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University Of California Considers Axing Standardized Tests For Admissions

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The University of California Regents are set to vote this morning on suspending the use of SAT and ACT scores for admissions.

The proposal, submitted by UC President Janet Napolitano, would overturn a decades-long requirement for admission to the prestigious university system. If approved, the requirement for students to submit a standardized test result for undergraduate admission would be suspended until 2024.

In the meantime, UC would explore creating its own test “that better aligns with the content UC expects applicants to have learned and with UC’s values,” according to the document submitted to the Regents by Napolitano’s office.

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“If UC is unable to either modify or create a test that can be available for fall 2025 freshman applicants from California high schools, the President recommends that UC eliminate altogether its standardized testing requirement for admissions for California students,” the proposal says.

At issue is the value of standardized tests. Many researchers say those who do well are more likely to be in higher-income families who can afford expensive test preparation courses.

In a letter sent to the Regents, ACT’s Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda wrote that a UC task force concluded that use of standardized tests “does not attribute inequity or bias toward a specific student population or demographic group, and that they are highly predictive of a student's first-year college success, retention and graduation.”

Students sued UC last year to stop the university system from using SAT and ACT scores.

The Regents meeting to discuss the proposal begins at 8:30 a.m.

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