On August 31, 2020, a California judge issued an injunction that essentially prohibits University of California (UC) campuses from accepting test scores from applicants. The judge concluded that allowing the test scores to be submitted would provide an unfair advantage to students who are able to find and take the exam in the current Covid climate. He made it very clear that students with disabilities in particular would have no way to take the exam with accommodations and thus would have no opportunity to submit scores even if they wanted to submit them. (UC appealed the injunction and an appellate court temporarily blocked it.)

Many other competitive colleges and universities across the US have decided to make this admissions cycle “test free”. There are now more than 60 colleges and universities that have adopted a test blind policy at least for the near future. These schools include Caltech, Loyola University New Orleans, Reed College and Catholic University of DC.

Parents are faced with a tough decision. Should they pay for their children to prep for the exams? We have long known that more affluent parents pay for test prep for their children at a much higher rate than others who are less affluent. I expect that this gap will not only continue, but will grow even wider. Low income families are having a hard enough time paying bills – it is highly doubtful that they will be able to allocate household funds for test prep. Those families with means will continue to invest in private test preparation services but likely at a much lower rate than in the past. Most other families with fewer means will probably choose to forego the test preparation process altogether.