UC makes landmark decision to drop ACT and SAT requirement for admission


It definitely will help. Those are top scores! I’m telling students they should still submit scores unless there is a huge, huge discrepancy between high grades and low test scores (top 10% in GPA paired with bottom 25% test scores).

@LeonaT Thank you for your input!

Here are the details of the regents’ actions:


And the video of the regents’ meeting today:


@sushiritto @Mwfan1921: Thank you for posting this information.

UC Forum Champion Note: I have also merged 2 similar discussions on the subject.

Lots of good things, but this quote from one of the regents stood out from the meeting:

“There is no justification for the social and monetary cost that is the testing industrial complex of SAT.”


@Gumbymom thank you for moving it. I was having trouble finding the right place for it.

2021 and 2022 is test optional. Starting in 2023, ACT and SAT will not be accepted. A new test may be developed.

The UC President is stepping down in August. Hopefully it will be much easier for the new UC President to reverse course (if necessary).

I don’t expect private and OOS schools to drop the SAT/ACT and adopt some testing procedure created by California’s state government. So in the future, a student applying to college (UC’s and private/OOS) will need to take the SAT/ACT standardized tests, SAT subject tests and the UC standardized test. Good luck fitting all of these tests in if you have a student who competes in athletics/arts/academic competitions that mostly occur on Friday evening or Saturdays.

He should still send it. I think that part of the reason why they’ve dropped the requirement is for the people who were unable to take the test due to COVID.

^^ Another reason is likely to maintain their rankings vis a vis other universities going test optional. Generally, test optional policies increase application numbers and therefore, selectivity. In addition, they also raise average test scores. I’m a cynic here but I doubt this move was wholly altruistic. OP, definitely have your kid submit the scores.

I don’t think anyone is expecting that other schools would accept Cali’s own test for admission, which doesn’t even exist yet. I would be surprised if it ever happens…at some point someone will realize that creating a standardized test is difficult, and students who can afford to will still spend significant time and money on test prep.

I agree that a Cali student who wanted to leave the state, or apply to certain private schools in state would also have to take an ACT or SAT, another important consideration.

There are over 1,100 test optional schools now, although this UC decision is an important bellweather, they are a bit late to the game. One important thing we don’t know is whether the UCs will limit the number of test optional students they accept. Many schools do limit TO numbers, as USNWR methodology penalizes schools where >25% of students don’t report a score.

Right now, students still should take the ACT or SAT…no need to take both. There are no schools left that require, or strongly recommend, SAT subject tests. Some schools that used to require these tests are now even subject test blind, like MIT, Caltech, and Mudd.

But you can guarantee that there will be so many arguments about whether any proposed new “UC standardized test” is discriminatory, that the UCs will not actually introduce it, especially after two years with no test in place (2023 and 2024).

Those poor Varsity Blues parents. If only their kids had been a bit younger, then they wouldn’t have had to pay someone to take the SAT in place of their stupid kids.


It would not be surprising if they changed their mind before 2025, after these two yeas of test-optional admission seasons, if they fail to identify or create some other test (which sounds difficult):


^^ Yes, the faculty senate was not happy. They felt that going test optional makes the admission process more difficult, less transparent and more subjective. I tend to agree with them.

It will be interesting to see what kind of test the UC system comes up with that will be better than the SAT/ACT and still not handicap minorities.

Do you have a source for the faculty senate not being happy? Have any of them publicly said this?

Creating some other test = literally reinventing the wheel. That’s why I doubt they’ll ultimately do that. And yet it seems clear that they do want some kind of test.

Aspects of College Board’s product seem to have gone downhill with the 2016 redesign under Coleman, for which they fired a bunch of people and apparently took the writing component in-house, away from ETS. Coleman also explicitly intended the new test to measure academic skills per Common Core, intentionally making the test more reliant on the quality of the student’s high school, more preppable rather than less. Will Coleman keep his job? Maybe CB will reconsider and rehire ETS for the writing component? Perhaps another redesign is in its future.

Maybe UC could hire ETS themselves to write a test, though that sounds expensive. How can they afford any of this.

This fall will be the wild west for sure. But, intuitively I don’t see the rest of the US going test-blind afterward. For all the disadvantages of tests, if colleges didn’t find them useful, most would have gone optional or blind long ago.

In our crazy world, this is that moment when some testing start-up could actually have a chance by pitching its product to UC.

I thought the Times article had this in it, but if not, see below.


Also see https://edsource.org/2020/in-historic-action-uc-moves-to-drop-sat-act-and-develop-a-replacement-exam-for-admissions/632174 for some of the back-and-forth.