UC Test Score Submission Requirements and Deadline

If you already requested your SAT/SAT Subject/ACT scores to be sent to a UC campus, your scores will arrive on time.



SAT/ACT Score Submission

For SAT with Essay and ACT Plus Writing, you will need to send ONE official score report to ANY of the UC campuses to which you will apply. The scores are shared between the campuses and you do not need to send a separate score report to each UC campus. The score report must reach the UC campus before the end of December.

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SAT/SAT Subject Score Delivery Timeline

College Board has indicated that all UC campuses receive the score report electronically and that the score report will arrive within 2 weeks from the date you make the request. If you have not yet requested your scores to be sent, I highly recommend that you make a request no later than Friday, December 8, 2017.

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ACT Score Delivery Timeline

ACT has indicated that all UC campuses receive the score report electronically and delivery is completed within 2 days from the date you make the request, provided that your writing score is available. I highly recommend that you make a request no later than Friday, December 15, 2017.

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Score Delivery for December Tests

If you are still deciding whether to take the December test(s), keep in mind that College Board and ACT appear to experience frequent delays in reporting the scores, especially in recent years. In addition, many UCs start reviewing applications in mid-December (Berkeley starts in mid-November) and applicants who have indicated planned December tests are often held for later review in January. How later review may affect your application is unclear (although I have heard one application reader say that applicants reviewed later may be at a disadvantage). Therefore, I would only recommend the December test(s) if you are confident you can improve your score(s) significantly.

If you plan to take the December test(s), you should list ONE UC campus as a score recipient when you register for the test (your registration fee includes FOUR reports) so the score(s) will be sent with the December batch of scores (fastest processing). For the SAT, you can update the score recipients by logging into your College Board account. You have until nine days after test day to make the change. For the ACT, you can update the score recipients by logging into your ACT Web Account. You have until Thursday noon, Central Time, immediately following the regularly scheduled Saturday test date to make the change.

Make sure you also log back into the UC Application and self-report the December scores when you receive them. Many UCs will review the application with self-reported scores (although official score reports are required for verification). Promptly self-reporting your December scores can expedite the review of your application.

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Score Choice

The UCs discourage students from using Score Choice, citing delays in processing of the scores for distribution across the UC campuses. Although College Board has clarified that no such delay occurs on their side from Score Choice, I recommend that you make the score report request early or, if you are taking the December test, request the score to be sent using the four score reports included with the test registration.

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Rush/Priority Reporting

The Rush Reporting (SAT) and Priority Reporting (ACT) are sent as paper reports and the UCs cannot upload that information into the server and must wait for the actual scores to show up via electronic delivery. Always update the self-reported scores in the UC Application and send the report promptly using the methods described above. Don’t bother with the Rush Reporting (SAT) and Priority Reporting (ACT) because they are useless.

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AP Exam Scores

You are not required to submit AP exam scores until AFTER you are admitted and have chosen to enroll at a UC campus. Please self-report all AP exam scores you have received AND any AP exams you plan to take in May 2018 on the UC Application. If you have non-passing AP exam scores, remember that some UC campuses prefer to see you have attempted the AP exams even if you do not pass them, while other UCs are ok with you not reporting non-passing AP exam scores.
 
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  110 comments for “UC Test Score Submission Requirements and Deadline

  1. Rachel Rigoli
    November 4, 2017 at 3:42 PM

    Hi — I was under the impression that you self report ACT/SAT scores on your application and you submit/order official scores once you are admitted so wanted to clarify.

    • Ms. Sun
      November 4, 2017 at 6:49 PM

      If you go to UC’s examination requirement page and look to the right side of the page, you will see this:

      Fall 2018 UC Test Score Submission Deadline

    • Gary
      December 9, 2017 at 9:42 PM

      Hello Ms. Sun,

      I read through these posts and just want to make sure I interpreted things right. My daughter is #3 of ~400 in her school, has a 4.88, a couple of varsity sports and captain of one, president of a few clubs, Girl Scout Gold Award, newspaper chief editor, etc. She’s really very solid, but her test scores are average. She took the SAT and got a 1170 at the beginning of her senior year. Then she took the ACT twice, getting a 29 and a 28.

      When she submitted her application, she only self reported the 29 and had that sent in. Just the other day, we noticed that the UC website says to send “all” scores, so we panicked and sent the 28 in also. The question we have, is should we go back and send the SAT scores in (which she scored poorly on)? …or do you recommend leaving those alone?

      FYI: She applied to UCLA, UCB, UCSD, UCD, and UCSC.

      Thanks so much!

      • Ms. Sun
        December 10, 2017 at 10:17 AM

        Just sending the ACT scores is fine (provided that she took the optional Writing portion). There is no need to send the SAT scores in this case.

