May 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

University of California to phase out SAT and ACT in admissions

A "Cal" sign
Photo: Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The University of California regents voted unanimously on Thursday to suspend SAT and ACT testing requirements for admission through 2024, and to move to full elimination or implementation of a replacement test by 2025.

Why it matters: ACT and SAT testing requirements have come under scrutiny in recent years, and Thursday's decision could broadly alter the college admissions process. Advocates argue that university admission based on standardized test scores unjustly favors affluent students who can afford to take the tests multiple times or seek tutoring.

The state of play: The plan will make the tests optional for students over the next two years, and then eliminate them entirely for California students in the third and fourth years.

  • The plan notes: "By 2025, any use of the ACT/SAT would be eliminated for California students and a new, UC-based test would be required."
  • "If, by 2025, the new test is either not feasible or not ready, consideration of the ACT/SAT would still be eliminated for California students."
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