As per the 2020 Academic Ranking of World Universities, UCLA ranks 2nd among the public universities in the United States and the 15th best in the world. With such high ranks, it is no surprise that thousands of students strive to get through the University of California Los Angeles and make it their alma mater. However, every good thing comes with a price – the high acceptance rate in this case.
Of course, the cut-off rate is steep, and the competition is fierce. Unless you have some commendable GPA scores and an eloquent admission essay, UCLA won’t open its doors for you. And even though you can consider seeking help from a professional
How Difficult Is It to Get Into UCLA?
Needless to say, getting through UCLA can be a competitive ordeal even when you have the best grades in school. UCLA accepts less than 15% of applicants.
In 2018-2019, UCLA’s acceptance rate was as dangerously low as 12.4%. So, you can well understand the cutthroat competition you may have to encounter. Besides a pretty high average GPA score, you must also meet the SAT requirements of UCLA.
Furthermore, if you are applying for a scholarship for financial aid, things get only more challenging.
What is UCLA Looking for in the Applicants?
The core mission of UCLA comprises three words – education, research, and service. Since UCLA is a public research university, the reputed institution goes beyond just teaching students to train them to be the harbingers of positive change in the world.
- As the mission states, UCLA usually allows successful applicants who have a stellar academic record. You must have a high average GPA rate. You can also compensate for your slightly low GPA with a high SAT score.
- Beyond academic excellence, UCLA also values students who are passionate about learning outside the classroom. So, internships and other practical field jobs can make you the kind of applicant they are looking for.
- Finally, UCLA gives a lot of importance to service. This means that a record of offering civic volunteering services can get you on the good books of the admission panel. You must show your genuine concern for worldly issues to make a good impression.
Next, you will find a detailed section that states all the scores you will need to get through UCLA in 2021.
Note: Since the requirements for scores change from time to time, make sure to check for the updated rates on the official website of UCLA.
What Test Scores Do You Need to Get Through UCLA?
Owing to the pandemic, the requirements for SAT and ACT scores have been suspended for the application year of 2021/2022. However, if the situation goes back to normal, then the rule might again stand true. In that case, here is a list of the scores that you will have to show to make it through UCLA:
- GPA Scores – You must have an average GPA of 3.9 to apply for UCLA.
- SAT Scores – You need excellent SAT scores, where your composite score should range between 1350 to 1550 out of 1600. Along with your SAT scores, you must also submit an admission essay.
Note: If you fail to score high scores once, you can take SAT multiple times.
- ACT Scores – Your ACT composite score should be between 31–35. If your official ACT score misses the requirement by a hair, you can compensate it with volunteer service.
If you are looking for some keys for the admission essays of UCLA, below is a list of insightful questions that you may be asked to answer.
All You Need to Know About UCLA Application Essays
For the UCLA admission essay, you will have to answer four out of eight personal insight questions, each answer with a limit of 350 words.
Here are the 8 insight questions that you need to prepare for the admission essay:
- Describe your leadership skill and how you have influenced others positively, resolved disputes and contributed to team efforts.
- Describe how you express your creative side: original and artistic thinking or problem solving?
- What, according to you, is your greatest skill or talent? How have you cultivated the skills and demonstrated them over time?
- An instance when you have worked to overcome an educational barrier or taken advantage of an educational opportunity
- Write about a significant challenge that has affected your academic achievement and what you have done to overcome this challenge.
- Which academic subject inspires you, and how have you furthered this interest inside and outside the classroom?
- How have you contributed to making your school or community a better place?
- What do you think makes you a strong candidate to be a part of the University of California?
In general, the answers must reflect your intellectual curiosity and show your drive to change this world positively. If you want more insights and keys to the questions, you can visit the website of UCLA for tips, tricks and prompts.
That brings us to the application deadlines and other details which you cannot afford to miss. Here are all the dates and timelines to mark on your calendar.
UCLA Application Deadlines and Requirements
You must remember the dates for applying to the university. Miss one of these deadlines, and you will have no option but skip an entire year or apply to another college.
Now, when it comes to dates, your citizenship plays an important role. If you reside in California or any other states in the US, the application starts from enrolling in the fall semester. If you have international citizenship, the application period is between 1st November to 1st December.
Here are some other things to keep in mind:
- After you have put in your application, you will get the status of your application in late March.
- Use the University of California application to apply for admission to UCLA.
Other than the GPA, SAT, or ACT scores mentioned in the section above, you will have to complete the following coursework years in high school before you apply at UCLA:
- 4 years of college-preparatory English
- 2 or 3 years of Language other than English
- 3 years of mathematics (4 years recommended)
- 2 years History/Social Science
- 1 year of Visual and Performing Arts
- 2 years laboratory science (3 years recommended)
- 1 year of College Preparatory elective
Note: UCLA does not accept any letters of recommendation. However, you may require to crack through conduct entrance interviews for specific degree programs. Check with the department that handles your Major for accurate details.
4 Quick Tips for Getting Into UCLA
While getting into UCLA can be challenging altogether, it certainly isn’t something unachievable. On that note, here are certain things that you have in your power to do to ensure your admission to UCLA.
- Prioritize your coursework
UCLA prefers high-achievers. So, you need to be one too if you want to be accepted. Start by taking advanced classes to improve your GPA. Signing up for the most difficult courses and dealing with rigorous coursework will season you to face the challenge of getting through UCLA.
- Ace your standardized tests
Although you can take the SAT six times, try to ace through in the first two or three times. The same goes for ACT. Prepare well and take repeated tests to meet the average ACT score as per the requirements of UCLA.
- Write standout essays
Your essays will help you showcase your skills and unique interests. So, do not make the irreparable mistake of procrastinating. Start writing the UCLA essays with plenty of time in hand to have enough scope for revising and receiving feedback.
- Prove why you want to go to UCLA
Put in a lot of effort to prove that you want to attend UCLA in your application. The more eloquent and compelling you are, the better are your chances to sway the admissions committee in your favor.
It sure isn’t easy to get into UCLA, and the process gets more challenging with every passing year. But if you ask me, the 2021-22 admission cycle is your best chance to get through since the institution isn’t asking for SAT scores.
Nevertheless, work hard from now on to reap favorable results in the future. May the force be with you!
Author Bio: Clara Smith has a PhD in Comparative Literature and is an alumnus of UCLA. She is also associated with the academic brand Allessaywriter.com as an essay writer. You can contact her through the website if you need any help with your admission to UCLA.