SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The University of California on Thursday voted to phase out the SAT and ACT as requirements to apply to its system of 10 schools, which include some of the nation’s most popular campuses, in a decision with major implications for the use of standardized tests in college admissions.
Given the size and influence of the California system, whose marquee schools include the University of California Los Angeles, and the University of California Berkeley, the move is expected to accelerate the momentum of US colleges away from the tests, amid charges that they are unfair to poor, Black and Hispanic students.
Although many students will likely continue to take the exams as long as they are required by highly competitive schools such as Stanford and those in the Ivy League, California’s decision will clearly damage the image of the tests, experts said, which could aid in lawsuits and other efforts to eliminate them.
Like many colleges nationwide, University of California schools had already made the SAT and ACT optional for this year’s applicants, after testing dates were disrupted by the pandemic. Both companies have announced that they will introduce an online testing option for the first time in the fall.
On Thursday, the California system’s governing board voted unanimously to extend that optional period for another year, and then not consider scores for two years when determining whether to accept in-state applicants, using standardized tests only to award scholarships, determine course placement, and assess out-of-state students.
In 2025, consideration of the SAT or ACT for any student’s admission, in or out of state, would be eliminated.
New York Times