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High School SOL Testing Changes FAQs

Below are the changed Standards of Learning (SOL) testing requirement for high school students. These changes took effect in the 2018-2019 school year.

1. What has changed in regards to SOL testing requirements in high school?

Students in grades 9-12 are now only required to take end-of-course Standards of Learning (SOL) tests for a course if they need to earn a verified credit to meet graduation requirements or if it is one of three tests required by the federal Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) Act. Those three federally-required tests are biology, reading and algebra I (math). In previous years, all students in a class that had an associated SOL test, were required to take the test whether or not they needed the test for a verified credit. 

2. What if a student took algebra I SOL in middle school?

If a student passes the algebra I class and SOL test in middle school, the student has earned a verified credit but will be required to participate in the first end-of-course SOL math test available in high school. This math test will count for that student’s ESSA requirement.

3. How do I know what tests my child needs for their diploma requirements?

Click on the links below to see the Commonwealth’s diploma credit requirements. Be sure to check your student’s applicable required credits, depending on which year they entered high school.  Parents and students should contact their assigned school counselor if there are additional questions.

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/graduation/standard.shtml - Standard diploma requirements

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/graduation/advanced_studies.shtml - Advanced Studies diploma requirements

4. What about student-select verified credit?

The student-select verified credit requirement remains for all students who entered grade 9 for the first time prior to fall 2018. For students entering ninth-grade in fall 2018 or later, a student-select verified credit is no longer required for either the standard or advanced studies diploma.

5. Will my child be able to retake a failed SOL test?

If the SOL test is needed for verified credit, the student can take the test until it is passed or until the required verified credits are earned. If the test is required for ESSA, the student may take one expedited attempt during the same testing window if the score falls between 375-399.

6. What if a student takes an SOL test they were not required to take? 

If a student takes an SOL test that was not required, the student’s record will not be affected but the test record will need to be removed from the data set. The school will notify the student’s parent. All schools in the Commonwealth are required to notify the Virginia Department of Education when a test was taken that was not required. This reporting is required to ensure that when a school’s Standards of Accreditation is calculated, it only includes those tests that should have been administered.  

7. Who should I contact with questions about SOL testing?

Parents and students should contact the school counselor for information about the SOL tests required for graduation and the school improvement specialist for ESSA-required tests.