Virginia SOL Test Prep
Are your children preparing for the Virginia Standards of Learning tests, known SOL? SOL tests measure the progress of students from third grade to eighth grade, as well as high school. Virginia SOL test results provide actionable data that will help parents, teachers, and students improve academic performance in reading, math, writing, science, and history/social studies. SOLs are also used in evaluating each school’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
VA SOL Tests at a Glance
Virginia public school students take the following VA SOL tests, which are administered online (Virginia SOL Web-based Assessments) or with paper/pencil:
Virginia SOL Tests: 3rd Grade – 8th Grade
SOL tests are aligned to the Virginia Standards of Learning. These Virginia state standards define what Virginia students should learn in every grade. The annual SOL testing is administered as follows:
SOL Reading: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.
SOL Math: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.
SOL Writing: Fifth and eighth grades
SOL Science: 3rd, 5th, and 8th grades
SOL History/Social Studies: Third and eighth grades
High School: SOL End-of-Course Tests
SOL End-of-Course tests measure students’ understanding of course content, not grade-level skills. SOL EOC tests are given in 9th through 12th grade at the completion of various courses, including reading, writing, algebra I, algebra II, geometry, biology, chemistry, earth science, world geography, Virginia and United States history, world history I, and world history II.
How Virginia SOL Tests Are Scored
SOL assessments are criterion-referenced tests based on the challenging Virginia Standards of Learning. VA SOL scores measure how well students have mastered grade-specific skills, and report achievement in each subject using the following three levels:
Achieving proficient or advanced levels is considered passing the SOL tests. Some Virginia schools use SOL results to determine grade promotion, and high school students must pass at least six SOL End-of-Course tests in order to graduate. Students who do not pass the SOL EOC exams the first time are given multiple chances to retake the test(s). If your child is struggling with SOL testing, be proactive. Contact the school and find out what you can do to support learning at home.
Other Virginia Standardized Tests
Virginia uses a balanced range of assessments to promote learning for all students. The Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) is designed to measure the progress of students with severe cognitive disabilities. Students with disabilities who do not qualify for the VAAP, but cannot demonstrate proficiency even with accommodations, take the Virginia Grade Level Alternative Assessment (VGLA). Students capable of demonstrating proficiency, but who need special accommodations to access the SOL tests, participate in the Virginia Substitute Evaluation Program (VSEP). Students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) take the ACCESS for ELLs® tests, which measure progress in English language acquisition.
NAEP in Virginia
Virginia also participates annually in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card, where a sampling of students (from grades 4, 8, and/or 12) are tested in several content areas as part of a nationally representative assessment of student performance.
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Preparing for the Virginia SOL
For general tips on test preparation, please visit our standardized test overview page.
The real preparation for the SOL tests, or any standardized test, begins with your commitment to your children’s education throughout their school years. Devote time and effort to helping your children learn. Start by making sure your kids do their homework and read every day. Many families also employ tutors or an online learning program, such as Time4Learning, to build fundamental skills.
When preparing for standardized tests, students often benefit from test prep programs and books, which offer guidance and practice with test formats, time restrictions, test-taking strategies (when to guess, when not to), and different types of questions. For instance, when a reading passage is followed by comprehension questions, many test prep programs teach students to scan the questions first in order to know what areas of the passage require close reading. Time4Learning is not a test prep program, it is a program that builds the skills that will be tested.
Time4Learning is a new approach that takes advantage of today’s technology. It’s a convenient, online home education program that combines learning with fun educational teaching games.
The online language arts and math curriculum comprise a comprehensive program for preschool, elementary school, and middle school. Science and social studies programs are provided for most grades.
Children enjoy using technology to learn and to develop their skills. Time4Learning includes educational teaching games, which give students independence as they progress at their own pace.
Parents like that it tracks progress and helps kids advance by teaching through individualized learning paths that assure mastery of the skills and concepts that makes kids succeed.
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