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The Right to Refuse Testing

Policies Related to Test Participation and Refusal

According to the Code of Virginia, all students in Virginia are expected to take the Standards of Learning (SOL) state assessments. Virginia regulations do not include what is sometimes referred to as an "opt-out policy" for state assessments.  However, parents may refuse testing his/her children.


What Parents Should Consider Before Refusing a Test

How to Refuse a Test

  • Certain tests are used to help a school identify appropriate placement for the student in advanced academic, enrichment, intervention and other programs.  If a child does not test, his/her appropriate placement could be delayed.
  • If a child does not test, the school will not have academic data from the assessment to inform plans for the child's classroom instruction
  • When a child does not test, the school does not gain a clear reflection of how it is meeting the instructional needs of its students, as a whole.
  • For each SOL test refusal, the child will be assigned a score of zero (0). 
  • The child's score report and the academic record will also display the score of (0).  It will not directly impact the course grade or access to future coursework. The child's (0) score will count against the federal accountability under ESSA; but will not impact the school's state accreditation status.
  • If the child attends high school, refusing an SOL test could impact his/her on-time graduation. Virginia requires verified credits to earn a standard or advanced studies diploma. SOL tests are the most common method credits are verified.
  • If parents refuse testing for one (1) or more administered tests, the parent should first contact the child's school.
  • The Test Coordinator or Principal can address parents' questions at the school level. 
  • If parents determine the refusal of a test, is in the best interest of his/her child;  after initial contact with the school,  the parent must officially notify the child's school,  in writing of this decision.
  • For SOL tests, the parent will complete the "Parent Refusal Form" at the school where the form will be kept on file for the current school year.
  • The "Parent Refusal Form" must be completed annually.