The University of California Regents agreed to officially eliminate the testing requirement for UC admissions during their Nov. 17 meeting, without introducing its own alternative standardized test.

The Regents officially decided to suspend the consideration of the SAT and ACT in admissions in May 2020, but left the door open to either modify or create a new standardized test to consider in admissions. During their most recent meeting, the Regents discussed findings from a group studying the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium as a testing option, but eventually agreed not to implement any new testing alternative.

“We don’t have an assessment now that we believe we can use effectively,” UC President Michael Drake said during the meeting.

The Smarter Balanced test was reviewed by a UC study group but dropped as an option due to “concerns regarding potential bias, moderate predictive power, and the adverse effects of high-stakes testing,” according to UC Office of the President Communication Strategist Joanna McWilliams. This report was shared with and seconded by Drake in September.

All other admissions criteria will remain, following the dropping of the test requirement. The process of selection for admissions involves criteria set by the UC Academic Senate Committee Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (B.O.A.R.S.).

The criteria set by B.O.A.R.S. is then approved by the UC regents and implemented in admissions. 

UC Santa Barbara Director of Admissions Lisa Przekop said that there were 14 approved criteria for admissions, prior to the elimination of testing requirements, and 13 “Comprehensive Review” criteria now remain.

“We’re confident that the remaining 13 [criteria] give us adequate information on which to base our admissions decisions,” Przekop said.

Przekop added that even if SAT/ACT scores are submitted in the application, admission officers will not be able to see the scores.

Drake said during the meeting that if another possible testing option should do “what we believe it should do in a way that we believe it’s effective,” that testing option could be considered. But for the foreseeable future, the requirement is dropped.

“UC will continue to practice test-free admissions now and into the future,” UC Provost Michael Brown said during the meeting.


Sindhu Ananthavel
Sindhu Ananthavel (she/they) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Ananthavel was the Deputy News Editor for the 2022-23 school year, the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2021-22 school year and an assistant news editor for the 2021-22 school year. She can be reached at