The battle against standardized tests has raged for years because minority students score, on average, lower than their white classmates. Advocates argue that the exams are an unfair admission barrier to those students because they often cannot pay for pricey test preparation.

“The test is a proxy for privilege,” said Regent Cecilia Estolano. “It’s time, it has been studied to death.”…

Ms. Napolitano’s proposal allows four years for the UC system to develop a new exam. If it fails to create or adopt one, then it likely would cease to use any exam, said Robert Schaeffer, public education director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, known as FairTest, which has fought against standardized testing for 30 years. Mr. Schaeffer said he doesn’t believe a new exam will be implemented.

“It appears very unlikely that they will be able to design an instrument that is more accurate and fairer than relying on applicants’ high school records,” Mr. Schaeffer said. “And, if a new test somehow meets those goals promoters would face massive adoption barriers, including persuading UC and the rest of the admissions world that a third test is truly needed or useful.”