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Virginia Educators’ Ultimate Guide to Prepare for SOL Testing

Virginia Educators’ Ultimate Guide to Prepare for SOL Testing

Virginia’s 2020 spring Standards of Learning (SOL) testing window begins on April 13—are you and your students ready? With testing season comes practice assessments, a dose of stress, and sometimes, conflicting information about academic standards. The good news is that a little research and planning can go a long way toward ensuring that you’re able to provide the support that students need to be successful on their Virginia SOL assessments. We’ve gathered all of the most useful, detailed, and relevant resources out there on SOL testing to help you put an outstanding test-preparation program into action.

SOL Testing Resources from the Virginia Department of Education

When it comes to SOL testing, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is obviously the authority. And, the VDOE has a great collection of free resources for educators! We’ve done the legwork of combing through the VDOE library to find the best SOL materials.

SOL Test Administration and Development 
This page includes a great library of detailed technical information on the SOL testing program, including test implementation manuals, technical reports, and test blueprints.

Released Tests and Item Sets
Released items from previous years’ SOL tests covering all subjects are outstanding resources to give students a firsthand look at what they can expect to encounter on testing day.

Frequently Asked Questions About SOL Testing 
This document provides a solid overview of SOL testing basics, including recent changes to the SOL program.

Integrating Technology with the Virginia Standards of Learning 
The VDOE created this in-depth report to help Virginia educators incorporate technology in meaningful ways to support SOL objectives and help students prepare for SOL assessments.

Additional SOL Resources Available
The VDOE has additional resources available to cover all of your SOL needs and questions, including information on the most recent updates, student accommodations, and testing software.

SOL Test-Preparation Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices for Classroom Teachers

SOL prep doesn’t have to dominate your classroom agenda this spring. By getting started early, utilizing formative assessment strategies, and making the most of practice testing, teachers in the classroom can provide students with individualized SOL support without sacrificing time from the standard curriculum (and of course, some fun!). Check out these resources to get started.

[NWEA MAP Growth Assessments] Answering "What's Next with Your Data?"                           
The NWEA™ MAP® Growth™ benchmark assessment is one tool that can offer Virginia educators outstanding insights into student progress and needs to support targeted instruction. But, once the test has been administered and RIT scores received, the data have to be put to use for those truly meaningful insights to be uncovered—and that can be a daunting process. Edmentum’s programs can turn those scores into actionable, individualized learning plans for each of your students.

5 Proven Ways to Get the Most Out of Practice Testing
The old adage “practice makes perfect” is a familiar turn of phrase for a reason. Ensure that you’re getting the most out of every minute your students are spending on practice testing.

3 Ways Online Practice Can Support Your Test-Prep Program  
As you are considering different options to ensure that your students have achieved standards proficiency, it’s critical that you have a program that’s aligned to the Virginia Standards of Learning. Consider this and other benefits of using an online program.

4 Best Practices to Use Midyear Benchmark Assessment Data
Like any assessment, midyear benchmarks are only as valuable as the strategies you employ using the data. Here are four ways to make these assessments a truly valuable exercise for you and your students.

Marzano-Validated Best Practices for Online Practice
The Edmentum research team was honored to have Marzano Research peer review a research project that we conducted for our classroom practice and assessment program, Study Island. Through that review, Marzano confirmed our findings about the effectiveness of Study Island, and we also uncovered four best practices to help students get the most out of online practice.

General Test-Prep and Test-Taking Tips for Educators

No matter the exact situation, testing is a stressful process. But, successful test taking, beyond content knowledge, is also a skill that can be taught, acquired, and mastered. Here are some of our best resources on general test prep and test taking to help the SOL testing process go smoothly at your school.

10 Classroom and School Tips to Improve Test Scores
Helping students achieve SOL test success is about much more than targeted practice in the classroom. Check out these 10 holistic tips to make sure that your students are ready for their assessments in all ways.

8 Last-Minute Steps Districts Can Take to Improve Test Scores
Administrators may not feel like they have a direct hand in making sure that students are well-prepared for SOL assessments. But, there is no shortage of steps administrators can take to ensure that their teachers and students have what they need for a successful testing season—even when it comes down to the wire.

6 Tips for Teachers to Help Students Manage Stress
Testing season inevitably means classroom stress will hit a new high. So, how can you keep anxiety levels in check and help your students stay cool, calm, and collected when test day rolls around? Here are six tips for a low(er) stress testing season:

8 Tips for Parents to Help Your Child Prepare for High-Stakes Tests
Parents and other caregivers are critical to every student’s educational journey. So, get them involved in the SOL-preparation process! Share these eight simple tips with parents to help them support their learners on testing days.

Ready to take your SOL test-preparation program to the next level? Check out Study Island, Edmentum’s online solution for classroom practice and assessment, and our extensive library of programs designed exclusively for Virginia educators and students. You can even start your FREE trial of Study Island today!

This blog post was originally posted on January 16, 2019.