University of California Systems aren’t allowed to use SAT and ACT tests for admissions

  • October 5, 2020
SAT practice books that help get a good score [PC: Tim Chong]

A decision on a lawsuit arguing that it’s unfair for students, especially those disabled or in need of special attention, to take the SAT/ACT in the COVID season was recently issued by an Alameda County Superior Court judge. As a result, UC schools are temporarily unable to use SAT and ACT test scores in college admission processes and scholarships under a preliminary injunction. 

Mark Rosenbaum, a Los Angeles attorney who helped file the lawsuit as director of Public Counsel’s Opportunity Under Law project, told the LA Times that “The SAT and ACT are dead and gone as far as the UC system is concerned.” He explained  that lower-income applicants now have a more equal chance against the UC admissions process, which is known to  favor higher-income applicants. 

According to Rosenbaum, this is a huge step in bringing down inequality for an education that everyone should have access to. He explains that if other colleges, private or public, don’t follow suit by temporarily disregarding the SAT and ACT in their admissions process, then he and his team will go after them as well in a lawsuit battle. 

However, the SAT officials and staff at the College Board argue that their tests have been vastly improved so that they are not skewed towards students who come from higher economic backgrounds. 

ACT officials told the LA Times that they offered accommodations to students with disabilities and are committed to “ensuring access to our assessment’ for them “despite the difficulties that COVID-19 has presented globally.” 

Although they claim to offer such accommodations, realistically, only a small percentage of students will be able to take the tests since it’s rare to find a testing center, meaning that it’s likely disabled students won’t take the test. This allows them to basically make statements like those without any backlash since they can use COVID-19 as a cover-up to not trying their best to provide students with access to take a test. 

Students who are juniors and below will be exempt from the following schools in regards to their requirement of an SAT/ACT tests: UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Cruz. 

Megan Pan (11), believes that getting rid of the SAT and ACT in the undergraduate admission process is appropriate, stating that, “It was stressful having to prepare for a test outside of our large workloads at school already.”

On the contrary, Holly Bae (11) shared, “I think UC schools should still use SAT and ACT in part of the admission process because if students cannot prove their academic abilities through their GPA, they can have the chance to prove it through the SAT and ACT tests.”

Currently, the schools have the option to consider these standardized tests, such as UCLA is doing, but UC colleges are looking to abolish the use of them since they believe it’s not a good standard, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. Maybe in the near future, SAT and ACT won’t even be a concern to high school students anymore.

Information comes from the Los Angeles Times

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