This note presents a virtual displacement approach to analyze the constant rate of strain consolidation test. It yields simplified “exact” equations within the weighted residual context for interpreting test data. Equations corresponding to larger time factors are similar to those presented in the literature, although the transient effects are clearer than in previous formulations. An advantage of the framework is that assumptions concerning the uniformity of properties through a sample can be relaxed. The derivation shows that E must be constant for the coefficient of consolidation to be independent of position. Depending on the sequencing of sublayers, it is shown that basal pore pressure can be higher or lower for layered media compared with uniform material when allowing E to vary, even though cv is kept constant.