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University of California to create new standardized test requirement for incoming students

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The University of California Board of Regents unanimously approved changes to standardized testing requirement for incoming undergraduates over the next few years.

The University of California Board of Regents voted unanimously on Thursday to suspend the standardized SAT and ACT testing requirements for all incoming freshman applications until fall of 2024.

The UC Office of the President explained in a news release that this suspension will allow the University to create a new test that better aligns with the content the University expects students to have mastered before enrolling in college.

“Today’s decision by the Board marks a significant change for the University’s undergraduate admissions,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “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.”

UC said that, if their new standardized test idea does not meet specified criteria in time for fall 2025 admission, the standardized testing requirement will simply be omitted for all California students.

The following steps describe how SAT/ACT test scores will be phased out of UC applications over the next few school years:

  • Test-optional for fall 2021 and fall 2022: Campuses will have the option to use ACT/SAT test scores in selection consideration if applicants choose to submit them, and will develop appropriate policies and procedures to implement the Board’s decision.
  • Test-blind for fall 2023 and fall 2024: Campuses will not consider test scores for California public and independent high school applicants in admissions selection, a practice known as “test-blind” admissions. Test scores could still be considered for other purposes such as course placement, certain scholarships and eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee.
  • New standardized test: Starting in summer 2020 and ending by January 2021, UC will undertake a process to identify or create a new test that aligns with the content UC expects students to have mastered to demonstrate college readiness for California freshmen.
  • Elimination of the ACT/SAT test requirement: By 2025, any use of the ACT/SAT would be eliminated for California students and a new UC-endorsed test to measure UC-readiness would be required. However, if by 2025 the new test is either unfeasible or not ready, consideration of the ACT/SAT for freshman admissions would still be eliminated for California students.
  • Elimination of writing test: The University will eliminate altogether the SAT Essay/ACT Writing Test as a requirement for UC undergraduate admissions, and these scores will not be used at all effective for fall 2021 admissions.

The potential new standardized test will be designed to add more value to the admissions process. UC hopes it will improve educational quality and equity in California.

The UC President said she is continuing to work on a plan for out-of-state and international student requirements as their previous coursework has not already been approved by UC in the same way California high schools are.

UC said, "Several possible options for nonresidents that may be considered include extending the new content-based test required of California students to out-of-state applicants as well, or requiring scores from the ACT, SAT or other approved standardized test(s)."

For more information, you can read the full release here.

California

Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor at KEYT | KCOY | KKFX.

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