Have SAT or ACT test scores become blind?

On September 1, 2020, a California Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction, to be finalized on September 29, 2020, barring the use of SAT and ACT scores in Fall 2021 University of California (UC) admissions evaluations. Essentially, the judge implemented a “test-blind” admissions policy, meaning SAT or ACT scores cannot be considered, even if submitted, in UC admissions for Fall 2021. 

The preliminary ruling is a shift from the “test-optional” policy, announced in Spring 2020, where SAT or ACT scores may be considered if submitted, but are not required to be submitted with the application, and there is no disadvantage in admissions for students who do not submit test scores.

Regardless of the final court ruling, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz admissions officers have all publicly announced that their evaluations will be “test-blind” for Fall 2021.

Both “test-blind” and “test-optional” admissions can increase the already existing subjectivity of the UC admissions process, as officers will not have a standardized metric for comparison against the other information presented in an application. Yet, applicants can utilize their four UC essays, otherwise called, “Personal Insight Questions”, to give more insight to their experience and abilities, in attempt to mitigate the increased subjectivity.

For those applicants who can or planned to demonstrate their aptitude in their test scores, students can describe the disruption to their college admissions strategy, if needed, to frame their experience for the admissions readers. 


Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator, combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators, helping nurture the next generation. You can contact her  at jill@creativemarbles.com

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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