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The University of California seal. (Photo: University of California)

University of California System to End All ACT, SAT Admittance Tests

Tests will be suspended until 2024, with a full ban beginning in 2025

By Evan Symon, May 22, 2020 2:20 pm

On Thursday, the University of California (UC) Board of Regents voted to remove the ACT and SAT tests in considering students.

A decision factored by ‘unfair testing’ and admittance scandals

The decision, which affects top nationally ranked Universities such as UC Berkeley and UCLA, will not only extend a decision earlier this year in suspending the tests until 2024, but if the tests don’t meet a “new criteria” that factors in things such as student adversity, they would be removed entirely. The system would then most likely switch a test designed by the UC system that “better aligns with the content the university expects students to have mastered for college readiness.”

Lieutenant Governor Eleni T. Kounalakis. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Between 2021 and 2024, students can still take the tests if they wish, but they would only factor in grading out-of-state students, scholarship decisions, and course placement.

The changes, originally proposed by UC President Janet Napolitano, were voted for primarily because of a growing movement that calls the tests unfair to poor students and minority students. The University of California itself has been sued in the past year over the charged racial and financial bias. According to critics, poorer students can’t afford to take both the SAT and ACT, let alone purchase expensive test prep materials and courses. Many schools, especially those in minority dominated districts, have also been alleged to not be able to teach everything needed for students to be prepared for the tests before taking them.

“These tests are extremely flawed and very unfair,” said Lieutenant Governor and Board of Regents member Eleni Kounalakis. “Enough is enough.”

Opponents of the tests have also said that their removal would also help better critically evaluate students in the wake of major college cheating scandals.

Proponents say that test removal will be even worse

Proponents of the SAT and ACT tests have noted that the UC system striking out on its own can even be more disastrous for those hoping to get in.

“Almost every major university uses these tests,” noted educator Abigail Shepherd-Cruz, who helps students prepare for the tests each year. “If the University of California uses their own, that’s just another test to study for. People don’t just apply only to UC schools, so it would give many students a choice between going to UC or non-UC schools. It’s incredibly unfair.”

“They say the tests are unfair, but now they’re putting vulnerable students even more at risk. They’re insane.”

The College Board, who administers ACT and SAT tests, agreed, saying in a statement “Having to take multiple tests will likely cause many of these students to limit their college options much earlier in the college search process.”

According to the New York Times, a California task force also found that “in many cases the tests gave a leg up to black, Latino and low-income students by offering an additional metric for admissions officers who might have rejected them because their grades did not meet the university’s threshold.”

“A lot of schools also receive scholarships of funding to help pay for the tests, especially in poorer area,” noted Shepherd-Cruz.

The University of California system will now join a small group of Universities, led by the University of Chicago, who have rejected the tests. For opponents of the SAT and ACT, it is hoped that the rejection by the UC system could spur other colleges and universities to do the same.

The decision will affect hundreds of thousands of students by 2025, as the UC system currently has over 280,000 students spread over 10 campuses across the state.

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9 thoughts on “University of California System to End All ACT, SAT Admittance Tests

  1. Great move folks!

    College is now high school in California and there goes the previous prestige associated with being granted admittance to the UC system…

    All because some NorCal bleeding heart liberal FEELS that testing is discriminatory against their favorite non-citizen classes….

    California is doomed to failure & mediocrity…


    1. ExCaliExpat – If you would read just one objective and unbiased reporting on this issue you would learn that repeated studies demonstrate that there is no correlation between ACT/SAT scores and college success. In simple terms, that means the tests are nonsensical busy work that just happen to favor students who come from upper middle-class and upper class families. It’s merely an administrative hurdle that we are making students jump through. This is a good move and what this article doesn’t point out is that California’s universities often lead the way in setting educational trends. With the UC system out of the test-for-profit business, the CSU will likely follow. And then these tests will get tossed aside by many public university systems across the country. And for good reason. There are much better predictors of college success and it is a good thing that admission to a UC campus will now focus even more strongly on these more equitable indicators.

  2. Black? You’re in! Brown? You’re in! Red? You’re in! LBGTQAII+? You’re in! Foreigner here legally or not? You’re in! White or Yellow? Fuck you, you racist POS, go dig ditches!

    1. It’s simple; Just check the “gay” box on the application and wear a dress to the matriculation and you’re golden.

      I’m waiting for the great reset. From a distance of course, because it won’t be pretty.

  3. Mr. Evan Symon,
    “The decision, which effects top nationally ranked Universities…”
    Uh, in this case, the correct word is AFFECTS, not “effects.” You did well on the tests, did you?

  4. What is next? Get rid of grades and everyone gets a diploma and a participation trophy? A California degree is going to become worthless in the job market.

    1. Here is ANOTHER agenda item these freaks have been wanting to deploy forever and are apparently using what they think is a distraction (COVID) to do it. The bad news for them is that — hello! — during this contrived lockdown people are paying closer attention than ever to their destructive garbage. Not sure it’s going to end well for them. Let’s hope it doesn’t.

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