Is Berkeley Test Optional?

October 10, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Is Berkeley Test Optional?

Is the Berkeley test optional for 2022 admissions? The University of California, Berkeley is consistently ranked as one of the top educational institutions in the United States. The San Francisco Bay Area is the location of the headquarters of the highly regarded education service provider. The University of the States has one of the largest undergraduate populations in the country, making it one of the aspects of the school that is most well-known or that stands out the most.

The University of California, Berkeley does not require applicants to submit scores from the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Testing Program (ACT).

Whether “is Berkeley test optional?”, a holistic review has always been used at Berkeley, and it will continue to be used, which means that there is no single factor on the application that will determine a student’s admission status. This will not change. Scores on the SAT or ACT were not the only academic indicators that were available on the application to evaluate applicants’ knowledge and skills.

Other academic indicators, such as grades, the difficulty of a student’s courses, and other non-required tests (such as SAT subject tests, AP tests, and IB tests, among others), will continue to be evaluated as part of the review process. Having discussed ” is Berkeley test optional?” a student’s individual academic context will also be taken into consideration.

Scores on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT will not be considered during the admissions process; however, any scores submitted to Berkeley will be considered for placement or subject credit purposes in the event that the student is admitted to Berkeley.

Berkeley Acceptance Rate

What is the current UC Berkeley acceptance rate? Although we just discussed above ” is Berkeley test optional?”, to further know the admissions status, we now see Berkeley’s acceptance rate. A record-low acceptance rate of only 14 percent was achieved by the University of Berkeley for the Class of 2025. On the other hand, the university was given a total of 128,196 applications for the Class of 2026. Although the official figures for admissions have not been made public yet, there were approximately 15,000 people accepted. In percentage terms, this translates to an acceptance rate of 11.7 percent.

Female student typing using a laptop.

Berkeley Admission Requirements

What are the needed Berkeley admission requirements? One of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United States is the University of California at Berkeley, also referred to simply as Cal. When it comes to narrowing down its pool of applicants, UC Berkeley uses a comprehensive screening process. As a result, you have a great deal more to concentrate on besides just your grades. If you are interested in being admitted, the acceptance rate is the most important factor to look into.

Whether “is Berkeley test optional?”, being admitted demonstrates the level of competition at the school as well as its commitment to the requirements it has set. Check whether they require a certain grade point average, SAT, or ACT score to move on to the next round and demonstrate that you are academically prepared. It is extremely unlikely that you will ever become a part of the Berkeley community if you do not satisfy their prerequisites.

GPA Requirements

According to Cal’s requirements, you must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in grades 11 and 12. Every applicant is expected to satisfy all of the primary requirements, including this particular one.

Based on the GPA scores that were submitted the year before, the minimum required average GPA for admission to UC Berkeley is 3.89. In order to be a competitive applicant to the University of California, Berkeley, you will need to earn a grade point average of at least 3.8 while you are enrolled in high school.

Group of students holding their things while talking.

Because a 3.8-grade point average is considered to be the norm at all reputable American universities, UC Berkeley’s SAT score is consistently ranked as one of the most competitive and selective educational institutions in the entire world.

If you want to attend UC Berkeley, you need a 3.89-grade point average, which means you need to be at the top of your class and significantly better than average. Additionally, the majority of the grades on your transcripts should be A’s.

In addition, in order to demonstrate that you are capable of successfully navigating the academic rigors of college, you should sign up for as many IB and AP classes as possible. If you are able to do all of these things, then you have a chance of being accepted.

SAT Requirements

Although many schools make the claim that they do not have a minimum acceptable SAT score, the reality is that they all do. This is determined by taking the school’s average score into consideration. On a scale of 1600 points, the average SAT composite score required for admission to UC Berkeley is 1415. At this level, the University of California, Berkeley is a formidable competitor in terms of SAT scores.

