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University of California system drops SAT, ACT requirements for applicants

The school is developing a new test that “better aligns with the content the university expects incoming students to have mastered."
/ Source: NBC News

The University of California will no longer require SAT and ACT standardized test results for in-state freshmen applicants.

The school’s Board of Regents voted Thursday to suspend the tests until the fall of 2024.

The school said in a statement that it would use the next three years to develop a new test that “better aligns with the content the university expects students to have mastered for college readiness."

If the new test doesn’t meet “specified criteria” by 2025 admissions, the school will eliminate standardized tests entirely, the release said.

The university said it still needs to develop a similar process for out-of-state and international students who aren’t enrolled in California high school courses that are pre-approved by the system. That process will begin in 2025, the school said.

Under the new plan, in-state students will have the option to submit SAT and ACT scores for 2021 and 2022. Campuses can use them for admissions and other purposes, but applicants who skip the tests won’t be penalized, the school said. The new policy also drops essay and writing tests.

For the two years after that, students can still take the tests but scores can’t be used for admissions.

In a statement, board chair John A. Pérez called the move an “incredible step in the right direction.”