SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 65
March 31, 2000 |

TO: | Division Superintendents |

FROM: | JoLynne DeMary Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction |

SUBJECT: | Clarification of Use of Test Manipulatives |

The purpose of this memo is to provide you with clarification regarding the use of test manipulatives. A complete list of Standards of Learning (SOL) test manipulatives is found on page 14 of the School Test Coordinator's Manual and page 15 of the Division Directors of Testing Manual. The Examiner's Manual for each test specifies the testing manipulatives for that particular test. Information about most of the test manipulatives allowed on the SOL tests has been provided to school divisions. As replacements become necessary or enrollment increases require additional purchases, the following information is provided for your use: · Protractors have been provided to school divisions. An angle ruler is an appropriate replacement for a protractor. A protractor or angle ruler may be used ONLY on the grade 5 mathematics test. · Rulers have been provided to school divisions. Rulers with metric and standard measurement may be used on the mathematics and science tests in grades 3, 5, and 8 and the end-of-course mathematics and science tests. · A Safe-T compass may be used on the end-of-course geometry test in place of a compass. · Scratch paper is allowed on the mathematics and science tests in grades 3, 5, and 8 and the end-of-course mathematics and science tests. Plain paper (including patty paper), lined paper, and grid paper are acceptable as scratch paper. · Four-function calculators (i.e., add, subtract, multiply, and divide) and calculators having percent, square root and +/- functions, may be used on a portion of grade 5 mathematics; grade 8 mathematics; and on science tests in grades 5, 8, and end-of-course. The four-function calculator must have the Standard Operating System and there should not be parentheses on any keys of the calculator. Calculators having any additional functions (e.g., sine, cosine, fraction to decimal, decimal to fraction), calculators having algebraic operating systems (AOS), and graphing calculators may not be used by students taking any of these tests. · Graphing calculators (CASIO 9850G Plus and TI-83) have been provided to school divisions for use on the end-of-course mathematics tests. Since many school divisions have been using the earlier model types (CASIO 9850G and TI-82) in instruction prior to receiving the state's shipment, they also may be used on the tests. Please be aware that not all graphing calculators may be used by students on the SOL end-of-course mathematics tests. Some graphing calculators have functions exceeding the specifications of the calculators listed in the paragraph above. Their use would provide students with an unfair advantage over students using an approved calculator. Items on the high school SOL tests are designed to be calculator-neutral or calculator-inactive. Calculator- neutral items are those that can be solved correctly without a graphing calculator, but the use of one may be helpful. Calculator-inactive items are those in which there is no advantage to using a calculator. If you have questions, please call the Division of Assessment and Reporting at (804) 225-2102. JLD/CMH/jc