Why The University of California Stopped Accepting ACT/SAT Scores for Admittance

Matt Larriva
Oct 28, 2022
Home » Why The University of California Stopped Accepting ACT/SAT Scores for Admittance


Why did the University of California stop accepting and using the ACT/SAT scores for admittance?

How’ll they gauge student abilities for acceptance and scholarships?

How will the best universities connect with the best students?

Yikes.

There are a lot of very emotional and incorrect answers to this question floating around the internet, so I’ll try to provide some objectivity here.

First, the premise of these types of questions is wrong….

The UC system didn’t “stop accepting and using” test scores.

On May 21, 2020, the Regents of the University of California voted to phase out the SAT and ACT test over five years.

Get SAT prep off your to-do list: Discover How Top Students Like You Get Killer SAT Scores

Read More About These Changes Here:

Socioeconomic Bias In The SAT & ACT

The schools will endeavor to create their own admissions test, designed to eliminate the socioeconomic bias latent in the SAT and the ACT.

The year 2022 will be the last year the schools would accept the SAT or ACT as part of an in-state student’s application. The tests, however, would continue to be used for out-of-state students, scholarship qualification, and for application to certain areas of study–likely STEM fields.

See the graphic below for a detailed explanation, by year.

Then, on September 1, 2020 a judge ordered the UC system to stop considering SAT and ACT scores for admissions and scholarships.

So, now the school may have to become test-blind. The UC system will likely appeal the decision, and another update will come after the case hearing on the 29th.

Visit UC Admissions Requirements & How To Make Your UC Application Stand Out for more information.

How Will UC Evaluate Applicants?

Now, to the question of how will the UC system judge applicants.

This will be a conundrum, and I wrote an OpEd in the LA Times about this:

What you’ll hear people say is, “Well, the schools will just have to use grades and extracurriculars and recommendations! Those are less biased anyway!

Well, let me give you an example…

  • Student A is from a wealthy background and goes to a private high school where he has a 4.0 GPA.
  • Student B is from a low-income background and goes to a public high school where he has a 4.0GPA.
  • Student C is home schooled and has a 4.0GPA. Student D is an international student and has a 4.0GPA.

Which one has the best grades?

How do you compare an international GPA to a private high school GPA (where the student had access to much harder curriculum via APs and IB coursework) to a low-income public school GPA (where classes were crowded and advanced curriculum was not offered) to a home-schooled GPA (where, how many Bs do you think his mom gave out?).

Proponents say, “Well you compare their extracurricular activities!

Sure…but what kind of extracurricular activities do you think wealthy student A had access to versus Student B?

You think that will be a level playing field?

Okay then…compare their recommendation letters!

Right….how objective will student C’s teachers be?

Last year, UCLA had over 108,000 applicants for 15,000 spots. Most of them had GPAs above 4.0.

Ace the SAT in 10 minutes a day.

The average student who studies for 8 hours will gain 90 points on the SAT. Power Play students gain 200 points in the same amount of time.

Get Your 200+ Score Increase Now

Ace the SAT in 10 minutes a day.

power play test prep app on smartphone

The average student who studies for 8 hours will gain 90 points on the SAT. Power Play students gain 200 points in the same amount of time.

Get Your 200+ Score Increase Now

What now?

Unfortunately, there’s no good answer to the question proposed above.

The UC system itself doesn’t even know what to use in lieu of standardized test scores. For now, all I can say is, stay tuned!

Schedule a FREE Consultation

Marc Grey, Powerful Prep

Marc Gray, Client Success Manager

Free 20 Minute Consultation

20 min

Learn how our expertise can help your student get into their dream school using a customized test prep program.

Schedule a consultation using the calendar to the right.

Need answers now? Call us at 805-876-4687 now to discuss.

Schedule a FREE Consultation

Learn how our expertise can help your student get into their dream school using a customized test prep program.

Schedule a consultation using the calendar below. Need answers now? Call us at 805-876-4687 now to discuss.