How the University of California’s decision to go test-optional may affect your test preparation plans

You may have heard that the University of California’s Board of Regents approved the suspension of standardized testing requirements in May last year, but what does it mean for you and your test preparation plans? Although this is a big move by one of the largest university systems in the US, don’t go canceling your test registrations just yet. Even if you do decide to apply to one of the many UC campuses, a strong test score may help you in getting recognized and admitted during the admission process. In addition, if you choose to submit your scores with your application, they may be considered for scholarship awards and course placement after enrollment.

The future of standardized testing in the UC admission process and other colleges and universities

UC’s Board of Regents also approved a plan to develop its own standardized test to implement by 2025. If no test is approved by then, the University plans to go test-blind for California residents in perpetuity and reassess standards for nonresident applicants. Especially in this COVID-era of grade inflation, unreliable GPAs, and an overall sense of the current year’s academic grades being a misrepresentation of a student’s ability and achievement, taking the ACT or SAT may provide colleges and universities with some semblance of standards with which they are familiar.

So what does this mean for applications to other universities and private colleges in the US? 

It’s possible the UC decision may influence other state university systems to follow suit. However, it should be noted that a number of private colleges and university systems had already gone test-optional years before the pandemic and those that hadn’t before went test optional for admission to the 2021-2022 school year. As before, submitting a strong test score won’t hurt your admission chances, and can even help your application get the attention you want in order to get accepted. 

The take-home: keep your test registrations active and do your homework to get the best score you can 

It’s undeniable that the COVID pandemic is requiring colleges and universities to shift their thinking on how to make decisions about their application processes and pool of applicants coming through the pipeline. Until we get more answers about what the future of college admissions will look like, keep your ACT and SAT registrations and contact us to help you reach your standardized testing goals.