Exam requirement

We've made significant changes to the UC exam requirement. 

Fall 2021 and fall 2022 enrollment

UC will be "test-optional" for fall 2021 and fall 2022. Freshman applicants are not required to submit SAT/ACT test scores. 

What does "test-optional" mean? 

  • You choose whether or not to submit SAT/ACT scores with your application.
  • If you are unable or chose not to submit test scores, your application will still receive full consideration. 

 SAT/ACT scores may be used for:

  • Admissions: Some campuses may choose to consider your test scores as part of their application review process. Remember, no admission decision is based on a single factor.
  • Scholarships. Some scholarships may include test scores as a factor in selection.
  • Determining eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee. 
  • Course placement after you enroll.

Additional campus-specific information will be available this fall for the fall 2021 application cycle. 

Fall 2023 and fall 2024 enrollment 

Admission to the UC will be "test-blind" for applicants from California public and independent high schools. 

What will “test blind” mean? 

  • UC won't use your test scores to make admissions decisions.

SAT/ACT scores may be used for:

  • Scholarships. Some scholarships may include test scores as a factor in selection.
  • Determining eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee. 
  • Course placement after you enroll.

UC is working to create appropriate testing policies for applicants who attend high school outside of California and for homeschooled applicants. New testing guidelines will be available prior to the fall 2023 application cycle.   

International students

Some international student applicants will need to demonstrate English proficiency.

If you’ve completed all your secondary school/high school in a country where English was not the language of instruction, you're required to demonstrate English proficiency. However, even if you’ve had some secondary education in the U.S., you may still need to demonstrate English proficiency. 

Be sure to look at the international undergraduate admission section for more information about what you need to do and when.

Exam requirements FAQ 

No. UC Merced is the only campus accepting freshman applications for the spring 2021 semester. The test-optional policy goes into effect for fall 2021 admission. Freshman applicants applying to UC Merced for spring 2021 admission must meet the 2020-21 academic year testing requirements.

Test scores are optional for fall 2021 and fall 2022. Can I apply without submitting test scores but choose to add my scores to my application later?

Yes. Test scores can be updated directly in the UC application after you’ve submitted the application, but they may not be considered if they’re added after January 1.
The SAT/ACT test is optional for all students – including students from outside of California – for the fall 2021 and fall 2022 terms. We will publish additional guidelines for nonresident applicants to fall 2023 and later as soon as they are available.
If you feel your test scores are an accurate reflection of your academic abilities and potential to succeed at UC, you are welcome to report your scores in the UC application. All applications will be considered fully, with or without test scores.
No. If you don’t submit test scores, your application will still receive full consideration for admission.
No. You complete a single application for all UC campuses. All information provided in the UC application is available to every campus you apply to.
UC no longer collects the essay/writing scores for the SAT/ACT tests. If you choose to report your test scores, you should report your highest total/composite score from a single sitting, but do not include the essay/writing score. If you are offered admission, you can submit your official essay/writing scores to your campus of choice. Certain scores may be high enough to meet UC’s Entry-Level Writing Requirement.