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State Assessments

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 Virginia Board of Education’s expectations for learning and achievement. 

Each year, students in kindergarten through high school take state assessments, based on state and federal requirements to measure achievement and to identify students’ areas of strength and challenge. In addition, some of the required end-of-year secondary assessments are used to verify a standard unit of credit awarded to a student. 

The Virginia Board of Education requires students to earn a certain number of verified credits in order to graduate. A verified credit may also be earned by passing an approved substitute assessment. Students enrolling as ninth graders in 2018 and beyond must earn five verified credits for either the Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma. Additionally, federal guidelines require that all students be tested in high school in reading, math, and science at least once during their high school career. As a state and federal requirement, there are no exemptions to taking SOL assessments. Once a student has earned the required number of verified credits in a content area, they will not take additional SOL assessments in that content area unless required to meet federal testing requirements. Once a student earns a passing score, the student may not retake a test to achieve a higher score. High school students have multiple opportunities to take SOL tests and earn the required verified credits needed for graduation.