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Where Did All the SAT Subjects Tests Go?

Original post made by Doing College, another community, on Sep 10, 2012

A long time ago in a UC system far, far away, SAT Subjects were required by the University of California (UC). Now they are not required. The rationale (which I find reasonable) was to increase UC accessibility to students who are otherwise eligible except for not taking the required subject tests--often factors related to low income and disadvantage of one sort or another.

Although the SAT Subject Tests are not technically required by the UC campuses, some campuses recommend that students vying for slots in competitive majors take the tests to demonstrate subject proficiency. Here are some examples of UC campus recommendations:
UC Berkeley: College of Chemistry and College of Engineering: Along with looking for evidence of high academic performance in math and science, the presence of SAT Subject Tests, particularly in science and Math Level 2, is considered a plus.

UC Irvine: SAT Subject Test scores serve as a value-added component in the application evaluation.

UC Los Angeles: Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science: Math Level 2 and one or more subject tests in science (biology, chemistry, physics) are recommended and considered as value-added achievements during the application evaluation.

UC Riverside: College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and Bourns College of Engineering: Math Level 2 and chemistry or physics are strongly recommended.

UC San Diego: Jacobs School of Engineering and Division of Biological Sciences: SAT Subject Tests in Math Level 2 and a science are recommended and considered as value added achievements during the application evaluation.

UC Santa Barbara: College of Engineering: Math Level 2 is recommended for this competitive major.

In UCSB’s College of Creative Studies the recommendations are: literature for literature majors, math level 2 for math majors; math level 2 and physics are recommended for physics majors , biology for biology majors, chemistry for biochemistry and chemistry majors. Math Level 2 is strongly recommended for computer science majors.

Since subject tests are recommended or add value to a UC application, I recommend that students, who have taken the corresponding coursework, prepare for and take the appropriate subject test as soon as possible following the completion of relevant coursework. If the student does well, s/he should submit these scores.

In general, although SAT Subject Tests are no longer required by the UC, I advise students that these tests may be considered as value-added achievements during the application evaluation. This holds true in the UC system and in many fine colleges and universities nation-wide.

Elizabeth LaScala Ph.D. guides college, transfer and graduate school applicants through the complex world of admissions. She develops best match college lists, offers personalized interview and essay coaching, and tools and strategies to help students tackle each step of the admissions process with confidence and success. Elizabeth helps students from all backgrounds to maximize merit and financial aid awards. Visit; Call (925) 891-4491 or email at

Comments (1)

Like this comment
Posted by Rgf49er
a resident of Danville
on Sep 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Rgf49er is a registered user.

No question kids have to take the SAT and I highly recommend the ACT as well. If you want a chance to get into college today, you need to show your skills. The Universities across the nation are looking for top talent and UC system is taking on more and more out of state students and international students as they score higher and pay a higher fee.

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