In a decision that was a few years in the making, the University of California system’s board of regents Thursday voted unanimously to do away with its standardized testing admissions requirement.
In other words, the SAT or ACT is no longer required for admission to the prestigious 10-campus public system that includes UCLA, Berkeley and UC San Diego.
Critics have long bemoaned the standardized tests as discriminatory toward minorities and low-income students, and UC President Janet Napolitano said the system will develop its own test over the next five years.
“We are removing the ACT/SAT requirement for California students and developing a new test that more closely aligns with what we expect incoming students to know to demonstrate their preparedness for UC,” she said in a statement.
That new test, if developed, will not include a writing portion, the statement read. If no new test is ready by fall 2025, officials will eliminate altogether its standardized testing requirement for California freshmen, it added.
For out-of-state and international students, the plan may be to allow them to take the new California test or use the SAT or ACT or other approved standardized test.
The UC system is not alone in its decision.
“More than 1,000 colleges and universities have gone ‘test optional,’ with the pace of schools dropping the exam accelerating in recent years in an attempt to level the admissions playing field,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
It was already happening before the coronavirus pandemic hit, but the health crisis spurred more universities to suspend or drop the requirement, according to various news reports.
In the case of the UC system, it had been studying the issue for several years.