Transfer Admissions Application


Tell us about one of your extracurricular, volunteer, or employment activities.

College Specific Essays

College Supplement


In addition to the topics above, a college may also require additional essays in the Supplements section of the application. To learn more about a specific college's requirements, visit their UCA page. See the complete list of colleges on the UCA Colleges page.

The purpose of the Essay Test is to find out how well you can write an essay. You will have sixty minutes to write an essay on the topic you select.

Listed below, along with some information, are a few suggestions which will help you do your best on the essay.

  1. You will be given a choice of topics. Read each topic carefully and choose the one on which you feel you can do your best writing.
  2. Start planning your paper as soon as you have decided on your essay topic. You may use the space underneath the topics for making an outline or notes about your plans.
  3. Organization of your essay is important. In general, the passing essay will have a central idea that is directly related to the assigned topic; have a clear organizational plan; develop points with evidence and details in a coherent, logical, and non-repetitious way; and avoid frequent or serious errors in grammar, mechanics, word choice, and sentence structure.
  4. Allow yourself a little time at the end of your writing to check your paper and make any needed changes.
  5. You must use a pen to write your essay. Essays written in pencil will not be graded. You may not use "white-out" or "Liquid Paper."
  6. The graders must be able to read your essay. Be careful with your handwriting.
  7. Your paper will be read and evaluated by three different graders. Neither your identity nor your school will be known to the graders.


    Click here to see the Sample Essay Booklet

    Last updated: October 1, 1997

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