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The University of California system could change the future of SAT, ACT testing.

CU123CU123 3628 replies70 threads Senior Member
SAN FRANCISCO — A battle is brewing that could result in one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious state university systems dropping tests that have long held the highest of stakes for high school students.
In the coming weeks, a coalition of advocacy groups is expected to file a lawsuit against the University of California, demanding that its nine undergraduate campuses stop requiring applicants to submit results from the SAT or ACT. The long-standing aptitude tests, the group contends, are inherently biased against the poor.

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Replies to: The University of California system could change the future of SAT, ACT testing.

  • Fisherman99Fisherman99 259 replies1 threads Junior Member
    UC Riverside graduate...my first thought is that eliminating the SAT/ACT will "dumb down" the entire University of California System and lessen the selectivity/prestige of it. However, many UC's have much more diversity representative of state population/lower financial status than others like the flagships of UCLA and Berkeley which are lacking...can be balanced out to include more from the lower middle class and the impoverished. SAT/ACT should still be required in my opinion...wonder if there are any other ways to do this? Would like to hear suggestions!
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 42157 replies453 threads Senior Member
    Test optional means you can submit it if you wish, but if you don't your academic record has to stand on its own with grades and rigor + activities/leadership/recognition.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79097 replies703 threads Senior Member
    Note that UCs already have a lower emphasis on SAT/ACT scores relative to HS GPA than many other schools, probably because their own research found that the SAT/ACT scores were weaker predictors of college performance than HS GPA.

    That research found that the (then) SAT II writing test was the strongest predictor among the common high school level (not AP or IB) standardized tests, presumably why they lobbied to get it included as the third part of the three part SAT of 2004. But it then took only a few years before test prep companies figured out how to game that writing section and teach weak writers how to score well on it.

    But the relative weighting of SAT/ACT scores versus HS GPA does mean that "test score heavy" applicants to UCs are often the ones with disappointing results, because they assumed that the magnitude that higher SAT/ACT scores would compensate for lower HS GPA was higher than it actually was.

    In contrast, some other schools weight SAT/ACT scores more heavily relative to HS GPA*. Schools trying to climb the USNWR ranking may do that because the USNWR ranking section for student selectivity weights SAT/ACT scores much more heavily than class rank. Ranking climbers may also chase National Merit finalists since those students are selected for very high test scores.

    *Compare the frosh profiles for USC versus UCLA, for example.
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