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Virginia SOL Testing Starts This Week
SUNDAY, MARCH 04, 2018 08:19 AM

According to the Virginia Department of Education, students in grades 3 through 12 will take the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests between March 5, 2018 and April 6, 2018. Each school and district will establish its own testing schedule inside of these windows. These statewide exams in various subjects offer insight into students' learning habits and teaching successes. Learn more about SOL below:
What is SOL?

SOL testing occurs in the spring and includes several subjects. The topics required for each grade are as follows:

  • Third grade: Reading, mathematics and history.
  • Fourth grade: Reading and mathematics.
  • Fifth grade: Reading, science and mathematics.
  • Sixth grade: Reading and mathematics.
  • Seventh grade: Reading and mathematics.
  • Eighth grade: Reading, mathematics and science.

If you have children in these classes, they may also have to take end-of-course exams:

  • earth science
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • Virginia studies
  • U.S. history to 1865
  • U.S. history: 1865 to the present
  • civics and economics
  • Virginia and U.S. history
  • world history and geography to 1500 A.D. (C.E.)
  • world history and geography: 1500 A.D. (C.E.) to the present
  • world geography

Why is SOL important?

The Virginia DOE noted that SOL testing is created with the assistance of state teachers who can share their thoughts on the exams in various committees. The tests provide educators with a view of how their methods are working and show administration and stakeholders if they are succeeding in leading young students to success. Parents and students can think of the tests as a way of checking in to make sure all kids are on track to move to the next grade level and post-secondary education. Low scores on SOL tests may show that teachers need to rethink their methods and adjust their curricula. Higher scores indicate that students thoroughly understand the subject matter and can use that knowledge to build up to more advanced learning.

How can you help your children prepare?

Your kids' daily homework, projects and quizzes throughout the year will prepare them for the SOL tests. Encourage your children to complete all of these assignments and study when necessary. While their regular grades do not affect SOL scores, they may indicate subjects your kids need some extra help in. You may also consider having your kids take some practice tests to help ease any exam anxiety. Plenty of students know their topics but don't do well on tests because they are nervous or the format is unfamiliar. Trying these exams beforehand will alleviate the chances of this happening.