UC Board of Regents votes to suspend use of standardized tests in admissions

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Standardized testing may no longer be a reality of the UC system’s application process, the UC Board of Regents decided Thursday.

The regents unanimously approved the suspension of the SAT or ACT requirement for prospective applicants through 2024, while the UC system works on developing its own more equitable test that focuses more on college readiness, as proposed by UC President Janet Napolitano.

If a new test is not developed by 2025, the UC system will drop the testing requirement altogether for California residents, according to a press release from the UC Office of the President.

“I think this is an incredible step in the right direction toward aligning our admissions policy with the broad-based values of the university,” said UC Board of Regents chair John Pérez at the meeting. “I see our role as fiduciaries and stewards of the public good, and this proposal before us is an incredible step in the right direction.”

When considering applicants, UC campuses will be “test-optional” for fall 2021 and 2022 and “test-blind” for fall 2023 and 2024, meaning test scores will not be considered for admissions.

The university will be eliminating the SAT and ACT essay writing test as a requirement for all undergraduate admissions starting in fall 2021.

As for international and out-of-state students, UC administration and the UC Academic Senate will be working together to determine what the best approach is for 2025, as assessing nonresident students without a standardized test presents challenges because high school courses and grading standards are not pre-approved like they are for California high schools.

“Today’s decision by the Board marks a significant change for the University’s undergraduate admissions,” Napolitano said in the press release.

Kate Finman is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.