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University of California is drastically relaxing its fall 2021 admissions standards for applicants who are currently high school juniors, including suspending the requirement that they take standardized tests and allowing pass/fail grades for this spring’s classes affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

This is NOT a permanent change but an accommodation due to the impact of the coronavirus. Students applying for fall 2021 can still take tests (both standardized and finals) and send scores to UC if they are able. Doing so can support their UC eligibility and help fulfill some university graduation requirements. But campuses must ensure that “no student is harmed in admissions selection should they not submit a test score,” according to the UC statement.

This is huge news, folks, and you may be tempted to drop the SAT or ACT like a hot potato, but please take a moment to consider. The UC schools are some of the most competitive out there, and admissions boards look for distinguishing markers for admitting students. While the requirement may be suspended, the benefits of a high SAT or ACT score still most definitely apply.

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