Standards of Learning (SOL) & Testing
News & Announcements
Online Calculator in Mathematics Standards of Learning Assessments
As announced in Superintendent’s Memo 043-19-This is a Word document. on February 15, 2019, the VDOE is extending the transition period to the Desmos Virginia Calculators through the 2020-2021 school year.
The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia Public Schools establish minimum expectations for what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or course in English, mathematics, science, history/social science and other subjects.
SOL tests in reading, writing, mathematics, science and history/social science measure the success of students in meeting the Board of Education’s expectations for learning and achievement. All items on SOL tests are reviewed by Virginia classroom teachers for accuracy and fairness and teachers also assist the state Board of Education in setting proficiency standards for the tests.
- Frequently Asked Questions about SOL Testing (PDF) – Includes information on reduction in the number of tests, computer adaptive testing and other changes in the state assessment system
Innovation in Student Assessment
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is a national leader in the use of technology to develop and administer the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. Virginia’s school divisions have been administering online tests to students for over a decade. Recent innovations include a new test delivery system, a computer adaptive format for some mathematics and reading tests, and the use of technology-enhanced items in history SOL tests.
Virginia will be adding an online calculator from Desmos to improve the testing experience of students. The online calculator will be available beginning with the spring 2019 administration.
Introduction of New Test Delivery Software: TestNav 8
VDOE continues working to expand the types of devices approved for use in the administration of online SOL tests. By transitioning to a new version of test delivery software, TestNav 8, Virginia school divisions gained the flexibility of administering online SOL tests on a wider variety of devices, including touch-screen devices. The TestNav 8 software, via a custom application, allows tests to be administered securely on additional devices, while continuing to support the use of traditional Microsoft Windows-based and Mac OS-based workstations.
To help prepare school divisions, VDOE provides practice item sets in TestNav 8. These practice items serve as an introduction to the online navigation, online tools, item formatting, and overall functionality and appearance of TestNav 8.
Computer Adaptive Testing
A computer adaptive test (CAT) is an assessment that is customized for every student based on how the student responds to the test questions. Students who take online grades 3-8 mathematics and grades 3-8 reading tests will be administered a computer adaptive version of the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests.
Today’s online SOL assessments challenge students to apply what they have learned in ways not possible with traditional multiple-choice tests. Reading, writing, mathematics, and science assessments include “technology enhanced” items that require students to demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, much as they do in response to classroom assignments from teachers. Online history tests will contain field-test TEI (which do not count towards a student’s score) during the spring 2017 test administration.
Beyond Multiple Choice: Teachers Discuss Virginia’s New Mathematics Standards – Educators and VDOE on the 2009 standards and aligned assessments.
Technology-enhanced demonstration – Narrated demonstration of examples of items appearing on the Mathematics SOL tests.