CON: Pros and Cons of the UC System going test-blind to SAT and ACT scores


Amelia Howell

UC System goes test-blind to SAT and ACT scores for college applicants.

Zianna Razon

Last Monday, Aug. 31, California judge Brad Seligman ruled that the University of California system will no longer be able to use SAT or ACT scores until the fall of 2024, effective immediately for the freshman applicants of the 2021 Fall Semester. The prohibition of considering scores came with the intent to even the odds of acceptance between underprivileged and disabled students, and privileged, non-disabled ones along with plans to develop a new test specifically for the UCs.

However, to immediately suspend the use of standardized testing for current UC applicants for the upcoming fall semester is a loss to those who have already taken the SAT and ACT.

As the majority of 2021 Fall Semester UC applicants are seniors, most have already taken the SAT and ACT during their junior year by school requirements – similar to SCHS, who annually has all juniors take the SAT during school in March. If not by school requirements, most Bay Area high school students are encouraged by school culture to take the SAT and ACT and to start preparing for standardized testing as early as sophomore year.

Although students who have not taken these tests or those who were not satisfied with their scores are relieved to not have to report them to UCs, this decision negatively affects students who previously invested in standardized testing as a way to strengthen their applications. Students who have had low or failing letter grades in their past years now lose a chance at redemption. Months of studying and preparation or paid tutoring can no longer come to fruition.

In a Sept. 1 statement, the University of California system said it “respectfully disagrees with the Court’s ruling.” According to their statement, this may interfere with their efforts to implement appropriate and comprehensive admissions policies and their ability to attract and enroll students of diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Although this decision will benefit future UC applicants in the long run, this year’s applications are due in two months. With such short notice, current seniors are left scrambling to improve their applications in other ways, such as the Personal Insight questions or counselor recommendations, leaving behind their wasted efforts on the SAT and ACT.