Superintendent's Memo #201-10

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 20, 2010

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Style/Format of History and Social Science Tests Based on the 2008 Standards of Learning

Beginning with the new Standards of Learning (SOL) history/social science tests administered in 2010-2011 (fall 2010 administration – new end-of-course tests and spring 2011 administration – all other new tests), words such as main, major, and best will no longer be emphasized by italics on the SOL history and social science tests. The words NOT and EXCEPT will continue to be emphasized with capital letters on all history/social science tests and levels. The only exception will be the grade 3 history test in which negative questions are excluded.

Also, color will be used for some of the questions in the online versions of the history/social science tests beginning with the new tests administered in 2010-2011.

If you have any questions, please contact the student assessment staff at or by telephone at (804) 225-2918.