Last month, the University of California made headlines for voting to phase out SAT/ACT scores as an admissions requirement. But it’s important to make sure you understand how this change applies to your individual situation—because the decision is way more complicated than the early headlines indicated.
The UC system’s transition away from the SAT and ACT will involve test-optional policies, test-blind policies, and possibly a new standardized testing requirement. On top of that, these policies may vary based on the year in which the student is applying, where the student lives, and the scholarships for which the student hopes to qualify.
For California residents, the UC campuses will be test optional for two years, meaning scores will be considered if students choose to send them, before going test blind for two years, meaning scores will not factor into admissions decisions at all. (Read this for a deeper dive into the differences between test-optional and test-blind policies.) After those four years, the UC system will either adopt a new exam or remain test blind. If the new exam is ready by 2025, scores from that exam will be required as part of the admissions process.
The plan for out-of-state students and international students is less clear. So far, we know that UC schools will be test optional for two years, and they're still determining the best approach for the years that follow.
How does this affect you?
This chart walks you through the plan for each entering class in more detail. Here, you’ll see how the UC campuses plan to use test scores for admissions decisions and other purposes (including scholarships, course placement, and eligibility for California’s statewide admissions guarantee) based on where students reside.
Need more individualized advice?
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