Planning for a Successful High School Career

High school planning helps students track and plan their high school courses so that it aligns with their academic and career goals through course offerings, planning guides, and graduation requirements. WCS Planning Guide

Advanced Placement Information

This year AP scores are only available online. Students will not receive scores in the mail. To get scores, students must sign up for a free College Board account at AP Score. We encourage students to do this now so they will be ready to access their scores in July.

Students who score at or above all of their subject readiness benchmarks on the ACT will graduate with honors. The benchmark set for each test is English-18, Math-22, Reading-21, and Science-24.

Students will graduate with distinction by attaining a B average and completing at least one of the following:

  • Earn a nationally recognized industry certification
  • Participate in at least one of the Governor’s Schools
  • Participate in one of the All-State musical organizations
  • Be selected as a National Merit Finalist or Semi-Finalist
  • Attain a score of 31 or higher composite score on the ACT
  • Attain a 3 or higher on at least two advanced placement exams
  • Successfully complete the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
  • Earn 12 or more semester hours of transcript college credit

The requirements to graduate with a Williamson County Schools honors and distinction diploma can be found be reading the WCS Board Policy 4.60511.


TN Ready is an assessment for grades 3-11 core subject areas and measures student performance against specific state standards. This assessment is administered as three subparts, all administered in the spring semester. For high school, it is administered to all students enrolled in:

  • English I
  • English II
  • Algebra I
  • Geometry
  • Algebra II
  • Biology
  • US History

and accounts for 15% of the 2nd semester grade.


District policy requires comprehensive exams at the end of each semester for all high school courses. All semester exams are constructed by teacher teams at the school level except for those courses that require either a state TCAP or district CCE for the final exam.


High School assessments include a school day state administration of the ACT in the spring for all 11th graders and the fall for 12th graders, free of charge. The ACT measures what students have learned throughout high school and is a WCS graduation requirement. The test also assesses post-secondary academic preparedness, and colleges and universities use results to make acceptance and placement decisions.  It is, however, just one factor in the admissions decision. Schools also consider your high school GPA, academic transcript, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, interviews, and personal essays. The weight placed on entrance exam scores varies from school to school.

WCS Students are encouraged to take the ACT/SAT multiple times.  (See below)

ACT National Test Dates and Registration


Students enrolled in college-level AP courses in high school may choose to take the corresponding AP subject exams in the spring to assess their mastery of the content. Success on these AP exams leads to opportunities for earning college credit or advanced standing at most post-secondary institutions.

Registration for AP exams is handled at the school level. Contact the school’s designated AP Coordinator for information about scheduling and fees.


The PSAT is the pre-SAT. It helps students determine how they would perform on the actual test. It tells the students how many and what type of questions they responded to correctly and incorrectly. The PSAT also qualifies students for National Merit status during the 11th grade year if students meet certain requirements. For more information visit the college board site.


Created by the College Board, the SAT is another entrance exam that can be used by colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. As with the ACT, it is just one factor in the admissions decision. Schools also consider your high school GPA, academic transcript, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, interviews, and personal essays. The weight placed on entrance exam scores varies from school to school.

SAT National Test Dates and Registration

The district administers benchmark assessments at the end of each quarter to students in grades 1-12. The purpose of these formative assessments is to check the progress of students’ content mastery so that any needed adjustments can be made before summative assessments. The district benchmarks are given online as a Unify assessment.


The state requires districts to universally screen students as part of its Response to Instruction and Intervention system, and WCS uses STAR assessments to meet that requirement. The purpose of STAR is to provide a data snapshot of a student’s current performance at three points during the school year and, in some cases, progress throughout the school year, in a variety of academic areas using national norms as comparison points without a large sacrifice of instructional time.


The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) produces a language assessment called AAPPL, or the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages. Students in world language courses are expected to participate in AAPPL to assess modes of communication in their respective language. AAPPL is provided by the district.


WIDA’s ACCESS for ELs assessment is for English Language Learners (ELLs) in grades K-12. This assessment measures English language proficiency levels with respect to the WIDA ELP Standards and is used as one criterion to determine when ELLs have attained the language proficiency needed to participate meaningfully in content area.


TCAP alternate assessments are for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities whom participation in the typical state assessment is inappropriate, even with the use of extensive accommodations. Students in high school must complete one assessment in each English, mathematics, and science course.