        • Gary
          December 12, 2017 at 8:01 AM

          Thanks so much for the fast response. Looking at the brief description of my daughter, in your opinion are UCD and UCSC probably safe schools for her? She didn’t apply to any CSUs. Should she be hunting for more places to apply?

          • Ms. Sun
            December 13, 2017 at 11:27 AM

            Based on the limited information you provided, I think she should be fine.

  2. Alex Chun
    November 12, 2017 at 10:15 PM

    If I took the ACT more than once, do I have to send in all the scores, or can I just send in my best composite score? I don’t need to super score.

    • Ms. Sun
      November 13, 2017 at 8:28 AM

      You can just send in your best score from one test date. There is no penalty for sending only one score instead of all of the scores.

      The UCs ask for all scores because there are some hidden waivers they grant with certain test scores. For example, certain minimum scores will help students meet a-g requirements (for example, a score of 36+ from the SAT Writing and Language or score of 30+ from the ACT English Language Arts will satisfy the entire four-year English requirement) or exempt them from AWPE, the UC English placement exam (such as a score of 30+ from the ACT English Language Arts). Rather than launching into a complex explanation that will invariably lead students into making all sorts of incorrect assumptions (like, “oh, the UCs look at individual section scores,” which is not the case at all, except for engineering), the UCs just make a blanket request for all scores and sort out the waivers at the backend.

  3. Matthew
    November 15, 2017 at 4:20 PM

    Which UC campuses prefer to see your AP exams and which are fine with you not reporting low scores? I do not want to self-report the 2 I got on the AP Physics exam since it might indicate grade inflation at my school, and so I really want to be informed about this situation. I am leaning towards not reporting the AP Physics score. Also, does not self-reporting a score have any negative consequences on admission when they see the official records of AP scores in the summer?

    • Ms. Sun
      November 15, 2017 at 4:29 PM

      If you are applying to engineering, not reporting or reporting a low score will be problematic. If you are not applying to engineering, you can probably just not report it (Berkeley is the only campus that says it wants to see students’ exam attempts even if they don’t end up passing them). Non-passing scores don’t affect your admission.

      • Matthew
        November 15, 2017 at 5:54 PM

        Oh sorry Ms. Sun, what I meant was if I don’t self-report that AP Physics score on the UC application, since UCs get the official report in the summer of all AP scores, will me not self-reporting that score cause them to think that I’m dishonest when they receive the official reports in the summer, since I did not self-report the score even though I took the test? And thank you for the quick reply!

        • Ms. Sun
          November 15, 2017 at 8:43 PM

          Sorry I wasn’t clear, I meant you not reporting non-passing AP exam scores will not affect your admission offer.

  4. Olivia
    November 16, 2017 at 5:22 PM

    Hi Ms. Sun, I’m signed up to take the December ACT but am still considering if I should take it again or not. If I mark that I plan to take it in December on my UC app and end up getting a lower score than my last test, do I still have to send it in? Another question: could I just not mark that I’m taking the December one and send it in only if I actually improve?

    • Ms. Sun
      November 16, 2017 at 7:39 PM

      The ACT Writing score tends to come out much later, so I’m not even sure if you should take the December test (the scores may not arrive fast enough for the UCs to consider them).

      • Olivia
        November 16, 2017 at 7:57 PM

        On their website they said that the latest test we could take was the December one but we would have to indicate it as a planned test date on our apps and send it in at the end of December. I’m still not sure if that means I can change my mind about sending it in our not once I get my scores back.

        • Ms. Sun
          November 16, 2017 at 8:30 PM

          I’m not disputing that the UCs say they will accept December scores. What I am saying is that most UCs review applications between December and January, with some of them wrapping up by the end of January. If the ACT Writing score come out five or six weeks after the test date, and the score takes two days to arrive (and however long to be uploaded and distributed to the other UCs), I don’t see how some of these UCs have adequate time to review your application (and what kind of effect rushing through a review will have on your application). This is all speculation on my part, of course.

          If you put down a planned December test date and remove it later (by updating your application), then your application will likely be queued for review whenever the December test date is removed. If you don’t put down a December test date, then your application will just be randomly queued for review (with no expectation that another score will show up). Given my concerns outlined above, your application with no December test date will probably be reviewed before your score even shows up; if that is the likely scenario, why bother taking the test at all?

          • Ethan
            November 20, 2017 at 2:26 PM

            I submitted my application to Berkeley on November 2nd, and they sent an email on November 13th that said they are reviewing my application. Is that true? Am I at the top of the “pile” now? And if you had below average grades and test scores but amazing personal statements, will you still have a shot at getting in? I was under extreme circumstances in high school.

            • Ms. Sun
              November 21, 2017 at 3:52 PM

              Berkeley starts reviewing application mid-November. Your application may have been used to train the application readers if it is reviewed this early. If that is the case, at a minimum, your application will be read many, many times.

