Superintendent’s Memo No. 284-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

October 24, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Additional Computer Adaptive Testing Resources

The Virginia Department of Education has placed additional resources on the Standards of Learning (SOL) & Testing Web site to help support school divisions as they prepare for the implementation of computer adaptive testing (CAT).  Previously, Superintendent’s Memo 255-14 announced the posting of two videos and a Frequently Asked Questions document to help students, parents, and school division staff begin to understand some of the characteristics of computer adaptive testing.

An additional resource, the Grade 6 Mathematics Computer Adaptive Training Test, is now posted.  The intent of this training test is to provide students with practice navigating through a computer adaptive test prior to the actual test-taking experience.  This training test is comprised of previously released grade 6 mathematics test questions.  Because of the limited number of released items, the CAT training test has fewer questions than the actual grade 6 mathematics CAT.  Therefore, the training test will not have the same degree of customization for students as the actual CAT will provide.  Due to the number of questions on the training test, a score will not be provided.  The training test can be found on the Virginia Department of Education Web site at:

A document which compares certain characteristics of a CAT to the characteristics of a traditional Standard of Learning (SOL) test has also been posted.  This document discusses the similarities and differences between these two testing formats.  This document is located at:

Questions regarding these resources should be directed to student assessment staff at or (804) 225-2102.