The California State University system is dropping standardized testing requirements for admission.
A school counselor at Nipomo High School says that dropping the SAT requirement for college is eliminating barriers that stand in the way of a college education.
"I think that eliminating the SAT and the process can be a really positive thing for students," said counselor Jess Hawley. "It is a high-stress, high-stakes test that we don't necessarily prepare them for in the classroom. "
The CSU system is following the University of California in eliminating standardized testing requirements.
In a statement, CSU Acting Chancellor Steve Relyea praised the decision, saying, "In essence, we are eliminating our reliance on a high-stress, high-stakes test that has shown negligible benefit."
Taking the SAT often involves studying outside of school. On top of that, everything a student has learned since kindergarten is on the table.
"When it comes to the SAT, it can be pulled from everything you learned so far since you were like in kindergarten and that's like a lot of pressure just to bring all that back," said Sophia Furness, Nipomo High School student.
Educators say standardized testing can also be a barrier for students who can't easily travel or pay for tutoring.
"We do live in a rural community, so my students here at Nipomo High School, they have to go to AG on Saturdays to test. That's even if they want to, if they can make that Saturday test, if they can pay for it," Hawley said.
Students say there are other ways to show you're ready for college.
"I feel like the hours we put in outside of school, especially with extracurricular activities that we have, it just shows that there is more than a test, in schoolwork and outside of schoolwork," said Sydnie Halley Nipomo High School student.
"Finding a college is really stressful so now that the whole test is gone, it'll be a lot easier for students to figure out and focus what they want to do after college rather than preparing for a test that will determine if we even get into the college," said Lilly Edwards, Nipomo High School student.
Others are just glad they have one less thing to worry about.
"There's a lot of aspects to testing including the anxiety and the stress part that kind of makes it not fair," said Avery Edwards, Nipomo High School student.
This is all part of a growing nationwide trend to end standardized testing and level the playing field among students.
The CSU waived the SAT requirement at the start of the pandemic. This week's decision makes the move permanent.