Is UCLA Test Optional?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Is UCLA Test Optional?

Is UCLA test optional? The ACT and SAT will no longer be required as part of the application process for admission to the University of California, Los Angeles starting in May 2020. This is a result of a unanimous vote by the Board of Regents of the University of California System.

Female student writing in a desk

To put it another way, UCLA is not test optional,  if you want to attend a University of California school, you won’t have to send in your ACT or SAT scores. Admissions for UCLA Fall 2022 do not require your SAT scores. Your scores from the UCLA SAT will not be taken into consideration as part of the admission requirements for UCLA.

On the other hand, more than UCLA being test optional, if you want to send your UCLA SAT scores to the university, it is possible that the university will use them as one of the methods to fulfill the minimum eligibility requirements for UCLA or to grant you course programs after you have been admitted.

According to the Board of Regents, in order to develop a college admissions process that is more equitable for students, they have made the decision to discontinue using the ACT and SAT tests. The Board of Regents is of the opinion that moving away from the current model of standardized testing will allow for a more objective evaluation of the applications submitted by students. This is particularly true in light of the fact that the SAT and ACT have been criticized for being antiquated methods of determining whether or not students are ready for college.

What is the Current UCLA Acceptance Rate?

The University of California, Los Angeles experienced an admissions year that broke all previous records. The prestigious public university in Los Angeles, which, along with all other UC schools, is now test-blind as a result of an order from the court, received approximately 149,700 first-year applications from prospective students.

This number, which is close to 150,000, represents an increase of approximately 10 percent from the previous year’s application total, which was already a record for the number of students who applied to UCLA.

Asian woman holding her things while walking in the school campus.

About 91,500 of these applicants are from the state of California, which is an increase of about 7,400 from the previous year. The remaining 58,200 of these applicants are from other states (up by about 2,900 from last year).

According to the findings of the University of California’s Eligibility in the Local Context program, UCLA witnessed an extraordinary increase of 32 percent in the number of California applicants who were projected to be among the top 9 percent in their high school class. Even after unprecedented increases in 2021, the number of freshman applicants from several underrepresented groups continued to rise this year.

This was driven in part by UCLA’s community partnerships and outreach efforts, as well as the elimination of standardized testing as a requirement for admission. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) continues to receive a greater number of applications from students of African American, Chicano/Latino, and Native American ancestry than any other campus in the University of California system.

Applications increased by 19 percent among California residents with low incomes and by 8 percent among prospective California students who would be the first in their families to attend college.

It is interesting to note that transfer applications have decreased by approximately 12 percent year-over-year, both at UCLA and throughout the entire UC system. This is likely due to the decline in enrollment at California community colleges during the pandemic.

What are the Admission Requirements for UCLA?

The University of California, Los Angeles (also known as UCLA) is widely regarded as a leading educational institution worldwide. The application process at UCLA is quite involved, more than UCLA being test optional since the university does not require test scores, you should be familiar with all of its steps before beginning to fill out the application form.

UCLA GPA Requirement

At UCLA, the average unweighted grade point average for first-year student applications submitted for the Fall 2021 semester was 3.9. One of the most essential requirements for admission into undergraduate degree programs at UCLA is having a grade point average satisfactory to your high school.

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Because 4.0 is the highest possible value, having a GPA score that is just 3.9 on average is considered to be extremely competitive.

It is not the end of the world if you have a grade point average that is lower than 3.9 in any subject. There are a lot of other admission requirements to UCLA that you can fulfill in order to make up for this gap in your application. Prepare to be challenged, whether UCLA is test optional or not, as there are a lot of factors to think about when creating a compelling application for UCLA.

UCLA SAT Requirement

Your SAT scores are not required for consideration for admission to UCLA for the fall semester of 2022. Your scores from the UCLA SAT will not be taken into consideration as part of the admission requirements for UCLA.

If, on the other hand, whether UCLA is test optional or not, if you want to send your UCLA SAT scores to the university, it is possible that the university will use them as one of the methods to fulfill the minimum eligibility requirements for UCLA or to grant you course programs after you have been admitted.

A student taking an exam in a desk.

In spite of this, if you are considering taking the SATs, please refer to the table below to get a better understanding of the average SAT Scores required by UCLA.

Section 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average Score
Reading + Writing 640 740 690
Math 640 790 715
Total 1290 1510 1405

You should be aware that the numbers that were mentioned above for the SAT scores do not represent the minimum score required for admission to UCLA. There are no minimum or maximum UCLA requirements for the SAT. Therefore, you should only consider these numbers as a reference because they are based on admissions data from previous years at UCLA.

UCLA ACT Requirement

In the same way, as with the SAT, it is likely that UCLA does not have a strict cut score for the ACT; however, your application will be rejected if you get too low of a score.

When it comes to the ACT scores that applicants must have in order to be considered for admission to the University of California Los Angeles, the most recent data suggests that one requires an average ACT score of 32. In addition, the majority of applicants who are granted admission to the University of California, Los Angeles have composite ACT scores that fall somewhere in the range of 29 to 35.

