University of California schools no longer accept SAT, ACT scores

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Abby Wolf staff writer

University of California schools are now prohibited from considering SAT and ACT scores in the admissions process.

This decision made by the California Court of Appeal concerned the case of Kawika Smith v. Regents of the University of California. 

Prior to this decision, the University of California school system planned to use a “test-optional” policy for the 2021 admission year. The policy allowed for applicants to choose whether or not to submit their SAT or ACT score. 

Student Kawika Smith believed the policy was unfair for students who do not have financial access for test preparation classes. While the case was ongoing, Smith argued that the policy should be stopped immediately due to discrimination against students with disabilities. 

Smith stated that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, test sites have been restricted, and students with disabilities no longer have a facility to take the test. 

Judge Brad Seligman agreed with Smith and granted an injunction, preventing the University of California schools from using a “test-optional” policy. Judge Seligman came to the decision because he believed that using these scores gave certain students an advantage by giving them a “second look.” Judge Seligman found that students with disabilities do not have this opportunity because there are no test sites with proper accommodations for these students due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

After Judge Seligman issued the injunction, the University of California school system appealed the decision. The California Court of Appeal agreed with Judge Seligman, concluding that the “test-optional” policy was discriminatory. 

Certain students view this situation as an opportunity and a positive outcome. 

“I don’t really mind it because now admissions can focus more on my extracurriculars instead of testing,” senior London Anderson said.

Senior, Marissa Kaniel , also viewed this situation in a positive light.

“What evens it out for me is that I don’t think the SAT, ACT is actually representative of what you learn in school at all,” Kaniel said. 

Trial lawyer Jeff Wolf (related to writer) believes that this decision will begin the slow phasing out of the SAT, ACT tests. 

“This Court of Appeal decision effectively eliminates the use of the SAT and ACT tests permanently at the UC schools,” trial lawyer Jeff Wolf (related to writer) said. “The UC schools decided that the tests have limited utility under normal circumstances and are in the process of phasing them out. As a result, this decision sped up the process.”

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