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Extra SOL Taken For Upcoming Years

Juniors took a second SOL test in Mar. This test was taken on computers for practice for the upcoming school years.
By Chandler Shirer
Junior English students were required to take two SOL tests this year. After their regular SOL test they had to take a field test as well. This test was a practice test for students to take in upcoming years. The test was all online instead of being all written.
The field tests were taken by all juniors on Mar. 22, 23, 26, and 27. Students and teachers both had different opinions on this new approach to the SOL tests.
“I hate typing on the computer so the actual SOL test we had to take this year was much easier than the field test in my opinion,” junior Amanda Terry said.
The writing prompts given to the students were all different from one another. This could have made it easier for some students and harder for others because some prompts may have been easier than others.
“I felt like it wasn’t fair to everyone because some choices of the prompts were easier to write about,” junior Tanner Barlow said.
The field test had many tools that students could use to help them write their essays. The tools included a highlighter, spell check, etc. They  were useful to many students and it was an advantage for the students taking the field tests.
“I think I would spend less time on the computer than I would on paper because it was easier to fix my mistakes,” Barlow said.
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    Busola OlanrewajuJun 1, 2012 at 5:48 am

    I think this new style of testing has its disadvantages and advantages. I think a disadvantage to the students are the extra tools such as spell check. I personally think it is of disservice to them, because it takes away the need for the to try harder and spell correctly. Not everything is going to have spell check. On the other hand the fact that technology is playing a bigger role is great, because we are surrounded by technology. these days you can’t escape it.

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    Bradley CooperMay 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm

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    Sarah Beth HowardMay 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    There are multiple benefits from taking this practice SOL and multiple drawbacks. One thing is that this gave students the chance to practice writing. Much like reading, some students would not read if it were not for schools making them. It also allowed people to work on typing. Yeah this one does sound ridiculous, but practice does make perfect. Also, it allows students woget used to the SOL environment and method of an unprepared writing prompt, so the students have another chance to think of points to a topic on the fly. A few drawbacks is that the students might get complacent when they hear that they are doing this just for practice. They also might get overly stressed if they overthink the task before them. They also might get wigged out by the new method and give up. There are definite positives and negatives, but if used right, this experience could ultimately help.

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    Stephen BrockwellMay 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    With the changes in the manner of taking SOLs over the years, it was only a matter of time before the writing portion made the transfer as well. I am glad that the computer test was a field test rather than a full-blown test. Some people have different opinions of taking the SOL on the computer, so it is good that they got a chance to try both methods.

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    Megan JonsonMay 22, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I was among the many of juniors who had to take the field test. I don’t really mind using the computer. However, it was hard to say because when we had to take it I do not think that everyone’s mind was in the right place for an “SOL”. We all knew this didn’t count for anything so it was hard to but in 100%. If they do start to do that SOL test on the computer then I hope the still only use one prompt because otherwise it would be unfair.