Set Up a WACS Test

Once you’ve assigned your students to a benchmark and initialized their accounts, they can begin the WACS test. To set up a WACS test for your student:

  1. Visit Students tab and click Drag to Desktop. This will open up to a student walk-up page similar to Waterford Early Learning, with rows of student picture or initials (if no picture is available).
  2. Click on the student’s picture or initials. A window will open that asks, “Is this you?”
  3. Choose Yes to confirm the student’s identity – this will automatically start WACS.

Note: Students must be initialized before they can take the test. If not, after confirming, the test will redirect them back until they have been initialized.


Enable or Disable Benchmarks

Enabling a benchmark allows you to assign students to that test period. To enable a benchmark:

  1. Visit the Benchmark tab.
  2. Check the Enable button to the right of the benchmark’s name.

To disable existing benchmarks, click the Enable button again to remove the check. While you can disable Pending benchmarks, you cannot disable In Progress or Expired ones.

Add or Delete Benchmarks

If you do not want to use the default benchmarks, you may create your own instead. To add a benchmark:

  1. Visit the Benchmark tab, and click on +New.
  2. Fill in the new benchmark’s name and start/end dates.
  3. Click Save to confirm the new benchmark.

To delete a custom benchmark:

  1. Visit the Benchmark tab and select the benchmark(s) you want to delete.
  2. Click the Delete button.
  3. Select Yes when the Please Confirm window appears to permanently delete your benchmark.

Note: While you can delete your own benchmarks, you cannot delete the defaults.


Benchmark Tab

Benchmarks are set time periods when students can take the WACS test. Waterford provides three default benchmarks:

  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring

These defaults were chosen because they reflect the periods when student skills often change and because teachers usually test their students at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year. You can also create up to twelve custom benchmarks for your classroom.

Note: You are limited to twelve custom benchmarks because students shouldn’t be tested more than once a month.

By clicking on the Benchmark tab, you can perform the following actions:

  • View all existing benchmarks
  • Add/delete non-default benchmarks
  • Enable or disable benchmarks

You can also view the benchmark’s current status:

  • Pending: the benchmark’s time period has not yet occurred
  • In Progress: students are currently testing during this benchmark
  • Expired: the benchmark’s time period has elapsed


Current Report

WACS currently provides one classroom report, which is color-coded based on individual student scores. It lists all students in alphabetical order and displays the following information by class:

  • Test Date
  • Score
    • Lists each student’s score on individual skill sets as well as their Overall Score
    • The Score Key in the right hand corner displays the following information:
      • Score color code
        • Green: At or Above Expected
        • Red: Below Expected
      • Conversion of numerical scores to grade level
        • WACS scores may range from 1000-5000, or PreK Beginning to 2nd Grade Advanced
  • Average Score
    • This section displays the average score on a skill set for all students in the same grade on the District, School, and Class level for comparison to individual students or your entire classroom
  • Expected Score
    • The Expected Score bar displays the score students should reach, based on their grade level, for a certain skill set

Note: The Expected Score may be blank if the skill set is either above (PreK) or below (K-2nd) a classroom’s grade level.

  • Highest and Lowest Possible Score for each skill set

Note: A dash means that the student was not tested on that skill set. The majority of students will have at least several dashes on their score chart.

Upcoming Reports

WACS will release new student reports in early 2019. These new reports will include the following features:

New Classroom Report

  • Added keys to clarify score meanings
  • Includes highest and lowest possible score, expected score based on grade level and averages (district, school, class)
  • Student box will be an orange-red color if they are below their expected score in a certain area

Streamlined Version of New Classroom Report

  • Shows same information as other chart but is more organized for easy reading
    • Design based on teacher feedback
  • Shows one skill at a time via a dropdown list
  • User can choose which skills, averages, and expected scores to view

Reading Level Report

  • Shows the number of students in each reading level for every test category
    • PreK Beginning to 4th Advanced
  • Can hover over numbers and see individual student names

Comparative Report

  • Shows student progress between benchmarks on a bell curve chart by percentile
  • Displays chart below graph in numeric format
  • Can see all years students have used WACS or just current year
  • Can compare student to class, school, or district level
    • Can also see specific student demographics (e.g. socioeconomic status, ethnicity, etc)


Adjust a Student’s Time Limit

The default time limit for a WACS assessment is 20 minutes, but it can be raised or lowered between 12-30 minutes. You can adjust the time limit for individual students or assign a default time to your entire class.

The number in the far right-hand column on the Students tab is their time limit (in minutes) to take an assessment. To individually change a student’s time limit:

  1. Click on the student’s time limit square.
  2. Replace the default time limit to any number between 12-30 minutes.
  3. Press enter to save the new time limit.

Note: Kindergarteners work best with a limit between 15-20 minutes.