How to Read your High School Transcript

Being able to read a transcript is a very important skill for a student to have.  When you know how to read your transcript, you can better plan your courses, and can keep up with your credits needed for graduation.
Refer to the following information any time you have questions about your transcript.
You will usually work with an unofficial copy of your transcript provided by your academy counselor.  Official transcripts are only requested when applying to colleges and universities, and for scholarship applications.
At the top of your transcript is identifying information about you, the student, such as your name, student ID#, grade level, date of birth, gender assigned at birth, ethnicity, and parent/guardian name.  There is also identifying information about the school/district, such as the school and county district, the campus name, and the house (academy) you are in.
At the top right is your academic status.  This includes the date you entered 9th grade, your graduation plan, your current GPA (grade point average), your class rank, and the last date that class ranks were tabulated.  Every student should know their graduation plan, as this determines how many credits you need for graduation and which classes are required for graduation.
Under the academic status area is a box with the number of credits you have earned.  This is divided by state earned credits (which count towards graduation) and local earned credits (which do not count towards graduation).  Remember that even if you see the number of credits you need for graduation (26 for students on the 34D graduation plan), it does not mean you have all the courses you need for graduation.  Students often have extra elective courses, but still need to complete other graduation requirements.
Next in the right column is information about your EOC mastery.  You need to pass your English I, English II, Biology, Algebra I, and US History STAAR EOC exams in order to graduate.  This box will help you keep up with your progress.
The courses you have taken are divided into categories according to graduation requirements, such as English Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, Languages Other Than English, and so on.  Remember that Local Credit courses do not count towards graduation.  See your academy counselor if you need more explanation about the way courses are grouped together.
Under each category of courses, you will see course numbers.  You do not need to know these.  These are the numbers that counselors use to place you in a course when they are creating your schedule, and what the registrars use to award your credit towards graduation.
You will also see the part(s) of courses that you took.  Part 1 means the first semester of a course, and Part 2 means the second semester of a course.  That's easy to remember!  If there is not a part listed, that means that the course was only a semester long course.
AAR codes are listed next.  What are these?  Look at the box on the right for explanations.  What you ideally should see is a lot of "H" courses, which are honors courses.  When you do well in these courses, they help raise your GPA.
Next is a listing of your courses, divided by category.  Sometimes you might not recognize the name of the course, because the way it is listed in the system counselors use is different from the way the course is listed on your choice sheet.  For example, counselors know that course number 1439.H000.Y Hum 1st is really Filmmaking I, but students wouldn't normally know that.  If you have questions about any of the course names on your transcript, please ask your academy counselor.
Your grade for each semester of a course is listed, along with the grade average, and the credit that you earned.  Each semester of a course you successfully complete earns .5 credit, so you should see a 1.0 credit earned for each yearlong class.  What you should be concerned about is when you see 0 credit earned.  This either means you failed a course, or did not earn credit due to excessive absences.  If you see this, you should see your academy counselor to make a plan to recover credit
You might see some funny looking "status codes" on your transcript.  There is a box on the right that explains these codes.  The most common ones you will see are the + sign, which means you yearlong averaged a class (failed one half, but made a high enough grade the other half so that the two semesters averaged together equaled at least a 70), and a *, which means that you lost credit for that semester of the course due to excessive absences.  Remember, if this happens, you should see your academy counselor to make a plan to recover the credit.
Last, you will see the school year that you took each course.  It is exciting to see your transcript each semester and watch all the progress you are making towards graduation!
Students will be provided their unofficial transcript at least twice a year by their academy counselor.  Once, when a student meets with his/her counselor at milestone meeting (a meeting with your counselor to review your progress towards graduation and college/career readiness), and again before you make your course choices for the next year.  
The more you understand about your transcript, the more powerful you are in choosing courses, and making sure you are on track to graduation and ready for the next steps of your life's journey!