Instruction » Assessment


Assessment includes a wide variety of methods and tools to evaluate, measure and document the academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, or educational needs of students.


Assessment Descriptions and Information​​​​​​​​​​



ACCESS for ELLs™ is a standards-based, criterion referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English language learners' social and academic proficiency in English. It assesses social and instructional English as well as the language associated with language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies within the school context across the four language domains.

An English Language Proficiency test is required under No Child Left Behind legislation. Passed in 2001, NCLB indicates that all K-12 English language learners must be assessed annually for English proficiency growth and academic progress.


Accountability and Virginia Public Schools

Schools receive two annual accountability ratings based on the performance of students on SOL tests and graduation rates (for high schools). Click on the links below to read explanations of the two accountability ratings: Virginia's Accreditation and the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB).


Advanced Placement Exams

Advanced Placement courses give students the chance to try college-level work in high school. Classes available vary by high school. Information on exam dates, college and university policies on AP credit acceptance, and more can be found on the College Board website.


Algebra Readiness Assessment (ARDT)

The ARDT is a computer-adaptive diagnostic assessment tool in mathematics.  It is designed to assess and diagnose each student’s mathematical strengths and weaknesses in relation to the Virginia Mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL). The ARDT includes two types of tests: Grade-level Tests and Strand Tests. The ARDT Grade-level Test is administered as a pre- and post- test measure to determine student skill areas requiring further development and to determine growth in student skills over time.

       Grade-level Tests – This is the first diagnostic test administered to each student. These 30-item, computer-adaptive tests assess content mastery for a particular grade level. Grade-level tests may also contain questions from previous grade levels if grade-level mastery is not evident. Grade-level Test results may assist in determining the need for student intervention and in identifying specific content strands needing instructional remediation. The Grade-level Test may be given multiple times to track student progress.

       Strand Tests – Strand Tests can be assigned to a student after they have taken the Grade-level Test. The computer-adaptive Strand Tests are 10 problems in length and focus on a particular content strand. Strand Test results can be used to determine strengths and areas of challenge within the content strand. Please note that Strand tests can only be assigned to a student individually, one at a time. This means that the steps outlined in this guide for assigning a test must be repeated for each Strand test a student is to take. One SDU containing each strand test could also be uploaded.


Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)

The ASVAB is a multiple-aptitude battery that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military.


Common Assessments

       Division level: Used to determine prior knowledge and student misconceptions regarding content and process included in our curriculum, as well as identify areas for additional instruction. The Division level benchmark assessments have been designed to be given throughout the year as an assessment of both whether students have learned what has been taught as well as an indicator of their understanding of material that has not yet been covered. Using data from the division level benchmark assessments as well as school level common assessments teachers may adjust pacing and instructional strategies.

       School level: Common assessments are built around common content and used to determine next steps in teaching. Professional Learning Communities should examine common assessment data to determine strengths and weaknesses in both the assessment and instruction.


Growth Assessments (Fall and Winter)

Legislation passed in the 2021 Virginia General Assembly (HB2027 and SB1357) required the implementation of “through-year” or “growth” assessments beginning in fall 2021 for reading and mathematics in grades 3-8. To ensure that the growth assessments administered for this purpose are aligned to the Standards of Learning (SOL), the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) developed shorter computer adaptive tests (CAT) using existing SOL test items. 

Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, the fall and winter growth assessments will focus primarily on content from the student’s current grade level. For example, a student taking grade 5 mathematics in 2022-2023 will be administered a growth assessment that focuses primarily on grade 5 mathematics content. However, in compliance with the 2021 legislation, the CAT algorithm has been configured so that the student might be administered some items from below or above the current grade level depending on the student’s responses to the on-grade-level content items. 

There are a couple of exceptions to the potential administration of off-grade level test items. One exception is that the grade 8 reading and mathematics growth assessments will only include items assessing SOL content that is at or below the 8th grade level since there are no above-grade-level items available in the current CAT item banks. Another exception is for a student who meets the criteria for a paper test will only be administered test items that assess SOL content aligned with the student’s grade level.

Otis - Lennon School Ability Test (OLSTAT)

The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) is an assessment measuring certain cognitive skills deemed important for successful learning.   These skills are higher order reasoning skills involving analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.  The skills permit student learners to better understand the content they are learning, to better recall what they understand, to be more logical, to perceive relationships, attend to details, and to form generalizations and apply them to new content.

The OLSAT assessment is used to identify students in need of special services within the school system, such as identifying students eligible to receive gifted and talented programming.

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Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS)

PALS is used with children to identify students at risk of reading difficulties. PALS is designed to measure young children’s knowledge of important literacy fundamentals and can be used as a diagnostic tool to provide teachers with explicit information to help guide their teaching.


Renaissance Learning (STAR)

The STAR assessments are assessments that emphasize growth. The assessments measure reading and math achievement.  STAR assesses what students know and what they are ready to learn next on an empirically validated learning continuum. They map the inter-related prerequisite skills needed to further conceptual understanding and provide resources to help students achieve mastery.


Standards of Learning (SOLs)

The Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools describe the commonwealth's expectations for student learning and achievement in grades K-12 in English, mathematics, science, history/social science, technology, the fine arts, foreign language, health and physical education, and driver education.

These standards represent a broad consensus of what parents, classroom teachers, school administrators, academics, and business and community leaders believe schools should teach and students should learn.


In the four core areas of English, mathematics, science, and history/social science, a curriculum framework also is provided that details the specific knowledge and skills students must possess to meet the standards for these subjects.


For more information on Standards of Learning currently in effect and links to curriculum frameworks, please visit the Virginia Department of Education web site.


SOL Testing in Hopewell Public Schools







History/Social Studies

Grade 3






Grade 4






Grade 5






Grade 6






Grade 7






Grade 8





X Civics & Econ

End of Course (EOC)

Grade 11

Grade 11

Algebra I/ Algebra II/ Geometry

Earth Science/ Biology/ Chemistry

World History I/ World History II/ VA/US History

​​​​​​​​​​                                               *Replaced SOL assessments, assessed locally 


Standards of Learning Information:

SOL Locally Developed Assessments:

SOL Frequently Asked Questions:

SOL Test Scoring and Performance Reports:

Alternative and Alternate Assessments: