Standards of Learning (SOL)

The Standards of Learning (SOL) are rigorous academic standards, set by the Commonwealth of Virginia, that describe expectations for student learning and achievement in English, mathematics, science, history/social science, technology, the fine arts, foreign language, health and physical education, and driver education. Each year, students at different grade levels participate in SOL tests or a variety of other related alternative assessments. According to state and federal law, all students in tested grade levels are expected to participate in SOL tests or alternative assessments unless specifically exempted by state or federal law, or by Board of Education regulations. Many SOL tests are given online using a traditional "fixed" format in which all students respond to the same questions. However, recently the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has moved to the use of Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT). For information about when SOL tests will be given this school year, please visit the PWCS Testing Calendar.



The Commonwealth of Virginia does not currently have what is commonly referred to as an "Opt-Out" policy for SOL assessments. However, in the event a family refuses an SOL assessment for their student, please note the following:

  • The family will be asked to submit the request in writing.
  • The student will receive a score of "0" for any SOL assessment that is refused.
  • A student's failure to participate in certain End-of-Course SOL tests may limit their ability to earn verified credit and meet specific graduation requirements.

What are the results of SOL tests used for?

  • Measure student mastery of the Standards of Learning.
  • Determine Accreditation status of schools

How Standards of Learning (SOL) test results are used to guide instruction

For additional SOL information and resources, please visit the VDOE website at: The Standards & SOL-based Instructional Resource.


Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP)

The Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) is designed to evaluate the performance of students with significant cognitive disabilities in grades 3-11.

For additional VAAP information and resources, please visit the Virginia Department of Education VAAP website.