Superintendent’s Memo #208-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 17, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Optional Administration of Grades 3-5 Mathematics Tests Over Two Days

In 2011-2012 new mathematics tests based on the 2009 Standards of Learning (SOL) were administered for the first time.  With the implementation of these new assessments, some divisions reported an increase in the amount of time students took to complete the tests.  School division staff expressed particular concern about the impact of the increase in testing time on students in lower grades.  In response to these concerns, beginning with the spring 2013 test administration, school divisions will have the option of administering the SOL mathematics tests for grades 3, 4, and 5 over two days.  Please note that administering these tests over two days is not a requirement; school divisions may continue to administer the tests in one day as has been the practice in the past.

The mathematics tests for grades 6-8 and for Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II will continue to be administered in one day.  However, as previously communicated to school division staff, a supervised break is permissible for any student who requires a break during testing.  Test security must be maintained at all times during the break.  The student must not be allowed to discuss the test in any way, must not have access to any educational materials or electronic devices during the break, and must not disrupt other students who are continuing to test.

Additional information about the option of administering the grades 3-5 mathematics tests over two days will be provided to division directors of testing and will be included in the Test Implementation Manuals and the Examiner’s Manuals.

If you have questions, please contact the student assessment staff at  or (804) 225-2102.