This week, the University of California Board of Regents voted to phase out the ACT-SAT testing requirements for the entire UC system over the next five years. The University of California was one of the first to come out early in March to temporarily suspend SAT-ACT testing in light of COVID quarantining and test cancellations. However, this week, on the heels of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of high school test takers to stop the AP exam administration dates in June, UC made the announcement that it would be phasing out the SAT/ACT testing requirements for all UC school.

Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed explains President Janet Napolitano’s plan to phase out the UC testing requirements in the coming years.

The Napolitano plan would do the following:

  • 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.

Oregon public universities also went test optional in March statewide. Since then, a slew of other universities have gone test optional. Today, over 1200+ universities are test optional. The full list can be found here.

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