Standards of Learning (SOL) & Testing
Implementation of computer adaptive testing for Grades 7 and 8 Mathematics tests in 2015-2016 – see Superintendents Memo 173-15.
Mathematics SOL & Curriculum Framework Review – March 2015, the Virginia Board of Education was authorized to proceed with the review and revision process of the Mathematics Standards of Learning and Mathematics Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework. For more information, see Superintendent's Memo 071-15.
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 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. The current online tests for mathematics, science, reading, and writing contain technology-enhanced items (TEI). Online history tests will contain field-test TEI (that do not count towards a student’s score) beginning in spring 2016. Technology-enhanced Items require students to indicate their responses in ways other than a multiple-choice format. As part of the continuing effort to provide students with the best possible testing experience, Virginia is adding Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) to the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessment Program.
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. In 2014-2015, most students who took the grade 6 mathematics test were administered a computer adaptive version of the Standards of Learning (SOL) test. In 2015-2016, most students taking the grades 6, 7, and 8 mathematics tests will be administered a computer adaptive version of the SOL test. Watch the videos to learn how computer adaptive testing provides students with a customized assessment experience.
|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.|
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.
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.