University of California Maintaining SAT/ACT Requirement—For Now

Written by Michael Palomba

The UC system has been debating whether to drop the SAT/ACT requirements for admissions for several months now.

Critics of the standardized tests claim that they discriminate against low-income students and underrepresented minorities. This despite the fact that every student takes the same test, and no one is given any special information.

Well, these critics were delivered a fierce blow when “a University of California faculty task force recommended Monday that the university continue requiring applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores,” according to CalMatters.

The report follows months of speculation regarding whether or not the UC system would make SAT/ACT tests optional or replace them entirely. The task force rejected both options and instead suggested that the university create its own exam, which is slated to take up to nine years. 

The report also revealed bigger factors that account for the lower numbers of minority students in the UC system. These include lower rates of high school graduation and failure to complete college prep courses.

It’s preposterous to say that standardized tests, which have been used for decades, are discriminatory. Everyone has the same capability to learn, regardless of race or ethnicity. All that differs is how hard one is willing to work for what they want. Abolishing standardized testing in order to accommodate those who do not want to work hard is wrong. Not only does it punish those who actually put in work, but it lowers the bar overall and devalues a degree that so many people worked hard to achieve. 

The issue now goes to the UC’s academic state where a final recommendation will be made in April. That decision will then be taken up by the university’s board of regents in May.