Court Orders UCs to be Test-Blind Effective Immediately

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 (November 5, 2020): UCs have revised the “Exam requirement” page on the systemwide admissions website to reflect the test-blind policy for Fall 2021. To find out which UCs are recommending SAT Subject Tests, visit the “SAT subject tests” page.

Today (October 29, 2020) a California appellate court dissolved the temporary stay on the injunction (originally issued August 31, 2020) ordering the UCs to immediately stop using standardized test scores (ACT or SAT) for admission or scholarship decisions. That means, effective now, the UCs cannot use ACT or SAT for making admission or scholarship decisions, including students applying for Fall 2021 (November 30, 2020 application deadline).

Remember the UCs have already committed to going test-blind starting Fall 2023 (November 2022 application deadline) for ALL freshman applicants. The only uncertainty at this point is whether Fall 2022 freshman applicants (November 2021 application deadline) will be test-optional (if appellate court overturns the lower court’s ruling) or test-blind (if appellate court agrees with the lower court’s ruling).

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Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

October 30, 2020 at 8:00 am

So there’s ongoing litigation regarding the use of the tests for 2022. When will the next court date be and when will we know about fall 2022 class? If UCs are test-blind and all others are test-optional I don’t think it will be worth it to test (for those who only are interested in California schools).

Ms. Sunreply
October 30, 2020 at 12:52 pm
– In reply to: Lisa

I don’t know when the next court date is but I expect we should know for sure by summer (vaccine and treatment may not be widely available until then anyway). I don’t want students to plan for testing until we know an effective vaccine and/or treatment will be widely available. Permanent disability or death is not a worthwhile tradeoff for a test score that may or may not (in any significant way) affect the college admission outcome (and colleges that think taking that risk is acceptable by continuing to require the tests are not the kind of place I want students to spend four years in).

October 30, 2020 at 1:16 pm

Does this apply to AP and SAT subject test scores too?

Ms. Sunreply
October 30, 2020 at 1:43 pm
– In reply to: Ren

The injunction only mentioned ACT and SAT; I’m not sure if SAT, by default, also includes the SAT Subject Tests (although all UCs, except Berkeley and San Diego, have stopped recommending SAT Subject Tests for admission). AP scores were not mentioned in the injunction.

October 30, 2020 at 1:39 pm

Is there anyplace on the application that can be used as a way to provide test scores? This ruling is damaging for those students who scored well and could have differentiated themselves from those applicants with similar GPAs.

Ms. Sunreply
October 30, 2020 at 1:49 pm
– In reply to: Paul

The injunction effectively stops the UCs from considering test scores. Also remember that six of nine campuses already opted to go test-blind before the stay for the injunction was dissolved. I can see how a student may use test scores as a way to remediate or validate a weaker subject (e.g., lower grades) in the Personal Insight Questions or Additional Comments, but the UCs would not be able to look at a score (with no additional information) and “add value” based on that score along to the application (because the court is forbidding the campuses from doing that).

March 4, 2021 at 8:58 am

I’m pretty sure CSUs are test-blind now for fall 2022 admits (our current juniors)? Do you think UCs will go test-blind again?

Ms. Sunreply
March 4, 2021 at 12:53 pm
– In reply to: Lisa

Seven of the nine UCs have committed to be test-free for Fall 2022.

March 22, 2021 at 3:30 am

Is there an update on the status of SATs for 2022 applicants?

Ms. Sunreply
March 22, 2021 at 11:31 am
– In reply to: Blaise

Seven of the nine campuses have committed to be test-free. Santa Cruz will probably be test-free. San Diego is iffy.

April 5, 2021 at 5:57 pm

Hi – is there additional info on UCSD on this topic?

Ms. Sunreply
April 5, 2021 at 6:22 pm
– In reply to: Laura

I’m not sure UCSD will update the freshman admission web page before the summer or even early fall. Keep in mind that the UCs have to be test-blind as long as the litigation is ongoing (because the injunction will remain in effect).

Questions or Comments?