University of California Barred from Using SAT/ACT Scores For Admissions

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University of California Barred from Using SAT/ACT Scores

On Monday, a California judge ruled a preliminary injunction blocking the University of California from considering the SAT/ACT scores for the admission process for the upcoming academic sessions. The court issued that the University of California should be barred from using SAT/ACT scores in order to put all the students on equal grounds including those with special disabilities. 

The decision was announced by Almado County Superior Court Judge, Brad Seligman on September 14th and in accordance with the University of California. This came after a lengthy videoconference hearing carried out last week during which lawyers representing the students challenging these tests debated that disabled students weren’t able to find the open testing centers which can adjust to their needs thus are being denied of getting the meaningful access to the advantage provided by the test option. Further, the president of UC, Janet Napolitano, added that the revision made in the system of admission, i.e. gradually a five-year plan will be developed to reduce or remove the role of SAT or ACT in admissions. They would be possibly replaced by a new test that is yet to be developed by the university. 

In light of the ongoing pandemic, many universities and colleges around the world are going test-optional so that students can make the most of the arriving academic session. It is said that the pandemic partly influenced UC’s decision to go test free. Earlier, in December last year, a group of students and education reform advocates had sued the institution by claiming that incorporation of SAT and ACT scores in admissions was actually problematic for low-income and minority candidates as these exams comprise “culturally biased questions” that are usually inclined towards favouring affluent students.

University of California Barred from Using SAT/ACT Scores
Courtesy: regents.universityofcalifornia.edu

University of California campuses like Berkley, Santa Cruz and Irvine have completely gone test free for the upcoming year. The UCLA campus has informed the applicants, “Remember, the ACT and SAT are optional, and if you choose to submit your scores we will take them into account. However, no applicant will be disadvantaged in any way for not submitting an ACT or SAT score.”

Also Read: Undergraduate Studies in USA

The Proposed Admit Plan 

Here are the highlights of the admit plan proposed by the UC group as the University of California got barred from using ACT/SAT scores.

  • For the fresh batch starting in 2021 and 2022, the admission process will be test-optional. The candidates who opt to submit the SAT or ACT score will not have to submit their SAT writing test. 
  • For the year 2023 and 2024, the UC will completely go test blind, which means that SAT and ACT scores will no longer be used as admission essentials for the residents of California. On the other hand, international students may be asked to submit the score of the new test or SAT/ ACT.  
  • For the year 2025, the freshman entering will be required to take the new admission test created by the University of California instead of the SAT and ACT. All the California students will be required to go through this test whereas the non-resident or international students can opt for a new test or SAT/ ACT. 
  • If there is no establishment of a new test by the year 2025, the university claims to go completely test blind.

Also Read: Study in the USA

After the announcement, the panel has received mix views from around the globe with some standing with the motion and others going against it. The long-term repercussions of the University of California getting barred from using SAT/ACT scores are yet to be evaluated, but it is a great opportunity for the students to take benefit of the simplified admission process and apply to the university without worrying about taking these tests in the present pandemic situation. Watch this space for more updates on the ruling and stay tuned to Leverage Edu for more news on higher education, careers, courses & much more!

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