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University of California Standardized Testing Announcements

What the UC Announcement on Standardized Testing Means for Your Student 


In the wake of several high profile colleges announcing test optional policies in recent weeks, the University of California's announcement on May 21st around standardized testing requirements has created additional confusion for many families. 

While the announcement might suggest a broader shift in the importance of testing, the details of the five-year plan entail very limited impact on sophomores or juniors nationwide, and changes mainly affect in-state students for the classes of 2023 and beyond. We broke down how these changes affect applications for students applying to any of the 10 UC schools below. 

For the classes of 2021 and 2022 (current juniors and sophomores), the UC schools will be test optional, meaning that students can choose whether or not to submit an ACT or SAT score as part of their application.
 It is important for students to know that research on test optional policies consistently shows that a strong ACT or SAT score helps students stand out in a competitive pool of applicants. Our FAQ can help you navigate what test optional policies mean for your student. 

For the classes of 2023 and 2024 (​current 8th and 9th graders),​ students attending California high schools only receive test blind admissions considerations, meaning their score will not be considered as part of their UC application.
  • It is important to note that ACT and/or SAT scores may be factored into admissions decisions for any students who attended high school outside of California, as well as for scholarships, course placement, and for California's "statewide guarantee" admissions program
For the class of 2025 (current 7th graders) and beyond, the UC system is considering developing its own standardized test to be required for admission. 
  • It is important to note that when the UC system announced plans to develop their own standardized test in prior years, the SAT & ACT opted to make changes to their own tests to meet the UC system's requirements. This was the primary cause of the 2005 and 2016 SAT redesigns. This could potentially happen again in 2025, meaning that the SAT or ACT could undergo revisions in order to regain their status as the UC system's preferred admissions test.

StudyPoint recommends that all students - including those attending high school in California and only planning to apply to UC system schools - prepare for the SAT and ACT. These standardized tests are a critical data point for scholarship awards and offer a chance to further boost a strong application. Choosing not to prepare for and take either the SAT or ACT as part of a student's admissions journey runs the risk of limiting the student's options, as well as reducing their competitiveness in the applicant pool. Full release and timeline from the University of California can be found here

As always, StudyPoint is here to help! We are here as a resource and to offer advice as  your family enters the college admissions process during this uncertain time. If you have any questions, please contact us at 1-87STUDYPOINT. Page last updated May 27th, 2020.

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