              • Ethan
                November 21, 2017 at 8:11 PM

                Thank you for clearing that up for me Ms. Sun. Part of why I submitted so early was so that the situation you described might happen- although I’m not entirely sure how much it will help me. I’m crossing my fingers and thinking positive thoughts that it will though. One last thing- do any of the other UCs starting reviewing this early besides Berkeley? I was informed that my application was forwarded, but none of the other campuses sent me an email the way Berkeley did.

                • Ms. Sun
                  November 22, 2017 at 2:17 PM

                  Berkeley starts the earliest, to accommodate the recommendation letter requests (you might get one given your circumstance). The rest of the UCs usually start in December, with bulk of the reading being done between mid-December and end of January.

                  • Ethan
                    November 22, 2017 at 3:32 PM

                    When does Berkeley tend to send these supplemental essay questions? Perhaps I should get a head start, sense I feel it will be highly likely that they will ask me for them. My extreme circumstances were medical related- requiring me to regularly fly across the country for treatment (sometimes as frequent as every two weeks) and have daily physical therapy through most of high school. My grades and test scores are not “bad” by any means,(3.6 unweighted, 3.9 weighted(UC GPA 3.83)) but they are below Berkeley’s high averages. I made sure to address my unique situation in further detail in my application’s personal statements and additional comments sections, as well as speak about how I did my best to overcome the situation, which for the most part- I did. Sometimes I hear rumors that Berkeley doesn’t read personal statements though- I’m hoping those rumors are false.

                    • Ms. Sun
                      November 22, 2017 at 9:50 PM

                      Berkeley doesn’t use the supplemental questionnaires anymore. The campus now asks for recommendation letters (the burden is on you to get your teachers to corroborate your story). Personal Insight Questions response plays a much larger role than many students realize (especially for freshman admission), I’m glad to hear you took full advantage of it to explain your situation.

                  • Ethan
                    November 24, 2017 at 12:06 PM

                    Can you report, add, or update your application in regards to awards/ Honors and achievements once you’ve sent it to the UC system if you received a noteworthy award/distinction after you submitted?

                    • Ms. Sun
                      November 24, 2017 at 1:31 PM

                      The UC Application Center will accept any changes/updates you submit (appended to the end of your application file). But most UCs have said that they won’t consider changes/updates made to any sections other than Academic History.

  5. Kaylie
    November 21, 2017 at 12:27 PM

    Hi Ms. Sun, I know the UC website states that they don’t recommend score choice for the SAT, but it doesn’t explicitly say anything about the SAT Subject Tests? I’m going to send all of the SAT scores I’ve received, but I’m hesitant to send my SAT Subject Test Scores as they aren’t the best. If I used Score Choice and left those out of my report, do you think that would do more harm than good? Thank you!

    • Ms. Sun
      November 21, 2017 at 4:11 PM

      Score Choice is fine. There is no penalty if you use it.

  6. Vincent
    November 26, 2017 at 6:42 PM

    Is it beneficial for you to send in a low act score follow up with a higher act score to show them improvement. I have taken 3 test but i just wanted to turn in 2 test. Is that ok? or will i be penalizied.

    • Ms. Sun
      November 27, 2017 at 10:09 PM

      You can send however many you want. If you intend to demonstrate improvement, then you should mention that in your application (some UCs only show the highest score to the application readers).

      • Vincent
        November 27, 2017 at 10:17 PM

        Oh i should put it on my additional comment correct?

        • Ms. Sun
          November 27, 2017 at 10:21 PM

          That works.

          • Vincent
            November 27, 2017 at 10:32 PM

            Thank you so much

            • Ms. Sun
              November 27, 2017 at 10:43 PM

              My best wishes to you and good luck!

  7. Nathan
    November 28, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    Hi Ms. Sun, I had already sent my SAT scores from the College Board to the UCs (which were fulfilled on February 2017), however in the [email protected] application status portal, it is listed as self-reported instead of official. I was wondering if there was a certain time range that the UCs receive the test scores (Did I sent in my scores too early?). Thank you!

    • Ms. Sun
      November 28, 2017 at 4:07 PM

      When did you submit your UC Application? I’d give them at least a week to match your application to the test scores. Also check to make sure your personal information matches between the application and College Board.

      • Nathan
        November 28, 2017 at 4:21 PM

        I submitted my application 3 days ago. I’ll check for any updates over the next week. Thank you!

        • Ms. Sun
          November 28, 2017 at 4:29 PM

          Make sure your personal information matches between the UC Application and College Board (I think, at some point, someone said name, date of birth, and mailing address are used as part of the matching process). If you still don’t see it by next Wednesday (12/6), I would suggest sending another score report.

        • Nathan
          November 28, 2017 at 4:34 PM

          If my address has changed since I sent the SAT score, should i resubmit it?

