SOL Tips

Quick Tips For Parents

  • Helping Your Children do their Best on SOL Assessments
  • Display a positive attitude about the SOL tests.
  • Review your child's curriculum and/or the SOL Blueprints - talk to your child about what he or she is learning.  Help your child learn.
  • Make sure your child understands the value you place on his or her achievement.
  • Encourage your child to stay relaxed and calm during the SOL tests.
  • Make sure your child gets a good night's sleep and eats a good breakfast. (PROVIDED FOR FREE AT TES THE MORNINGS OF THE TESTS!)
  • Remind your child to bring his or her glasses to school on all of the testing days.
  • Make sure your child is at school on time so that he or she won't feel rushed on the testing days.
  • Encourage your child to try hard and do his or her best every day in school.

Quick Tips for Students:
Test-Taking Tips to do Your Best on SOL Assessments

  • The key to doing well on SOL and other tests is being prepared to take the test coupled with practice in test format.
  • Preparation means that you study and learn the district's curriculum, which includes the SOL items.  Work hard in class.  Do your homework.  Do your best in School every day.  Study regularly and learn the material well.
  • Use strategies that help you learn information. (Remember, you don't have to have your teacher show you how to learn everything - there's much you can learn on your own.)  Use flash cards.  Make up memory games to help you remember words.  Study with a friend or a study group.  Make graphic organizers of information you are studying.
  • Every time your teacher gives you a test in class, practice good test-taking techniques.   (Listed Below)

  • Relax!  Your brain need to be in a relaxed state to do its best work.  Remind yourself that you CAN do a good job on the test.
  • Listen carefully to all instructions.
  • Ask questions when you do not understand the directions.
  • Read all of the directions carefully.
  • Do your best on sample test items.
  • When the test begins, use your scratch paper to write down anything you think you might forget- formulas, multiplication tables, important dates.

  • Answer what you know first!  Go through the test and answer all of the questions you know.  (Remember that the SOL test is NOT timed, so take your time to think about the answers.)  Read the question.  Think of the answer before you look at the choices.  Look to see if your answer matches any of the choices.  If you don't know the answer, try to eliminate those you're pretty sure are wrong - and then make your choice from what's left.  Finally, make a check mark or a bullet next to any questions you can't answer - so you will remember to come back to them.
  • Next, go through the test to work on the questions you haven't yet answered.  If the question seems difficult for you, try crossing out the answers that you're pretty sure are wrong.  Try to think out the correct answer.
  • Every question matters!  If you're sure you don't know the answer, make a guess.  Every question matters on the SOL test and there is no penalty for guessing.  Remember, your test score will be based on how many questions you get right.  So, at least give the question a try!
  • Trust your first hunch.  When you answer a question, go with the first hunch- don't change your answer unless you're absolutely sure you're right!
  • Carefully review your response sheet to make sure that you marked your answers correctly.

Tips For the Direct Writing Test (Grades 5, 8, and 11)

  • Relax!  The direct writing test is not timed, so TAKE YOUR TIME!!!!!
  • Have a plan for writing.  In other words, don't sit down and just begin writing.  Use a graphic organizer to quickly brainstorm your ideas onto a scratch sheet of paper.  ( You will get a scratch sheet of paper and a dictionary during the direct writing portion of the SOL test.  Use the scratch paper to write a draft of your response.  Then transfer your writing to the answer sheet.
  • Write neatly and legibly on your final piece of writing.
  • Write to the prompt.  Read the prompt carefully and write your entire paper to it.
  • Make sure you have one central idea with details that really tell about the idea.
  • Support the central idea with details that really tell about the idea.
  • Make your writing interesting - use vivid words to help create images about your topic.
  • Make your writing even more interesting by varying the length of your sentences.
  • Use an appropriate tone - are you writing something funny? Sad? Silly? Informative?  Let the tome of your paper show.
  • Make your paper technically accurate - use capitalization and punctuation correctly.  Spell words correctly.  Write good sentences - free of fragments, run-ons, and excessive coordination.
  • Indent your paragraphs!
  • Remember to revise if you need to.  Double check to make sure your writing is clear, crisp, and clean.  Make sure your writing is logically organized and that all of your sentences make sense.