While colleges vary in selectivity, the UC A-G course requirements are the standard for most colleges. Fortunately for students in the San Diego Unified School District, course requirements for graduation actually exceed the UC A-G requirements, so high school graduates in our district who receive a "C" or better in all classes meet the minimum course eligibility requirements for UC and CSU colleges. Higher grades (and high course level such as honors or AP) will be required for admission to highly selective schools, including many UC schools.
Standardized Testing - ACT and SAT
Since the beginning of the pandemic shut-down in March of 2020, the testing companies which offer the SAT (College Board) and the ACT have been forced to cancel test sittings - throughout the balance of 2020 and most of 2021 in different parts of the country. During this time, almost all colleges adopted "test optional" policies, meaning that students who do not submit SAT or ACT scores (colleges accept either without preference) will not be disadvantaged for a lack of a score when applying to college.
Now that tests are routinely offered, some schools are once again requiring that students submit test scores when applying. However, many others have maintained test optional policies and do not require scores - but will consider them with the application if students submit them. This is not true for UC or CSU schools which will NOT consider scores if submitted. Those scores will only be used for place purposes if a student is admitted and enrolls.
This means students should be strategic regarding testing. If students take an SAT or ACT, it is recommended that students do NOT submit scores automatically, despite the fact that College Board and ACT offer a limited number of scores to be sent free of charge, before learning your score. If you do not know your scores, it is better to hold off and decide whether to send - and that may vary from school to school when you are applying. Use the colleges' admitted student profile to determine scores of previously admitted students and IF your score falls in the top range of those scores, feel free to submit. If they fall below those averages, you may wish to apply test optional - meaning submitting no scores. As one college rep recently said, admissions reps at colleges cannot ignore scores when they are reading applications, so if the score is lower than what the school would like to see, it will detract from the application.
For information on test dates and to register
for SAT, go to https://satsuite.collegeboard.org/sat/registration/dates-deadlines, and
ACT go to https://www.act.org/content/act/en/register-for-the-act.html? .
A-G Course Requirements:
A) History 2 years
B) English 4 years
C) Math 3 years; 4 years recommended
D) Science 2 years; 3-4 years recommended
E) Language other than English 2 years (3-4 years recommended)
F) Visual and Performing Arts 1 year
G) College Prep Elective 1 year
For complete explanation of A-G requirements, go to: