How to go about college applications when SATs are no longer required in the UC system

Ian Gonzalez

Since May 2020, UCs have not been requiring an SAT score as a part of their application. The admissions office will later suspend the requirement of scores until 2024, but they are planning to completely remove the requirement by 2025. This would come after a legal settlement between people of color and of disabilities claiming it violated their civil rights. The UC schools say they have no plans of replacing the test and will go forward with their test-free admissions.

So should you still take the SAT if you are not planning to go to college out of state? 

Right now, the best option for a student who is currently applying for a school that is outside of California is to take the SAT. It is still required in a total of 20 states, and many students might have a backup school that is out of state.

Cindy Seebalac runs the career center and has experience in helping students with college applications. “ I think the best way for a student to get an edge on their applications is to get a letter of recommendation from two different people,” said Seebalac. “I think the UCs saw how difficult COVID made it for students to just focus on school. This would result in lower test scores. Although if you do take the SAT and receive a bad score, I would recommend not to send the score.”

Chayne Banks is a senior and has already applied to four separate colleges, two being out of state. Banks has already taken the SAT and is looking forward to attending college in California.

“I took the SAT just in case I planned to go to a school out of state. I feel like it doesn’t hurt to do it anyways.” Currently Banks is waiting for schools’ responses to his application and is very confident that he will get into his preferred college.

Another tip that applicants can focus on is just to be themselves. “With the personal essay you should be sincere. With the pandemic, schools are looking more into the person than the grades. This goes for all schools, not just schools in California,” said counselor Ryan Venegas.

It is easy to think that the only thing schools care about are grades because it has been student’s main focus since the beginning of high school. But this is not true.