Bold Hearts. Brilliant Minds.

UCR Is Test-Free for Fall 2021

UC Riverside will no longer use standardized exam scores (ACT/SAT) for the fall 2021 admission cycle.
By Freshman Admission Counselor |

It’s official, UC Riverside will not use standardized exam scores (ACT/SAT) in our comprehensive review and selection process for the fall 2021 admission cycle. Exam scores may still be used to meet area b of the a-g subject requirements, as well as the UC Entry Level Writing requirement.


Comprehensive Review

Comprehensive review is the process by which UCR evaluates freshman applicants, who meet minimum UC requirements, using multiple measures of achievement and promise, while considering the context in which each student has demonstrated accomplishment.

UCR will calculate an Academic Index Score (AIS) for all freshman applicants. The faculty of UCR have designated the measures described below to be used to calculate the AIS.

  • High School GPA – The strength of an applicant’s high school GPA is the strongest indicator that a student will be successful within an academically challenging UC environment. The capped GPA is calculated on the basis of all completed “a-g” courses with extra points added for UC-approved honors courses taken in grades 10 and 11, capped at 8 semesters. A capped GPA considers the extra points earned for honors-level courses and may exceed 4.0 for some students.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses – AP and IB courses prepare students for college-level coursework. Therefore, students who take and do well in these courses tend to have a high probability for success within the UC environment.
  • Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) – The Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) program recognizes the individual accomplishments of students in light of the opportunities offered by their particular high school.
  • Low Family Income – Students who demonstrate high academic achievement, despite low socioeconomic status, are likely to exhibit persistence, maturity, and insight. Low family income is determined based on total family members and household income.
  • First-Generation University Attendance – UC-eligible applicants who are the first in their immediate family to attend college are apt to have personal strengths that will contribute to their academic success. Students whose parents have not graduated from a four-year college or university are qualified for first-generation university attendance.

Subject Requirement

You must earn a grade of C or better in all “a-g” courses and complete a minimum of 15 college-preparatory (“a–g”) courses.

Eleven of those 15 courses must be completed prior to your senior year. Find out if your course is UC approved, and if your college course or SAT/AP/IB exam score meets an “a–g” requirement.

GPA Requirement

To meet minimum requirements, you must earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher (3.4 for non-residents) in “a–g” courses taken during grades 10 and 11 (including summers before and after), weighted by a maximum of eight semesters of UC-approved honors points.

Extra Points for Honors Courses: A=5, B=4 and C=3; D or F=0 extra points.

Approved honors-level courses may also include acceptable AP classes, higher- (and some standard-) level IB classes and transferable college courses.


Begin Your Application Today

Don’t forget, the UC application is now open. Begin your application — choose UCR — and submit Nov. 1–30.


Find answers on our Frequently Asked Questions webpage. You can also catch our virtual admission presentations for insights into the UC application process, general admission requirements, student life, and more!

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