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After 94 Years, A Pandemic Ends The Tense SAT & ACT Tests For UCs

As of earlier this year, the UC schools are no longer requiring SAT or ACT submissions for freshman applications until Fall 2024 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. UC President Janet Napolitano wants to “develop a new test” that “aligns with what we expect incoming students to know to demonstrate their preparedness for UC”. The shocking […]

As of earlier this year, the UC schools are no longer requiring SAT or ACT submissions for freshman applications until Fall 2024 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. UC President Janet Napolitano wants to “develop a new test” that “aligns with what we expect incoming students to know to demonstrate their preparedness for UC”. The shocking news was shared by Napolitano on May 21, creating a mixed atmosphere of stress, anxiety, and relief among the class of 2021.

Among some Christian Brothers students, the cancellation brought relief, but also a small feeling of disappointment.

“I get nervous during big tests, but now I feel that there is less pressure on me,” Zacharias Abdali (’21) says. “The only thing I cannot get back is the time and money”

“My parents were pretty disappointed since I took the SAT prep class at CB and even extra classes over the summer — just money down the drain,” says Liz Cotillo (‘21).

In the past, the SAT was a large determining factor in the acceptance of a student to most colleges, but now students are not as worried the stress of taking the exam.

“Besides not taking the SAT, I feel that I meet all the requirements such as the GPA, extracurricular activities, and involvement with my school,” Liz says. “I feel that now I have a higher chance to get into the more difficult schools.”

The SAT and ACT were used to predict how a student would do in his or her first year of college. But there are students who are not good test takers. Using one scantron test for a student’s admittance cannot predict an overall performance of their first year in college “only 10 percent to 20 percent of the variation in first-year GPA is explained by SAT scores.”

“The SAT should not measure how smart you are — it should be based upon the grades and the work you have shown throughout the years,” Liz says.

“There’s many other strengths a person has and a college shouldn’t base it off one test,” Zacharias adds.

“A better predictor is how a student does in high school. The classes they take and how they’re doing in them should determine in what kind of student they are. It shouldn’t be about a student sitting in a room for four to five hours bubbling out a scantron test” Christian Brothers College Counselor Ms. Melissa McClellan says.

The SAT is expensive as well, making it biased towards students who have the money to prepare. Ms. McClellan says it costs money to pay for prep classes, multiple tests, and then sending scores to colleges. This puts a huge disadvantage for the students who cannot afford prep classes making a multiple choice test decide their entry for a college.

But as numerous questions arise about the admissions process for UCs, students should not be too worried about the cancellation of the SAT/ACT.

“With the UCs, they’re going to use the other components for admittance. The transcript, GPA for 10th and 11th grade, how rigorous the classes were, amount of college prep classes a student took, service hours, sports, extracurricular activities, and the four UC essay prompts,” Ms. McClellan says.

Ms. McClellan also says that the UCs do not “compare applications with other people” and instead look at an “individual’s application and use what they have for the admitting a student”.

All the time, money, and effort by students for the SAT and ACT has gone to waste. One test should not predict how well a student should do in their first year of college or admittance to a college. A college should look more at their GPA, difficulty of a class, how well they are doing in them, extracurriculars, and service hours. The cancellation of the SAT and ACT is a step towards fairness, especially to those students who cannot afford the preparation.


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