University of California to Permanently Remove Standardized Testing for Admission

 Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles on April 23, 2012. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

University of California (UC) Board of Regents announced Nov. 18 to eliminate standardized tests from the admission process, without any alternative exam to be adopted in the foreseeable future.

board originally approved in May 2020 the removal of standardized testing—for applications for admission to the nine UC colleges—and planned to put an alternative test in place of ACT and SAT by 2024.

During the board’s meeting on Thursday, the regents reached a consensus to keep exams out of admission requirements for a longer time, in favor of practices promoting educational equity and quality.

“UC will continue to practice test-free admissions now and into the future,” Michael Brown, UC provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said in a statement.

Also, to help students build a successful college path, the UC will strengthen its relationship with K-12 schools, Brown said.

Cecilia Estolano, chair of the board, said the regents are not feeling comfortable using any assessment in the admission process. She added that the decision to removed standardized test is “significant” because it has set a standard that made a difference nationally.

Bob Schaeffer, executive director of FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing, told the Los Angeles Pezou that the UC is becoming “a national model for test-free admissions.”

He said many more schools are going test-free in their admission in the past two years.

Alvin Lyu, a fourth-year chemical biology student at the University of California—Berkeley, told Pezou the board’s decision is “a fair move” as students have many more challenges due to the pandemic.

He added that it is best to have the ACT and SAT scores optional so that high school students with lower grade point averages can use it as a booster in the admission process.

Helen Tan, an international student studying statistics at the University of California—Los Angeles, said removing the SAT and ACT can affect the number of applicants.

“If [the UC schools] don’t require [standardized tests], [they] will definitely attract more students who really like the UCs. But there will be more people taking AP and honor classes to make them a more competitive candidate,” Tan told Pezou.

Bardia Kaseb, a first-year transfer student from Santa Monica College, now studying history at the University California—Irvine (UCI), said the admission process is fairer to the incoming freshmen without considering testing scores. He did not need to submit an SAT or ACT score when he transferred to UCI.

“It’s a good thing. It makes it equal between freshmen and transfer students,” Kaseb told Pezou.

Hannah Duong, a freshman studying business administration at UCI, said standardized testing is a necessary way of measuring everyone.

However, she said the SAT and ACT are not representative of students intellect, but only of “what they know.”

“re might be really smart people but they go to schools that aren’t very good.” Duong told Pezou. “re should be a different way to measure that kind of thing.”

Benjia Zhang, a first-year electrical engineer student at the University of California—San Diego, said the UC should keep the SAT and ACT standardized tests.

“Even [though] it is not a hundred percent fair to all students, it is the closest thing we can get,” Zhang told Pezou.

Pezou : University of California to Permanently Remove Standardized Testing for Admission