How the Edulastic SOL Practice Test Aids in Student Preparation for Exams

What is SOL?

Standards of Learning (SOL) is a test administered to students in the public schools of Virginia. Students from grade 3 – 12 ordinarily sit for between 2-4 SOL tests in a year depending on grade level and secondary courses students have studied in the course of the year. Being an online administered test, students should begin their SOL practice test in good time to cover all the areas that need attention as well as internalize key technology skills required to take the tests. The subjects tested in SOL include Reading, Writing, Mathematics, History and Science.
The goal of SOL tests is to let teachers and parents know whether students both individually and collectively meet the set standards for English, Science, History and Mathematics. These assessments identify student’s strengths and weaknesses in order to create room for improvement. All SOL items undergo review for accuracy and fairness by Virginia teachers who then help the Board of Education to formulate proficiency standards. Students should be able to know what is required of them in each subject after undergoing the assessment. SOL tests also help to determine the progress of schools, identify gaps between schools and set the framework for closing these gaps.

Background of SOL

For nearly two decades, SOL tests have continuously provided the foundation for realizing high levels of student achievement in Virginia. SOL traces its origins back to the mid 1990s after several initiatives to reform education standards that failed to bear fruit. The success of SOL is credited to Governor George Allen who took a lead role together with other stakeholders including the Board of Education to revise Standards of Learning in core subjects of Mathematics, English, History and Science with the aim of improving content quality. Since 1997, recommendations from the Board of Education introduced a wide raft of changes with SOL testing beginning in 1998 for 3rd, 5th and 8th graders while high school students sat for Reading, Mathematics, History, Science and Writing assessments. Results from 1998 tests were used to set up proficiency standards and schools received accreditation ratings based on the 1998 test results. Since then, SOL tests have continued to be redefined and improved to meet state academic standards.

SOL Testing Window, Test Duration and Question Formats

SOL spring 2019 testing window is scheduled to begin on April 8, 2019 to June 21, 2019 with individual schools coming up with their own testing windows for grade 3-8 students. Some assessments however began early in March 2019 depending on the school, subject and grade level tested. SOL practice test from Edulastic is a powerful online tool that prepares and equips students with key skills to comfortably tackle their tests. Most SOL tests have no time limits but some last for 90 minutes or extend for a couple of hours. The format of questions is usually multiple choice but there are also technology enhanced questions included in the assessment. In 2014-2015 year, SOL test questions took a computer adaptive testing model where subsequent questions are based on the response a student provides for the current question. If a student correctly answers a question, the next question is more challenging while an incorrect answer means the next question will be easier.

Skills Required to Take SOL Test

SOL tests are primarily administered onlineand only students with special needs take paper-and-pencil tests. Fully recognizing the benefits of online testing, Edulastic through its online SOL practice test has endeavored to empower students to prepare for their exams by offering a modern technology infrastructure that allows students to take practice tests that mimic the real exam. Online SOL practice test from Edulastic equips students with handy tech skills such as keyboarding, drag and drop, selection of items, table filling and use of calculator. When students do practice tests, they get familiarized with computers, tablets, laptops and ipads which are key gadgets used for online assessment. With proper guidance from teachers in terms of syllabus coverage and regular online practice tests, student confidence levels increase as they are well aware of what to expect in the exam room.

Instructional Topics or Areas to Cover During the Year

Standards of Learning tests cover numerous topics for the various subjects that are administered in the main exam. As teachers prepare students for the test, some of the major topics to focus on in the course of the year include Reading, Grammar, Algebra I and II, Geometry, US Government, World History I and II, Earth Science, VA and US History among others.

Help your students prepare and give them a SOL Practice test on Edulastic.

Links for more information:


http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/test_administration/index.shtml
https://blog.edmentum.com/virginia-educators%E2%80%99-ultimate-guide-prepare-sol-testing

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