State Assessments

  • The following state required assessments are administered throughout the year:

    Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS): Grades K-3

    • Assesses phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, letter/sound knowledge, concept of word, and word recognition in isolations at the kindergarten level. 
    • Assesses word knowledge, oral reading in context, alphabetic and phonemic awareness at grades K -3. Please download the assessment plan to understand when and which students take the PALS assessment.
    • For more information specific to this assessment, click here.


    Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP)

    • Originates from the University of Virginia, and it assesses children entering kindergarten in areas of math, self-regulation, and social skills.  The VKRP also provides integrated performance reports of kindergarten entry-skills and recommended resources at the student and classroom levels. 
    • For more information specific to this assessment, click here


    Assessing Comprehension & Communication in English (ACCESS): Grades K-12

    • Required assessment for all students who are identified as English Learners (EL) in levels 1 through 5 regardless of whether they are being served or have waived services.
    • For more state information specific to this assessment, click here.


    Standards of Learning (SOL) State Assessments: Grades 3-8 and High School Level Courses

    • Administered in grades 3 through 8 and high school level courses in the subject areas of English, mathematics, science and history/social science. 
    • Used as part of the state's accountability system and to inform parents and teachers about what students are learning in relation to the Standards of Learning.
    • Administered online and students with Individualized Education Programs/504 Plans and/or English Learner Assessment Plans are provided state approved accommodations.
    • High school level tests are referred to as End-Of-Course (EOC) SOL tests.  State law only permits students to take an EOC SOL test if it is required to meet a graduation requirement or required to meet federal accountability requirements.  If a student is in an EOC SOL tested course and does not need to take the EOC SOL test to satisfy a graduation requirement or a federal accountability requirement, the student will not be permitted to take the test.  If a parent still wants his/her child to take the unnecessary SOL test, the parent may submit the "Opt-In" form by clicking here. If your child take an EOC SOL test as an "Opt-In" test, the EOC SOL test cannot be used to satisfy a final exam exemption condition for the linked course.  The score will also be backed out of all school level results.
    • In grades 3 through 8, the grade level reading and math SOL tests are adaptive assessments known as Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT). The CAT test is an assessment that is customized for every student. A student's response on one questions determines the difficulty of the next item. Click here to learn more about the state's CAT testing: 
    • For additional information about SOL testing, click here
    • SOL practice items and resources click here


    Virginia Alternative Assessment (VAAP): Grades 3-8 and Grade 11

    • Used to evaluate the performance of students with significant cognitive disabilities.
    • Used as part of the state's accountability system and to inform parents and teachers about what students are learning in relation to the Aligned Standards of Learning (ASOLs).
    • Compilation of student work samples and artifacts in the areas of reading, writing, math, science and history/social studies.
    • For more information specific to this assessment, click here.


    Local Alternative Assessment (LAA)


    State Assessment Matrix

    Click this link to read the MCPS Balanced Assessment Plan. This plan includes a description of local, state, and national assessments and the purpose each one has in the instructional program.