The University of California schools, which are not test-optional but instead test-blind, will not be using any standardized test in its admissions process now or apparently ever in the future. After eliminating the SAT and ACT from the decision-making process, UC faculty were tasked with determining if an alternative to the SAT or ACT should be considered. And now, the UC faculty’s landmark verdict is in, one that marks the end of the consideration of testing in UC admissions. In light of the size of the UC schools, the decision of course could ultimately set precedent for other universities across the nation to change their test-optional policies to test-blind policies, which would deal a major blow to both The College Board and ACT, Inc.
As Teresa Watanabe reports for The Los Angeles Times in a piece entitled “UC slams the door on standardized admissions tests, nixing any SAT alternative,” “UC Provost Michael Brown declared the end of testing for admissions decisions at a Board of Regents meeting, putting a conclusive end to more than three years of research and debate in the nation’s premier public university system on whether standardized testing does more harm than good when assessing applicants for admission. ‘UC will continue to practice test-free admissions now and into the future,’ Brown said to the regents, after a discussion about a possible alternative to the SAT and ACT tests. Testing supporters argue that standardized assessments provide a uniform measure to predict the college performance of students from varied schools and backgrounds. But UC ultimately embraced opposing arguments that high school grades are a better tool without the biases based on race, income and parent education levels found in tests.”
As loyal readers of our college admissions blog know all too well, we don’t believe in test-optional policies. All else being equal, test-optional schools will always favor a student with great test scores over students with no test scores. But test-blind schools really are walking the walk and the University of California schools are walking the walk now and they’ll be walking the walk into the future. For setting such precedent, for leading the charge in showing the door to the SAT and ACT (and not replacing these exams with other exams), we salute the UC Board of Regents. Only time will tell if other universities across America soon follow their lead.
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