          • Ms. Sun
            November 28, 2017 at 4:41 PM

            You have a little bit of time, so give the UCs a week to puzzle through the matching. If you don’t see the scores showing up by Wednesday (12/6), then I would suggest sending the score report again (as you can see in my post, my recommended deadline to request the score is 12/8).

  8. Julie
    November 29, 2017 at 11:32 PM

    Hi Ms. Sun,

    I signed up to take the December ACT to try to raise my score from a 31 to a 32. Would you say a potential 1 point improvement is worth taking it again and risking being put at a disadvantage for having taken a December test?

    Also, I signed up for the SAT Physics Subject Test that takes place this upcoming weekend. Do you think that taking it would put me at the same potential disadvantage as taking the December ACT would?

    • Ms. Sun
      November 30, 2017 at 8:09 AM

      If you were my client, I would say aim for 3+ point improvement. The time you spend studying is time you are not spending on your college applications, which probably have more of an impact on your chance of admission than a one-point improvement.

      UCs often pay attention to SAT Subject Test scores ONLY if you are applying to majors that recommend them, and some UCs don’t consider them at all. If you applied to majors/campuses that don’t consider SAT Subject Test scores, your application will most likely be reviewed with or without the scores from planned SAT Subject Test dates.

  9. Denise
    November 30, 2017 at 8:18 PM

    Hello Ms. Sun,

    On the UC Application, they ask us to self-report our highest composite score–that only includes our Math and Reading and Writing scores, not our essay writing subscores right? Also, what if our highest composite score has our lowest essay writing score? Should I just submit my lower composite score with the better essay score then, even if they asked us to report our highest?

    • Ms. Sun
      November 30, 2017 at 11:39 PM

      Why do you care about reporting the higher essay writing score?

      • Ethan
        December 1, 2017 at 1:45 AM

        Hi Ms. Sun, I was wondering when Berkeley tends to send out requests for recommendation letters after you submit your application and they notified you that they received it and are reviewing it.

        • Ms. Sun
          December 1, 2017 at 8:54 AM

          Hard to say, I think you get a request quickly when you submit your application early, since they are only receiving few applications. Once all of the applications are in, it might take a few weeks for them to sort through everything.

          • Ethan
            December 1, 2017 at 4:45 PM

            Interesting, I assumed they were sometime after December, like January or February, which I think would make more sense since it’s after winter break and not during finals or Christmas/holidays when you can’t really ask for recommendations.

            • Ms. Sun
              December 4, 2017 at 9:59 AM

              The UCs rarely do anything that makes sense. The UC Application was designed entirely without user input or feedback, and they wonder why everyone fills it out incorrectly.

  10. Kat
    December 2, 2017 at 9:40 PM

    I have taken two SAT I tests and two SAT II scores. I already sent one of my Sat I scores and both of my SAT II scores to a UC. But since they require all scores to be sent and I rather be safe then sorry, do I just send the other SAT I test or send everything again?

    • Ms. Sun
      December 4, 2017 at 10:00 AM

      You don’t need to send all scores if you don’t want to; there is no penalty.

  11. December 3, 2017 at 11:25 AM

    Hi Mrs. Sun, when I applied, I was under the impression that the UCs required all scores, so i submitted my one lackluster subject test score as well and self reported it too. The college of letters and science does not recommend subject tests though, so do you think that one bad subject test score can adversely affect my chances? My other subject test score and my regular SAT score were good enough, but could that one score single handedly bring my app down?

    • Ms. Sun
      December 4, 2017 at 10:00 AM

      You should be ok, I wouldn’t worry about it.

  12. December 6, 2017 at 6:08 AM

    Hi again Mrs. Sun…
    I received my [email protected] account today, but when I logged in, it says its still ‘awaiting’ SAT scores rather than completed/received although it shows that it has received both official and one self reported score. Do you think this is because i self reported just one and they recieved two official reports? Because that would make no sense, as they ask us on the UC application to only report the single highest composite we have if we have taken the test more than once. Should I be doing something about this, or just leave it be.

    • Ms. Sun
      December 6, 2017 at 9:37 AM

      I’m confused, so where does it say that official scores were received? On the UC Application or the Berkeley portal?

      • December 6, 2017 at 9:43 AM

        On the Berkeley portal. The UC application says so too, and that they were matched. The Berkeley Portal underneath the SAT checklist, says: Test date 01/2017 (official), Test date 10/2017 (self reported), Test date 10/2017 (official). That’s all they should have, but there still seems to be a cross next to my SAT checklist and it says ‘Awaiting’. There’s only one self reported score as the UC app only requires your highest composite and not all your scores.

        • Ms. Sun
          December 6, 2017 at 9:50 AM

          I would suggest waiting couple of days to see if the portal updates. If you are nervous, call the admissions office (the hold time is probably horrendous though).

  13. Emily
    December 6, 2017 at 6:02 PM

    Hi Mrs. Sun!

