Frequently Asked Questions About Expedited SOL Test Retakes

Why is FCPS allowing students to retake SOL tests they failed? 
During the 2015 General Assembly session, a bill was passed allowing for students in grades 3-8 to take expedited retakes of SOL tests. FCPS must offer expedited retakes of the reading, math, science and history SOL tests to students in third through eighth grade who meet the state’s criteria for SOL test retakes.

Which students can retake SOL tests they fail? 

In order to be eligible to retake an SOL test, the school must receive permission from the student’s parent/guardian and the following conditions must be met:  
  • The student must be passing the class associated with the test, and;
  • Failed the reading, math, science and/or history SOL test with a score between 375 to 399 (400 and above is passing), or;
  • Failed the reading, math, science and/or history SOL test by any margin and have extenuating circumstances and receive approval by the Division Superintendent.
Will students who plan to retake an SOL test receive any extra help? 
Yes. Students whose parents grant permission for them to retake an SOL test will receive assistance from the school in preparing for the retake in order to enhance their chance for success.  

When will SOL tests be given?  

Spring SOL tests will be administered in FCPS between May 8 and June 2. SOL test retakes will be administered prior to the end of the school year on June 8. 

What if a student retakes an SOL test and still fails? 

Students only have one opportunity to retake an SOL test that they initially failed. 

When will students be able to retake SOL tests they fail? 
The schedule for SOL test retakes will vary by school, but all retakes will be administered prior to the end of the school year on June 8. 

Why should a parent have their child retake an SOL test? 
When determining whether to allow their child to retake an SOL test, a parent/guardian should do what they feel is in the best interest of their child. There are some benefits to allowing a student to retake an SOL test which they failed by a narrow margin. These include: 
  • Retaking the SOL provides students with an opportunity to build confidence by demonstrating their knowledge of the subject matter they’ve been taught throughout the year
  • SOL scores, even those from tests that were retaken, assist school staff in determining a student’s academic strengths and needs 
  • Retaking an SOL test can help prepare students to improve their performance on future SOL and non-SOL tests
  • SOL pass rates are one of the factors used to determine school accreditation in Virginia. Having students retake SOL tests they failed by a narrow margin may help schools meet state accreditation standards.  
What happens to students who decide they don’t want to retake an SOL test they failed? 
Students are not penalized if their parent/guardian decides not to have them retake an SOL test they failed. The decision of whether to retake an SOL test will not impact a student’s class grade, grade promotion, or academic record in any way.  

Who can I contact with questions about SOL retakes? 
Questions about SOL test retakes can be directed to your child’s school.  

What does a parent need to do in order for their child to be able to retake an SOL test? 
A parent/guardian must grant permission for their child to retake any reading, math, science and/or history SOL test they fail by a narrow margin. Letters were sent home with all students in grades 3-8 on April 19 detailing the SOL test retake process. The letter included a form parents were asked to return by April 28 in order to make the school aware of whether or not they wanted their child to participate in SOL test retakes this year. The letter and form are available on the FCPS website and each elementary and middle school’s Peachjar page. 

What can parents do to help their child do well on the SOL tests or SOL test retakes? 
To help students be successful on the SOL tests, parents can work with them to review information provided by their teacher, provide them with a healthy breakfast the day of their SOL test or money to buy a breakfast at school, and ensure they get plenty of rest the night before any test. Parents can also help students by assuring them that they can do well on the tests and helping to relieve any anxiety the student may have regarding SOL testing.