Update (April 22, 2021): All UCs have committed to be test-free for Fall 2022 (and some beyond that, to Fall 2024), either with an explicit statement regarding Fall 2022 and/or Fall 2024, or with changed wording on the freshman admission website to indicate that, generally, ACT/SAT will not be considered. For an explanation and links to written proof from each UC campus, purchase an updated back issue of my February 2021 Freshman Newsletter ($25; also includes a year-by-year middle school & high school UC admission preparation guide); on the PayPal payment confirmation page, scroll down and click “Return to Merchant” button to access the download!
Update (October 29, 2020): UCs are TEST-BLIND for Fall 2021 admission (November 2020 application deadline), find more information here.
How UCs plan to phase out ACT/SAT
According to this UCOP Press Release, UC Regents voted on May 21, 2020 to adopt Napolitano’s proposal to suspend the ACT/SAT requirement between Fall 2021 and Fall 2024, while identifying or creating a new test; if no new test can be made available by Fall 2025, the testing requirement will be eliminated for California students.
What you need to know (order of the bullet points was rearranged for clarity):
- Elimination of writing test: The University will eliminate altogether the SAT Essay/ACT Writing Test as a requirement for UC undergraduate admissions, and these scores will not be used at all effective for fall 2021 admissions.
- Test-optional for fall 2021 and fall 2022: Campuses will have the option to use ACT/SAT test scores in selection consideration if applicants choose to submit them, and will develop appropriate policies and procedures to implement the Board’s decision.
- Test-blind for fall 2023 and fall 2024: Campuses will not consider test scores for California public and independent high school applicants in admissions selection, a practice known as “test-blind” admissions. Test scores could still be considered for other purposes such as course placement, certain scholarships and eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee.
- New standardized test: Starting in summer 2020 and ending by January 2021, UC will undertake a process to identify or create a new test that aligns with the content UC expects students to have mastered to demonstrate college readiness for California freshmen.
- Elimination of the ACT/SAT test requirement: By 2025, any use of the ACT/SAT would be eliminated for California students and a new UC-endorsed test to measure UC-readiness would be required. However, if by 2025 the new test is either unfeasible or not ready, consideration of the ACT/SAT for freshman admissions would still be eliminated for California students.
What you should do in response
Hear an explanation from Lisa Prsekop, the director of admissions at UCSB, for what going test-optional means for the students and the admissions staff here (applicable to all UCs).
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