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University Of California System Cuts SAT and ACT Tests For Admissions

The University of California will no longer consider SAT or ACT scores when making admission and scholarship decisions. In a settlement finalized Friday, the ten-campus system said it would not fight a judge's injunction that barred it from considering the scores. The UC Board of Regents voted 23 to 0 in favor of phasing out the tests, according to the idea proposed by President Janet Napolitano. It's all part of a lawsuit filed against the UC system back in 2019 on behalf of low-income students of color, and students with disabilities, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. SAT and ACT scores may still be required for placement in courses. The settlement noted that within five years, the UC system either needs to create a new standard test or completely remove that requirement.

According to President Napolitano's plan allows:

  • For freshmen entering in 2021 and 2022, Napolitano proposes the UC system become test optional. (The system has already done this for 2021, citing COVID-19.) Students who opt to submit SAT or ACT scores will not have to submit the SAT writing test.
  • For freshmen entering in 2023 and 2024, UC would be test blind, meaning that SAT and ACT scores would not be used in admissions decisions for California residents. Out-of-state applicants could use the new test or the SAT/ACT. Historically,few colleges have gone test blind, but UC would only in part do so. That's because UC applicants could continue to submit SAT and ACT scores during this period for use in awarding scholarships, and for the state guaranteed admissions provision that grants admission to those in the top eighth of California high schools.
  • For freshmen entering in 2025, a new admissions test would be created and used instead of the SAT and ACT. All California students would take the test to apply, and it would be made available to private schools and out-of-state schools to use. Nonresidents and international students could submit either SAT/ACT scores or scores on the new test.
  • If no new test is available by 2025, the state will go fully test blind and eliminate the role of standardized testing in admissions.

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