Standardized Testing
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Standardized Testing

A student’s high school academic performance, including curriculum, grades, and progression, are the core of the academic review in our admission process. Standardized testing, when submitted, can play a supplementary role, however.

The Office of Admission accepts both the SAT and ACT and has no preference for either examination. We will superscore the SAT. We do not superscore the ACT to develop a new composite score, though we will consider the highest subscores from each section. We do not require or recommend the writing portion of either the SAT or ACT.

Test-Optional Policy

Providence College does not require undergraduate applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of the admission application. Prospective students who choose not to submit standardized test scores will receive full consideration, without penalty, for admission.


Test-Optional Policy Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Providence College choose to make standardized test scores optional in the admission process?

After more than a year of study, the test-optional policy was approved for two primary reasons.

First, our research has confirmed that the combination of the strength of a student’s high school curriculum and the grades received are the strongest predictors of academic success in college. This new policy reinforces our longstanding message that a student’s high school career is the most important academic component in the review for admission.

Second, despite our efforts to communicate the importance of high school performance over standardized test scores, students often believe a low test score rules out their chances for admission. In keeping with Providence College’s mission of serving students from diverse backgrounds, this policy encourages all students who have achieved success in high school to strongly consider Providence College.

What does Providence College’s test-optional policy mean?

In 2006, Providence College initiated a “test-optional policy” concerning the submission of standardized test scores (SAT Reasoning Test or ACT) for college admission purposes. At Providence College, students who are applying to the college have the option to either submit their scores or not submit their scores for the purpose of the admission process. We feel that your high school record is a better indicator of your academic performance than a four-hour test. If the student is accepted and decides to enroll at Providence College, the student then will be required to submit the scores for statistical and advisory purposes. (When you see “test-optional” at other institutions, make sure that you ask them what that means for them, since each institution will have a different policy!).

Since the academic review for admission at PC has always focused more on each student’s high school performance than standardized test scores, this policy change allows students to decide whether or not they wish to have their standardized test scores considered as part of their application for admission. Students who choose not to submit SAT or ACT scores will still receive full consideration for admission and merit scholarships.

Again, please note: Students who have taken a standardized test and who choose to enroll at Providence College will be required to submit their test scores upon enrollment.

Why will students need to send standardized test scores after they have officially enrolled at PC?

Test scores will be required after students enroll at Providence College so that they may receive appropriate academic advisement. The scores will also be used in the assessment of the test-optional program.

If I have chosen not to take a standardized test, do I have to take one upon enrollment at PC?

No. Only those students who have taken a standardized test are required to submit the results after they enroll at Providence College.

How does the Providence College Office of Admission evaluate applications?

The review for admission to Providence College has always been holistic in nature and considers a number of different factors. The Committee on Admission weighs each student’s academic record (evidenced by the strength of the curriculum and the grades received), the extracurricular profile, the required essay, two letters of recommendation and any other information that a candidate chooses to share. The consideration of academic preparation and the personal fit to Providence College is essential in our effort to shape each entering class.

If standardized test scores are not required for admission, why would students choose to submit their scores?

If candidates feel their test scores provide further evidence of academic ability and potential, they may wish to submit them. However, students without test scores will not be penalized in our review for admission.

Will anything additional be required in the Providence College application?

No additional requirements for admission have been added.

Does this policy include international students?

Yes. However, students whose native language is not English are still required to submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Test System (IELTS).

Does this policy include home schooled students?

Yes. However, home schooled students are encouraged to submit detailed information about the depth of their curriculum, including reading lists and a graded writing sample.

What if a student has already sent their test scores to Providence College and no longer wants them to be considered?

Students who wish to retract their test scores from Providence College must contact Erin Earley, Coordinator of Admission Services, prior to the submission of their application. The official request must be made in writing and can be sent to or mailed to: Providence College, Office of Admission, Harkins Hall 103, 1 Cunningham Square, Providence, RI 02918. If students do not want their test scores considered, it is their responsibility to ensure that the scores are not printed on the high school transcript.

What are the testing requirements for Providence College Education programs?

Although Providence College is a test-optional institution, admission to any education program requires the passing of a basic skills exam by the end of sophomore year. The education programs provide tutorial support for students who do not enter PC with the required scores, but due to state regulations if applicants do not meet the required scores they must select a different major.

Students, once admitted to a program in their sophomore year, are required to pass supplemental standardized tests during their junior and senior years in content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge prior to being approved to student teach. Passing such tests is required for eligibility for certification in Rhode Island and states with reciprocal agreements. The Providence College Undergraduate Catalog provides additional education program admission information. All questions about testing requirements for education programs should be directed to the School of Professional Studies at or 401.865.2502.