Standards of Learning (SOL) & Testing
News & Announcements
Spring 2023 Field Test Information: New Assessment Item Type for Reading
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is developing a new assessment item type for the grades 5, 8, and end-of-course (EOC) Standards of Learning (SOL) reading tests to support
the focus on integrating reading and writing instruction to build student literacy. Information about the spring 2023 field test for this new item type is provided in
Superintendent’s Memo #177-22-This is a PDF document., published on August 12, 2022. Resources to support preparation for this field test are provided on the SOL Practice Items page and the English SOL page of the VDOE website.
Using State-Developed Performance Assessments to Verify Credits in History and Social Science
On September 23, 2021, the Virginia Board of Education approved revisions to the Guidelines for Locally Awarded Verified Credits that are contained in the Guidance Document Governing Certain Provisions of the Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia to allow school divisions to use state-developed performance tasks, scored locally using the state-developed common rubric, to confer locally awarded verified credits in history and social science. School divisions continue to have the option to administer Standards of Learning tests to verify credits in history and social science. Superintendent’s Memo #276-21-This is a PDF document. provides additional details and links to associated documents. Documents to support school divisions that choose to exercise this new option for verifying credits are located in the Locally Awarded Verified Credits in History and Social Science section of the History and Social Science Instruction webpage.
2016 Mathematics Standards of Learning Test Performance Analysis
Statewide results on Standards of Learning (SOL) mathematics tests, based on the 2016 Mathematics Standards of Learning and administered in spring 2019, have been analyzed to determine specific content for which overall student performance was weak or inconsistent. These presentations are available and are intended to provide educators with further insight into the mathematics concepts that challenged students statewide.
Online Calculator in Mathematics Standards of Learning Assessments
As announced in Superintendent’s Memo 184-21-This is a PDF document. on July 9, 2021), the VDOE is adding a final year to the transition period to the Desmos Virginia Calculators. Through the summer of the 2021-2022 school year, school divisions may continue to provide one of the approved hand-held calculators to students taking the online version of the mathematics tests based on the 2016 Mathematics Standards of Learning. Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, students will use the provided Desmos Virginia Calculator within the TestNav application during an online SOL test. Hand-held calculators #184-21 Page 2 will only be used by students completing a paper test or students with disabilities with an accommodation that requires the use of a hand-held calculator.
The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia Public Schools establish minimum expectations for what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or course in English, mathematics, science, history/social science and other subjects.
SOL tests in reading, writing, mathematics, science and history/social science measure the success of students in meeting the Board of Education’s expectations for learning and achievement. All items on SOL tests are reviewed by Virginia classroom teachers for accuracy and fairness and teachers also assist the state Board of Education in setting proficiency standards for the tests.
- Frequently Asked Questions about SOL Testing (PDF) – Includes information on reduction in the number of tests, computer adaptive testing and other changes in the state assessment system
Innovation in Student Assessment
The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is a national leader in the use of technology to develop and administer the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. Virginia’s school divisions have been administering online tests to students for over a decade. Innovations include a new test delivery system, a computer adaptive format for most mathematics and reading tests, and the use of various technology-enhanced items. Virginia has also added an online calculator from Desmos to improve the testing experience of students while taking online mathematics tests.
Online Test Delivery Software: TestNav
The SOL tests are completed by students in Virginia’s public schools using the online testing application, TestNav™. This application allows SOL tests to be administered securely to students using a wide variety of devices including desktop computers, laptop computers, and tablets all with a minimum screen size of 9.5”.
As resource to school divisions and families, the VDOE provides Practice Items in TestNav. The Practice Items serve as an introduction to online test navigation, online tools, item formatting, and overall functionality and appearance of SOL tests within TestNav.
Computer Adaptive Testing
A computer adaptive test (CAT) is an assessment that is customized for every student based on how the student responds to the test questions. Students who take online grades 3-8 mathematics and grades 3-8 reading tests will be administered a computer adaptive version of the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests.
Today’s online SOL assessments challenge students to apply what they have learned in ways not possible with traditional multiple-choice tests. Reading, writing, mathematics, and science assessments include “technology enhanced” items that require students to demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, much as they do in response to classroom assignments from teachers. Online history tests will contain field-test TEI (which do not count towards a student’s score) during the spring 2017 test administration.
Beyond Multiple Choice: Teachers Discuss Virginia’s New Mathematics Standards – Educators and VDOE on the 2009 standards and aligned assessments.