The importance of SOLs


Fara Wiles

Kristi Bayer gathers SOL materials in room 126 at Ocean Lakes High School on Jan. 24, 2023.

While the standards of learning tests begin and students start to prepare for the tests, stress and nerves come into factor. 

“I would study hard and keep everything you need to know memorized,” said senior Allison Cook.

Advice is always good when studying, especially for the SOLs.

“Students should participate in all review activities the teacher holds during class,” said English teacher Jessica Scheible. 

What are the last things a student should do before a SOL?

“When it comes down to a couple of days or the night before, get a good night’s sleep, eat breakfast, and trust yourself,” said Scheible. 

Even though the Virginia Department of Education gives SOLs to see if students have learned the subject they needed to, students feel them as unnecessary.

“I feel like the teachers are stressed because they feel the need to make sure they have taught us everything we need to know. We also feel a lot of stress coming when we take them because we don’t want to disappoint anyone if we don’t do well,” said freshman Emilia Fiorentino.

The amount of stress SOL causes students is unfair. 

“They’re stressful and I don’t see the point in it. I don’t know why they’re helpful and why I need them,” said freshman Victor Havanessian.

While dealing with an SOL, the nerves make you wonder, “What does passing mean?” or “If I pass an SOL, do I have to take the final exam for the class?”

“There’s different questions for different tests. For graduation purposes, students have to have five SOLs to pass; reading, writing, science, math, and history, and it does not matter if you’re planning on doing the advanced or regular diploma. If you pass the SOL for that certain class, your teacher will give you a paper that will exempt you for the final,” said school improvement specialist Dorothy Neal.

Many students wonder how their SOL is scored.

“It’s tricky because they have different levels; for example: easy, medium, hard. The score you must get to pass is a 400 which is a 60-70%. So there could be like 10 medium questions or 15 easy and five hard questions. It just depends on the SOL,” said Neal.