CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. -

As more and more students head back to school, they are feeling a lighter burden thanks to fewer Standards of Learning tests.

Earlier this year, the Virginia General Assembly voted to have fewer SOL tests for third and fifth grade students.

So now that there is no test, how are teachers adjusting their lessons?

Third graders no longer have to take tests in Science and Social Studies.

Fifth graders don't have to stress about a big, two-day writing test.

But every school leader WDBJ7 spoke to says that doesn't mean they're just going to forget about those subjects.

"There is definitely a sense of relief," fifth grade teacher Jessica Jones said.

"We're not going to change a lot of what we do," said Belview Elementary School Principal Tara Grant.

When you hear the phrase standards of learning, most people think of the tests.

"Anytime you mention the word test, that natural anxiety comes up," Jones said, of parents, teachers and students.

Now, for those few subjects, the focus turns to the standards; guidelines given by the state for these subjects that many schools still plan to follow.

Principal Tara Grant loves it.

"I'm thrilled to death. As a parent, I have a third grader, and as a principal, I'm thrilled to death too because that's lots of days of testing and preparation," Grant said.

Jones has taught elementary school students for 15 years.   She says she'll still focus the same amount of effort on writing even though her kids will be evaluated by her instead of the state.

"These kids have a lot to learn, and we have a lot to teach, and we are still doing that even though there's not a test," Jones said.

"We're always reading, we're always writing, doing math, we have science and social studies every day, that's not going to change. We're doing what's mandated by the state and what's mandated by our county," added Grant.

A recent Gallup poll shows support for the nationwide education standards known as Common Core is dropping.

Virginia was one of six states that didn't adopt Common Core for many reasons, one of them being an over-reliance on standardized testing as a benchmark.

Some education experts say Virginia's SOL reform is an indication that the Commonwealth could be on the leading edge of public education by putting more power to evaluate in the teachers hands.