    I took the December 2nd SAT Subject Test and I have the opportunity to use the Free score reports. However, my question is: will the UCS receive my score by the January 1st deadline if I use the score report? Because collegeboard states that scores will be sent to colleges within 10 days after scores are released, which is December 15th. Does that mean that I have to wait another 2 weeks after those 10 days for the score to reach the UCS or will the UCs receive those scores within those 10 days?

    Thank you so much!

    • Ms. Sun
      December 7, 2017 at 12:57 AM

      If you used the score report that is included with your registration, then the score should arrive on time.

      • Ethan
        December 7, 2017 at 7:04 PM

        Do UC application readers actually read the descriptions you right for each of your extra curriculars and awards on the application? I know UC Santa Barbra says its evaluation is only 50% academic, implying that the these descriptions for extra curriculars, awards, and other things are very important. I have no clue for the other UCs like Berkeley and UCLA do they even bother beyond a quick glance?

        • Ms. Sun
          December 8, 2017 at 3:33 AM

          You cannot control whether an application reader will quickly scan through or carefully read the descriptions, so you need to write well-constructed descriptions in case an application reader takes the time to review them thoroughly (maybe you are the first application in the morning and that first cup of coffee just kicked in). Well-constructed descriptions may also pique the application reader’s interest (crappy descriptions are not likely to entice anyone to pay attention).

      • Ethan
        December 7, 2017 at 8:13 PM

        Also, when do the UCs (other than Berkeley) send their requests for you to make a student account once they have received your application?

        • Ms. Sun
          December 8, 2017 at 3:34 AM

          Usually early to mid January.

          • Ethan
            December 8, 2017 at 10:46 PM

            I realize that this will sound silly, but are application readers at UCs like UCLA and Berkeley empathetic? A part of me feels like you’ve got to be pretty cold hearted to deny somewhere around 80,000 students at the more selective UCs, many of whom are well qualified to attend these schools. I know I couldn’t do it. I guess the point I’m getting at is that although I’ve had extreme circumstances in high school that are unique- I know that there will be thousands of other students with other circumstances worthy of consideration. I got my UCLA notification to go set up my student account today and all these thoughts just hit me. I’m curious what insight-if any- you might have on the subject of selecting students with abnormal circumstances in college admissions. Thanks!

            • Ms. Sun
              December 8, 2017 at 11:32 PM

              Depends on the individual. I know some who take the reading and scoring very seriously and one who … uh, I won’t say anything since I don’t have anything nice to say. You have to remember that they don’t “reject” you (there is no malice); they are simply looking for the most qualified students. For example, Student A, a Junior Olympic skier who competes internationally and has a 4.6 GPA, will sound better than Student B, who has a 4.2 and a few minor leadership roles in school clubs. No one hates Student B, but everyone will love Student A.

              When you have limited knowledge of the context, your perception of whether someone is well qualified can be extremely skewed. I have personally worked with or encountered students who 1) ranked internationally for competitive sports (martial arts; ballroom dancing); 2) published or illustrated a book (picked up by actual publishing houses, not one of those self-published books); 3) were Junior Olympic athletes (water polo; skiing; volleyball; hockey); 4) survived extreme hardships (abuse/trauma/violence). I am, by no means, discouraging you from trying, but you have to understand that there will always be someone more qualified or resilient (most of the time, there will be a lot of people who are better). Your ability to articulate, in writing, your achievements or resilience in the face of difficulties also matters a lot (almost more so than your actual achievements/resilience).

              • Ethan
                December 9, 2017 at 3:34 PM

                Well, I guess I’m lucky to have notable achievements in spite of my hardships then. I performed at Carnegie Hall on the accordion for one(don’t know anyone who’s done that before), have gotten photographs recognized by national geographic on social media, as well as some involvement in some more interesting clubs where I taught people in Cambodia how to speak English once a week over the internet. I also got into varsity athletics in spite of my physical disabilities ( I was by no means the best athlete though, but I did try) Everyone I give my essays to say that they’re very strong- But my grades did suffer because I was flying across the country every two weeks and going to physical therapy every day for most of high school. I didn’t fail any classes but I did get a fair share of Bs in some of my classes, most of which were either ap or honors. My standardized test scores are only slightly above the national average, so those won’t help me either. I literally have no idea what’s going to happen. But thanks for your insight! I really appreciate it.

                • Ms. Sun
                  December 9, 2017 at 8:02 PM

                  I think you’ll be fine. Hang in there.

