The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) uses the Testing and Standards of Learning (SOL) system to assess Virginia school students. The SOL test includes separate exams in English, mathematics, science and history/social science. VDOE establishes statewide curriculum and resources for all of these subjects. Other resources also publish SOL study materials and practice tests. Teachers and parents should utilize the resources to help students prepare for the SOL tests.
Things You'll Need
- Internet access
- Student textbooks
Access the VDOE main page for standards and SOL instructional resources (See References). VDOE releases the curriculum for each SOL test subject. The curriculum frameworks detail the exact knowledge and skills areas that Virginia students need to meet state standards and pass the SOL tests. Click on the subject links on the right to go to the individual subject pages.
Use the "Standards" and "Curriculum Framework" links on the individual subject pages to see what students of each grade are required to learn (See References). You can use this information in conjunction with student textbooks to ensure that a student is learning the material required by the SOL standards.
Use the released tests to get practice on actual SOL questions used in the past. Practice tests familiarize the student with the types of questions encountered on SOL tests. The tests can also pinpoint a student's weak areas. Teachers and parents should work together to choose study materials and devise a plan to improve on these areas. The test blueprints also give information on the structure of SOL tests. Students should review the blueprints to get accustomed to the test format.
Use the "Resources" section on each subject page to get additional tips and tools designed to help students prepare for the Virginia SOL tests. For example, the math page has formula sheets that students can use on the actual test and worksheets for use with calculators. Access the science resources to get a periodic table that students can use on the exam and additional science resources. Look at the history/social science resources for the text of Virginia law, maps and other resources.
Use the Virginia Electronic Practice Assessment Tool (See References). Students can take SOL practice tests given in the past to actual students. The tool provides a tutorial for each question. Students can use the feedback in the tutorials to improve their knowledge and test-taking abilities.
Use the Virginia SOL website for additional SOL practice questions and materials (See References). Click on the grade on the right and view links to practice quizzes. Each page also links to various other websites that have practice questions for that grade level.
Use the Wise County Alternative Education Center's list of links to practice tests and tutorial sites (See References). Choose your subject from the home page and click on the links to find resources for additional SOL study and practice.
Tips & Warnings
- Teachers can also use the "Enhanced Scope and Sequence" links on the subject pages to prepare lesson plans consistent with SOL standards of learning. Parents who are helping their children at home can also use this information to create practice materials to prepare for the SOL tests.
- Virginia Department Education: Standards and SOL-Based Instructional Resources
- Virginia Department Education: Virginia Department Education: SOL English Page
- Pearson Access: Virginia Electronic Practice Assessment Tool
- Virginia SOL: SOL Practice Exams
- Wise County Education Center: Links to SOL Practice Tests and Tutorial Sites
- Photo Credit virginia spoof image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com
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