Standards of Learning (SOL) & Testing
The Board of Education has approved Guidelines for Local Alternative Assessments for 2014-2015.
Implementation of computer adaptive testing for the Grade 6 Mathematics SOL Test in 2014-2015 – see Superintendent’s Memo 189-14.
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.
Innovation in Student Assessment
Today’s online SOL assessments challenge students to apply what they have learned in ways not possible with traditional, paper-and-pencil, multiple-choice tests. For example, 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.
Computer Adaptive Testing
Computer adaptive testing is part of VDOE’s continuing effort to improve the testing experience for students. Computer adaptive testing provides a customized assessment experience for every student. How a student responds to a question or problem on a computer adaptive test determines the difficulty of the next item. A correct response leads to a more challenging item, while an incorrect response results in the selection of a less challenging item for the student.
|A Guide to Computer Adaptive Testing – This video explains the basic principle for how computer adaptive testing works.||Computer Adaptive Testing in Virginia – This video provides information about computer adaptive testing in Virginia.|
- Frequently Asked Questions about Computer Adaptive Testing (PDF) – Printer-friendly resource for teachers and parents
The Board of Education has approved Guidelines for Local Alternative Assessments for 2014-2015 (PDF) to replace the following five discontinued Standards of Learning (SOL) tests.
- Grade-3 History/Social Science
- Grade-3 Science
- Grade-5 Writing
- U.S. History I (formerly administered in grade 5 or grade 6)
- U.S. History II (formerly administered in grade 6 or grade 7)
School divisions must certify that they have provided instruction and administered an alternative assessment, consistent with Board of Education guidelines, to students in grades and subject areas that no longer have a corresponding SOL test.
Beyond Multiple Choice: Teachers Discuss Virginia’s New Mathematics Standards – Educators and VDOE on the new standards and assessments.
Technology-enhanced demonstration – Narrated demonstration of examples of items appearing on the 2012 Mathematics SOL tests.