SOL Test Scoring & Performance Reports
Standards of Learning assessments in English reading, mathematics, science and history/social science are made up of 35-50 items or questions that measure content knowledge, scientific and mathematical processes, reasoning and critical thinking skills. English writing skills are measured with a two-part assessment that includes multiple-choice items and an essay.
Student performance is graded on a scale of 0-600 with 400 representing the minimum level of acceptable proficiency and 500 representing advanced proficiency. On English reading and mathematics tests, the Board of Education has defined three levels of student achievement: basic, proficient, and advanced, with basic describing progress towards proficiency.
Performance level descriptors are available for SOL tests in reading, history and social science, mathematics and science. These descriptors convey the knowledge and skills associated with each performance (achievement) level.
The achievement levels for grades 3-8 reading and mathematics are: Pass/Advanced, Pass/Proficient, Fail/Basic and Fail/Below Basic.
The achievement levels for all science and history courses, as well as for End-of-Course (EOC) Reading, Algebra I and Geometry are: Pass/Advanced, Pass/Proficient, and Fail/Does Not Meet.
The achievement levels for EOC Algebra II are: Advanced/College Path, Pass/Proficient, and Fail/Does Not Meet.
- Performance level descriptors for each grade and course test.
The following resources are recorded versions of professional development opportunities provided to division and school staff regarding the appropriate use of SOL score reports and assessment data:
- Fall 2014 Standards of Learning Score Reports for Non-Writing Tests (WMV) – a recording of a training presentation on the new Standards of Learning Score Reports available for Non-Writing tests starting in Fall 2014. The presentation includes an example and description of each report, as well as the location of the report in the secure, online assessment system.
- Using the Student Data Extract File to Guide Instructional Decision Making (MP4) – a recording of a training session focused on analyzing SOL student level assessment data to guide instructional decisions. Multiple examples and demonstrations are included using Microsoft Excel data filters, pivot tables, and graphing capabilities.
- Using Student Reports to Guide Remediation: The Student Performance by Question Report (MP4) – a recording of a training presentation about the SOL Student Performance by Question Report and how school staff can use the details in this report to guide remediation efforts.
Minimum scores – also known as "cut" scores – for each proficiency level are set by the Board of Education based on the recommendations from committees of teachers and other educators following a widely used standard-setting procedure.
- SOL Cut Scores Established by the Board of Education (PDF) - Update to be available soon
- Explanation for SOL Cut Scores (PDF)
Separate cut scores for literacy and numeracy are set by the board on the grade-8 mathematics and reading assessments for students with disabilities seeking a Modified Standard Diploma.
- Modified Standard Diploma Cut Scores (PDF) – updated October 3, 2012
A growth percentile expresses how much progress a student has made in either reading or mathematics relative to the progress of students whose achievement was similar on previous assessments. In fall 2011, VDOE will report growth percentiles for students who participate in SOL testing for reading and mathematics in grades 4-8 and Algebra I through grade 9. These student-level reports will be available to administrators and to teachers as authorized locally. More information about student growth percentiles.
The standard error of measurement is a statistical phenomenon and is unrelated to the accuracy of scoring. All test results, including scores on tests designed by classroom teachers, are subject to the standard error of measurement.
See Alternate & Alternative Assessments for information about student reports for the VAAP, VGLA, VSEP and VMAST.