                  • Ethan
                    December 10, 2017 at 12:29 PM

                    I’m curious- how much does applying to under-subscribed majors and being a racial minority effect the UC application readers decision? I know the UCs got rid of affirmative action, but they replaced it with holistic review and a mandate to increase diversity. I’m Mexican, which I think will probably help me at private schools, but I’m not sure if that will be much of a factor at a UC. As for under subscribed majors, my counselor told me about a student who got into UC Irvine with a 3.5 ( he had no extenuating circumstances, apparently) with his first choice major being philosophy. I chose middle eastern studies, and wrote a strong and unique essay on why it interested me that all my History teachers loved. UC San Diego says they don’t take your major choice into account when making their decision(I’m not sure if I believe that), while Berkeley and UCLA say that if you apply within the college of letters and science, the major you chose within doesn’t really matter to them when making a decision. Do you have any insight on these subjects?

                    • Ms. Sun
                      December 11, 2017 at 2:31 PM

                      The UCs cannot make admission decisions based solely on race. However, if you discuss how your racial background enables you to bring unique values to a UC campus, that would be considered (so it’s not about your race, but how your race enables you to contribute value to a UC campus; it’s a very nuanced difference that is lost to most students and parents). In other words, you cannot wave around the fact that you are Mexican and expect the UCs to admit you based just on that; you have to offer value proposition for the UCs to consider (hypothetically speaking, you may say that your racial background enables you to appreciate and value different cultures, and that makes you better at communicating with people from different backgrounds <-- this is an overt simplification of a value, but you get the idea).

                      Most UCs claim majors are not considered (there are some exceptions, such as engineering, nursing, etc.). I have my suspicions regarding Berkeley and I explain them in detail for my newsletter subscribers (I’m regularly persecuted by the UCs and I know better than to discuss these topics in public). I have not heard of such practice for UCI, but I’m wary of this kind of stories because the counselor may not be aware of additional classes the student is taking outside of his regular high school (such as AP classes through online high schools, which would boost his GPA). I regularly hear about “so and so had 3.5 and got in …” and when I press for more details (such as whether the student enrolls in classes outside of the high school, what kind of extracurricular activities the student does, if there are extenuating circumstances, etc.), I never get them. It’s too easy to point to one factor (such as GPA) and claim some fluke in the decision; but that is not how admission decisions are made.

  14. Ethan
    December 11, 2017 at 6:25 PM

    Well, I knew better than to say something that silly regarding the, “take me because I’m Mexican”, comment which sounds silly (wouldn’t be surprised if some people actually do it though, along with “my immigrant parent is amazing essay”) ,but I did somewhat incorporated my Mexican background into an essay about playing the accordion at Carnegie Hall, and how that instrument stems from my Mexican heritage. It was only a brief thing I mentioned in passing, and was by no means the main point of the essay itself. I just put it on the table, metaphorically speaking, so the readers could have it in the back of their minds while reading my application. I’ll be honest, what you described regarding race in admission at UC does sound a lot like a loophole, or what teens my age call a “life hack”. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on the issues though!

    • Ms. Sun
      December 11, 2017 at 9:52 PM

      I think you are already five steps ahead of everyone else, so I’m sure you will be fine.

  15. December 15, 2017 at 5:48 PM

    Hi Ms.Sun, I just got my sat multiple choice score today, but my essay score still need 5-10 days to be release, I wonder whether UCs would receive me score or not if I send it on Dec 25(if I have a bad luck)

    • Ms. Sun
      December 16, 2017 at 12:43 AM

      Did you not request a score report to be sent to a UC on your registration?

      • sunnyzweb
        December 16, 2017 at 11:59 AM

        I did, it says it would automatically send my score report to the campus when my essay score is available, but it takes about a week for uc to get my score, what if my essay score is released on Dec 25? Would uc still receive my score if it arrives in January?

        • Ms. Sun
          December 17, 2017 at 4:09 AM

          You are fine. The UCs stated that they will accept December scores, so as long as you have requested a score report to be sent with your registration, you will be fine. What I would recommend is for you to update your test score on your UC Application when you receive it (log in and click on “Update ACT & SAT Tests” to update your self-reported scores); most UCs will begin reviewing applications with completed, self-reported scores.

  16. Richard
    December 23, 2017 at 11:26 PM

    I’m panicking right now. The UC system app system stated that they haven’t received my December scores yet. I stated that I was going to take the December SAT, however I ended up cancelling my scores. I sent my scores on November 21st, and just sent another one today. Will I be fine? Can I rush score it to make sure they receive it? I’m really scared

    • Ms. Sun
      December 24, 2017 at 8:58 AM

      Log into your UC Application and delete the “planned” December test date.

      • Richard
        December 24, 2017 at 3:29 PM

        They haven’t received my scores yet. Do you think it’ll be fine if I sent it again? I emailed them too.

        • Ms. Sun
          December 26, 2017 at 8:04 AM

          If you requested your scores to be sent before mid-December, they will arrive on time. The official score report is for verification only; most UCs will review applications with self-reported scores.

          If you took the December test and requested the score report with your test registration, the UCs will consider the scores to be on-time; although you should update your self-reported score on the UC Application (you can do that by logging back into your UC Application).