A score of 1300 on the New SAT places a student in the 25th percentile, while a score of 1530 places a student in the 75th percentile. In other words, if you get a score of 1300 on the New SAT, you will be placed in the category of having below-average skills. However, if you get a score of 1530, you will be placed in the category of above average.

The following is a section-by-section breakdown of the newly released SAT scores:

Section Average 25th Percentile 75th Percentile
Math 725 660 790
Composite 1415 1300 1530
Reading + Writing 690 640 740

At the University of California, Berkeley, the Score Choice policy is “All Scores.” This suggests that UC Berkeley will demand that you deliver all of your SAT results to their office if you wish to apply there. This may be overwhelming to you, but the majority of colleges do not place equal weight on all of your grades. In accordance with the policies of the University of California, all scores are considered to fall under the requirements of Berkeley, and the highest results from a single administration will be used.

ACT Requirements

The requirements for the UC ACT Berkeley campus do not have a strict cutoff. Candidates should have little trouble meeting the threshold if they make adequate preparations. On the other hand, the application might be thrown out of consideration by the university if the score is too low. In most cases, the general requirement is equal to 31. Because of this score, the University of California at Berkeley is in the thick of the competition when it comes to ACT scores.

A score of 28 on the ACT corresponds to the 25th percentile, while a score of 34 corresponds to the 75th percentile. Even though UC Berkeley may claim that there is no minimum ACT score, if you apply to the school with a score of 28 or lower on the ACT, you may have a difficult time getting accepted, unless you have something else in your application that is particularly impressive. Because there are so many students who score 31 or higher, a score of 28 will look intellectually insufficient because there are so many students who score 31 or higher.

Male student using a laptop for college application in a libaray.

If you choose to take the ACT instead of the SAT, you will have a significant advantage when it comes to sending your scores, which will have a significant impact on the testing procedure that you will undergo. Even though your ACT scores are being sent to the college, you still have control over the scores. You are free to take as many examinations as you like, and the one with the highest score will be considered. On the other hand, in contrast to the SAT, which requires students to submit all of their previous test scores, the ACT does not require this information.

This indicates that you have the ability to raise your ACT score at your own discretion. If you need to get a score of at least 34 on the ACT to get into the school of your choice, you can take the test as many times as you like. The higher the score, the more likely it is that you will win! You will then be able to send only that result to any and all of the schools with which you are the most content.

Application Requirements

If you are considering enrolling at UC Berkeley as either an incoming first-year student or a transfer student, you should give careful consideration to how well you are preparing yourself in reading, writing, mathematics, and any other subject areas that are relevant to the major you wish to pursue. You will be better prepared for work at Berkeley if the curriculum you follow in high school or college is more rigorous and comprehensive.


UC Berkeley is one of the few colleges that does not accept applications through either the Common Application or the Coalition App. You are required to create a UC application account before you can submit an application for any course offered by UB. Visit this page in order to create an account.

Application Fee or Waiver

When you apply, you will be required to pay an application fee of seventy dollars. The application fee is non-refundable; even if you decide to cancel your participation at a later date, you will not receive a refund of the fee. You have the option of sending your application fee payment in the mail or paying with a credit card.

In the event that it will be difficult for you to pay the application fee, you have the option of submitting a request for a fee waiver. Your application fee will be waived up to four times by UC Berkeley. If you wish to apply to more than four campuses, you will be required to pay an application fee of $70 for each additional campus to that you wish to apply to.

Please take note that the fee waiver is only available to permanent residents, citizens of the United States, and applicants who are qualified to receive AB540 benefits. International students are not eligible for fee waivers from UC Berkeley.

A-G subject course requirements

It is necessary for you to finish the A-G subject course requirements. Please refer to the A-G course requirement guide for further information and specifics.


Your academic performance during your time in high school will be detailed on the transcript. After you have been accepted, you will be required to hand in your transcript. It is imperative that you do not send a transcript along with your application because it will not be processed.

Test scores

Because of the widespread Covid-19 pandemic, UC Berkeley will not take SAT or ACT scores into consideration when determining admissions. However, if you still want to send in your SAT scores, you certainly can.

