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U of California System President Recommends Suspending SAT/ACT Until 2024

The University of California (UC)  system president Janet Napolitano has recommended the suspension of standardized exams, such as the SAT/ACT, as a requirement for admissions until 2024.

Janet NapolitanoJanet Napolitano

In an ‘action item’ memo to members of the university’s board, Napolitano further recommends the institution creates a new test “that better aligns with the content UC expects applicants to have learned and with UC’s values.” If it isn’t possible to create a new test for fall 2025 freshman applicants, Napolitano recommends the university system “eliminate altogether its standardized testing requirement for admissions for California students.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university system has already suspended the current standardized test requirement for all fall 2021 applicants, making UC test optional. That means students can apply with or without test scores.

“The President recommends that UC remain test optional for an additional year, that is through 2022,” said the memo. “The recommendation is that for two additional years, 2023 and 2024, UC be ‘test blind.’” Test blind means an institution does not consider the SAT/ACT in admissions.

“The President’s recommendation acknowledges the current and fast-changing realities of schooling in California,” said the letter. “These unusual and unstable circumstances are likely to persist and impact education for some time. It also recognizes the opportunity that the University, in partnership with California leaders, has to improve educational quality, equity, and access in the state by better aligning the indicators used to assess students’ college readiness and promoting greater access to the curriculum that shapes student readiness.”

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