  17. John
    December 27, 2017 at 7:30 AM

    Hi Ms Sun. I took the ACT and the SAT. My score on the ACT was pretty average (26) so I chose not to self report it. My score on the SAT was better (1430) so I self reported and had the official scores sent. Unfortunately I the ACT official scores were also sent because I listed the UC schools when I signed up for the ACT. Do the UC’s only consider the self reported scores that I listed on my application, or will they also consider the ACT that was not self reported? Thanks for your help. Your blog is a great resource.

    • Ms. Sun
      December 27, 2017 at 5:36 PM

      You should be fine. Depending on the UC campus, some will only show the highest composite score from one test date (I believe others show all scores but highlight the highest composite score from one test date).

  18. Brandon
    December 29, 2017 at 11:25 PM

    So I am panicking right now. I originally thought that as long as the scores are sent out by December 31st then I will be fine. But I realized that today that sending scores out, it takes time. So I sent my scores out immediately today December 29th. If they don’t arrive on time will UCs automatically reject me?

    • Ms. Sun
      December 30, 2017 at 11:19 AM

      The official score report is usually just for verification; most UCs have stated they will review applications with self-reported scores.

      Make sure your self-reported score on the UC Application is the highest composite score from one test date (no “superscore“). You can update your score by logging back into your UC Application.

  19. Ethan
    December 30, 2017 at 1:54 AM

    Hello Ms. Sun-

    I just found out about the deadline for the test scores, and just submitted my scores (ACT w/ regular submission and SAT w/rushed). Do I have reason to be worried?? I’m very nervous right now and am scrambling to find an answer, as I have worked very hard and high school and would be extremely disappointed if I were to not be admitted because I was unaware of the deadline.

    Any help is appreciated. Thank you!!!

    • Ms. Sun
      December 30, 2017 at 11:21 AM

      The official score report is usually just for verification; most UCs have stated they will review applications with self-reported scores.

      Make sure your self-reported score on the UC Application is the highest composite score from one test date (no “superscore“). You can update your score by logging back into your UC Application.

  20. Brandon
    December 30, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    Because I did not know that sending scores would take a little bit of time, I sent my scores out a day ago for all my schools. I did a little bit of research and it says that the UCs only uses the official testing as a verification and usually looks at the self reported. I also found that some schools such as UC Santa Barbara say that as long as they receive the score by January 15th we should be fine. But does that apply to all the other UCs as well? I read some posts online that were in the similar situation as me and they called the office of admission and they said as long as the test scores are here within mid-January I will be fine. Is this true?

    • Ms. Sun
      December 30, 2017 at 11:23 AM

      I think if the admissions office says you are ok, you are about as ok as you can be.

  21. Deep
    December 30, 2017 at 12:43 PM

    Hi Ms.Sun,
    I have signed up for AP physics C exam not knowing that it requires one introductory algebra-based physics course. I have only completed one semester of my IB Physics SL course. I was initially planning on self-studying the test, but now looking at my school curriculum and the time left before May, I was thinking of switching to Physics 1 and 2. Nevertheless, I am applying to the biological sciences and not an engineering major.Now, I feel that I should take AP Physics 1 or 2 instead of the AP Physics C exam. If I report this change to the UC application or each school’s portal, will it hinder my admission to the UCs?

    • Ms. Sun
      December 31, 2017 at 1:20 PM

      UCs don’t care about the planned AP exams. No need to report that change.

      • Deep
        December 31, 2017 at 5:28 PM

        Can I take the Physics 1/2 test even though I reported the planned Physics C exam? Will the UCs be confused by this?

        • Ms. Sun
          January 1, 2018 at 11:43 AM

          You can take the Physics 1/2 exam. The actual credit-granting is done in the Registrar’s Office, not the admissions office (this is separate from admission evaluation).

  22. Julissa
    January 3, 2018 at 6:22 PM

    Hi Ms. Sun. I’m just curious as to why on the UC website the deadline for SAT scores to be submitted is December 2017, when College Board’s deadline is January 15?

    • Ms. Sun
      January 3, 2018 at 8:51 PM

      If the UCs say January 15, everyone will send the scores on January 15, which means the UCs won’t have them until February 1; that’s too late for the campuses to run through the verification to get the decisions out by March. Everyone thinks the computers magically match the scores and run the verification, that is not how life works … names don’t match exactly, street addresses are off by two letters (Bl. vs. Blvd.), etc. All of these errors require manual review. Hypothetically, let’s say 5% of the score reports from the 113,409 students applying to UCLA had errors that require manual review, that is 5,670 score reports; if it takes someone 15 minutes to locate the correct application, that comes out to 1,417.5 hours, an equivalent of 177 workdays (assuming an 8-hour workday) for one person – if 5 people were working on matching the score reports 8 hours per day, it would take 35 days to complete the task.