Writing in a notebook in a white table.

If you submit the score, whether is Berkeley test optional or not, it will be evaluated to determine whether or not you are eligible for the statewide admissions guarantee in California. Although we already know the answer to the question “is Berkeley test optional?”, it’s possible that they’ll use it as an alternative means to satisfy the prerequisites for eligibility.

Annual Income

You require to provide your income if you are independent or your parent’s annual income if you are dependent. If you are submitting an application for a fee waiver, then it is mandatory for you to do so; otherwise, it is voluntary.

Social Security Number

If you have a social security number, you are required to provide it in this application.

Citizenship Status

You will be required to enter the country in which you were born. If you are not a native of the United States, you are required to also specify the type of visa and your immigration status.

California Statewide Student ID

Please present a California Statewide Student ID if you are a resident of the state of California. It is distributed to each and every student attending a K–12 public school in the state of California. But, it’s an optional requirement.

Personal Insight Questions

The College will present you with a total of 8 questions to answer during the application process, but you are only required to respond to 4. You are limited to no more than 350 words for your response. It is entirely up to you how you choose to respond to the question. UC advises you to select the question that is appropriate for your level of experience.

The following are some of the reasons why UC Berkeley uses personal insight questions:

  • Finding and weighing the differences between candidates whose academic records are typically very comparable in order to make selections
  • Gain an understanding of your achievements in the areas of personal, academic, and extracurricular life.
  • We ask that you kindly supply us with information that might not be readily apparent in various parts of the application.

Letters of Recommendation

The University of California, Berkeley encourages applicants to submit a total of two letters of recommendation. The submission of work is entirely optional and will not prevent an application from being fully considered for admission.

When asked to include a letter as part of the application process, Berkeley asks that those who write letters consider the following concepts because the university holds the belief that there is value in conducting holistic reviews.

  • The applicant’s overall academic performance as well as their academic potential (considered in the context of their high school class).
  • A passion for education
  • The ability to lead (in school, family, or community)
  • The ability to persevere in the face of adversity
  • Cross-cultural engagement
  • Originality/Creativity
  • An obvious concern for the welfare of other people

In the event that a student is given the opportunity to submit up to two letters of recommendation, the student is required to submit them electronically. In addition, there should be at least one letter that has been written by a professor or instructor from one of the fundamental academic fields.

Berkeley requirements for international students

Students at UC Berkeley come from over fifty different countries. Using the University of California application, international students can apply to the university either as freshmen or as transfer students.

Group of students lounging near the stairs.

UC Berkeley will accept the results of any of the following language tests from students whose first language is not English but who can demonstrate that they are proficient in the English language:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • International English Language Testing Service (IELTS)
  • Duolingo English Test (Fall 2021/2022 only, under review for Fall 2023)

If you send your TOEFL results to just one UC campus, they will be sent to all of the other campuses to which you have applied automatically. You are required to send in separate copies of your IELTS and DET results to each individual campus.

Berkeley Application Deadline

What is the current UC Berkeley application deadline for 2022 admissions? Applications for admission to UC Berkeley can be submitted beginning in October of the year prior to the year in which the student intends to enroll at the university. The application period runs from the 1st to the 30th of November. The deadline for submission of all applications is November 30. Early admission and early decision applications are not available through the University of California, Berkeley.

Application available August 1
Apply for financial aid October 1
Application filing period November 1-30
Application deadline November 30
Berkeley notifies applicants of receipt of application Early December
Online UC Transfer Application Update (TAU) deadline January 31 (priority)
UC Berkeley mandatory forms deadline January 31
FAFSA and CA Dream Act March 2
Freshman decisions posted End of March
Transfer decisions posted End of April
Freshman deadline to accept the offer of admission May 1
Transfer deadline to accept the offer of admission June 1

If you need help putting the finishing touches on your early applications, or want some advice on whether or not applying Early Decision or an Early Action is a good option for you, at AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process, including our athletic recruitment program.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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