Young woman taking an exam with her fellow classmates.

However, in order to be considered for admission to the school, you will need to have a minimum composite score on the ACT of 29. In addition, in order to be considered for admission, applicants are required to submit their ACT scores. According to the most recent data available, only 46 percent of the applicants send in their ACT scores in order to be considered for admission to this institution.

What are the Application Requirements for UCLA?

When it comes to selecting the newest class of Bruins to join UCLA each year, we take a lot of different things into consideration. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) seeks prospective students whose personal narratives and depth of experience bring the type of leadership and perspective that they value. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) seeks students who are intellectually curious, have developed as a result of their academic work, and are prepared to both contribute to and benefit from the UCLA community.

The admissions process is extremely competitive, but prospective students should be aware that committee members carefully review each application and make an effort to get to know them as well as they can before deciding on who will be admitted.


UCLA is one of the few colleges that does not accept applications through either the Common Application or the Coalition App. In order to apply for a class at UCLA, you will need to create an account in the UCLA application system.

Application Fee or Waiver of Application Fees

You are required to pay an application fee of seventy dollars when you submit your application. Remember that the application fee is not refundable under any circumstances. You have the option of sending your application fee payment in the mail or paying with a credit card.

You have the option of requesting a fee waiver in the event that paying the application fee will be difficult for you. Your application fee will be waived up to four times if you attend UCLA. It indicates that if you apply for more than four campuses, you will be required to pay an application fee of $70 for each additional campus that you apply to.

Only permanent residents, citizens of the United States, and applicants who are eligible for AB540 benefits will have their application fees waived. The University of California, Los Angeles does not waive tuition or other fees for international students.


Your academic accomplishments are compiled into a report that is called the transcript. After you have been accepted, you will be required to hand in your transcript.

Test Scores

Because of the widespread COVID-19 pandemic, UCLA 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.

If you submit the score, it may be one of the factors used to determine whether or not you are eligible for the statewide admissions guarantee in the state of California. As UCLA is not test optional or will not require test scores in admission, they could use it as an alternative way to fulfill the minimum requirements in order to qualify for the benefit.

Annual Income

You are required to provide either the annual income of your parents if you are considered a dependent or your own income if you are considered independent. If you are not applying for a fee waiver, then submitting it is voluntary; otherwise, it is necessary.

Social Security Number (SSN)

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

Citizenship Status

You are required to enter the nation in which you were born. If you are not a native of the United States of America, you are required to also specify your immigration status and the kind of visa you hold.

California Statewide Student ID

You are able to provide a California Statewide Student ID if you are from the state of California. This ID is given to every student attending a K–12 public school in the state of California. On the other hand, this precondition is not mandatory.

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. This question is designed to assess both your interest in self-improvement as well as your intellectual curiosity.

When writing your response, you have a maximum of 350 words available. It is entirely up to you how you choose to respond to the question. It is recommended by UCLA that you pick the question that is pertinent to your experience.

UCLA requirements for international students

If you have completed secondary school but have not yet enrolled in a regular session at any college or university, you will be considered a freshman applicant for admission. The University of California, Los Angeles does not accept students into any of its undergraduate programs who already possess Bachelor’s degrees, nor do we accept students who have completed the equivalent of three years’ worth of transferable university work (at least 130 quarter units). You cannot ignore your previous college experience and apply as a first-year student.

Transfer applicants are required to have completed the equivalent of 60–90 semester units of coursework or 90–130 quarter units of coursework in order to be considered for admission at the junior level. Students who have already completed coursework at a California community college are given priority admission to UCLA.

This includes students from other countries. Historically, more than eighty percent of international students who were accepted as transfers attended a community college in California when they submitted their applications.

Your ability to communicate in English is essential to your academic success at UCLA. You are considered proficient in English and do not need to satisfy this requirement if you completed all of your high school and secondary school education in English.

If you have graduated from high school or secondary school in a country where English was not the language of instruction, you will be required to demonstrate English proficiency if you have had less than three years of instruction in English.

This applies even if you only completed part of your high school or secondary school education in that country. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS), or the Duolingo English Test are the three exams that students are required to take in order to demonstrate that they are proficient in the English language (Fall 2023 only).

A competitive score on the TOEFL of at least 100 (with sub-scores of at least 22), a score of 7 or higher on the IELTS, or a score of 120 or higher on the Duolingo English Test are all required for admission to UCLA (DET).

When is the Application Deadline for UCLA?

What is the most crucial piece of information that a potential applicant to UCLA, such as yourself, should know before beginning the application process? The dates on which applications will be available, as well as the cutoff times for submitting completed forms.

When you send your application to UCLA will determine when you must complete the remaining steps of the application process. The application deadlines for each of the University of California schools, including UCLA, are the same.

Date Application Status
August 1 UC Application Opens
November 1 UC starts accepting applications
November 30 Last day to submit applications
Late March First-year applicants receive decisions
Late April Decisions for most transfer applicants released

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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