      • Julissa
        January 3, 2018 at 9:08 PM

        That makes sense. Thanks.

        • Ms. Sun
          January 3, 2018 at 10:00 PM

          I’m happy to help.

          • Ethan
            January 7, 2018 at 3:16 PM

            Hi Ms. Sun, I just received a supplemental application request from UC Davis and I was wondering how soon I should submit it by. It’s essentially asking additional essay questions and requesting a recommendation letter. I’m assuming it should be within a week of receiving it right?

            • Ms. Sun
              January 7, 2018 at 5:31 PM

              Submit it as soon as you can (but take enough time to compose a thorough response). If you email me the questions, I can send you my interpretation of what the campus is looking for in your response.

              • Emily
                January 7, 2018 at 7:01 PM

                Sorry, have to ask. In what circumstances do they ask supplemental questions? Should I be worried if I didn’t get one?

                • Ms. Sun
                  January 7, 2018 at 7:14 PM

                  See my explanation here and here.

  23. Joon Han
    January 7, 2018 at 11:55 PM

    Hi, Ms. Sun. I have reported all of my ACT scores, and two of them have the same composite score, but different ELA scores. The one I self-reported has the higher ELA score, but UC campus portals are displaying the other one with the lower ELA score for my official exam since they have the same composite score. I heard that ELA scores are used to see whether I meet the ‘UC English requirement’, but will a lower ELA score affect my chance of getting accepted?
    Thank you for reading.

    • Ms. Sun
      January 8, 2018 at 7:14 AM

      Since you sent both, when you are admitted, your higher ELA score will be used to meet the ELWR. This process is different from admission evaluation. Some UCs also just list whatever the first score is on the report, not necessarily the highest score, so that could also be why.

      • Joon Han
        January 8, 2018 at 7:50 AM

        Thank you so much for replying. So if I understood correctly, you are saying that my ELA score is only used after I’m admitted and it’s not taken into consideration when they are reading my application?

        • Ms. Sun
          January 8, 2018 at 8:41 AM

          That is correct.

  24. Jamie
    January 8, 2018 at 12:38 AM

    Hello, I’m a student who moved from a different country and my personal essays were mostly about the obstacles I faced, and what I learned from facing those obstacles. Is this too common?

    • Ms. Sun
      January 8, 2018 at 7:20 AM

      While the obstacles may be similar, no one else experienced them the same way you did, in your specific context (background, resources, etc.). To stand out, you must convey how the obstacles affected you (requires you to explain how you perceived the obstacles to have affected your growth and development as a student), what you have done to overcome these obstacles (requires you to explain your effort and your perceived effect of these efforts), and how you have grown from these experiences (requires you to explain how you can apply what you have learned to your future educational endeavors).

      • Ethan
        January 8, 2018 at 5:36 PM

        Well, I submitted my UC Davis supplement! Crossing my fingers and hoping it makes a difference in my overall application.

        • Ms. Sun
          January 8, 2018 at 8:00 PM

          My best wishes to you and good luck!

          • Ethan
            January 8, 2018 at 11:32 PM

            UC Davis did not inform me that I could send two letters of recommendation, but I now believe I can based on some digging that I did on my own within their extremely vague systems. I’m glad I did- I would have never known otherwise!

            • Ms. Sun
              January 9, 2018 at 6:25 AM

              I’m glad you figured it out!

  25. Matt
    January 14, 2018 at 3:50 AM

    Hi, Ms. Sun, I was just wondering if UCs care if tennis doesn’t show up on my transcript on my senior year once I send the transcript to them towards the end of the school year, as it has shown up these past three years on 9th-11th. I thought I was going to do tennis this year when I applied so I put the activity “tennis” as 9th-12th grade on my application, but I ended up deciding not to. Will this seem like I lied on my application, therefore forcing them to rescind my application? I’m extremely worried about this.

    • Ms. Sun
      January 14, 2018 at 6:06 AM

      You should be fine. Most UCs have stated that they don’t care about updates for extracurricular activities (that’s not an open invitation for you to lie about your 12th grade activities). If you are super worried, you can send a correction; that way you are covered in case the UCs decide to make a fuss.

  26. Jack
    January 15, 2018 at 9:25 AM

    Hi Ms. Sun, I understand that if you send your test scores to any UCs they will distribute it to other UC schools that a student is applying to. So recently UCs have been sending me links to their college portals to check for updates. I sent all my test scores such as the ACT Standarized Test to UC Davis. While Davis said they received it on the college portal, other schools such as UC Riverside still said my test scores are self reported. Should I be worried about this? I sent my test score more than 2 weeks ago.

    • Ms. Sun
      January 16, 2018 at 10:21 PM

      Log into your UC Application and click on “Update ACT & SAT Tests” to see if your official score report has been received (should be directly below your self-reported scores). You are fine as long as the UC Application shows your official score report was received.

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